Thursday, September 17, 2009

Banh Mi - Paris

New Banh Mi Shop Opens in Lil Wenzhou
I love banh mi, Puffin - I cannot seem to get enough of it. It's cheap, quick, fresh, spicy and delicious. This new shop is genius - it's simply named after the sandwich! It opened this week, within 50 feet of my front door in Lil Wenzhou. That's what I call the small area near Arts & Metier which is chock full of Chinese restaurants and shops, many opened by immigrants from Wenzhou, China.


It's a one-woman enterprise - she's a Chinese who grew up in Vietnam and takes her art pretty seriously from what I can tell. I ordered a chicken and watched. The baguette is local, from a block away. First in was the mayo followed by two peeled cucumber fingers. Then the chicken, which looked to have been pulled off the bone and cooked in a marinade. Next and most importantly, she ladled in a few spoonfuls of that marinade. This added a juiciness to the sandwich that made it better than most. Then the cilantro, carrots and chiles. When she handed it to me, I was surprised how big it was. It had to be a foot long and was loaded.

Similar to most banh mi spots, there are just a few choices: beef, chicken, pork pate (cha lua) and barbecued pork (cha xia.) Some may argue that the price tag of 3.50 to 4.50 Euros is steep for banh mi. Folks, this is Paris - I've paid more for a cup of coffee. Enough said - you get good value.

It's take-out only. There's enough room for her to make your sandwich and you to pay for it, no more. As you can see, it's two doors wide. I ate my sandwich on the way to work. It became better with each bite - I think mainly due to the marinade. It slowly softened the baguette and brought out the flavors of everything else. In short order, I will try her other ones, there's no doubt about that. It's brand new, as in less than a few days, so I'm not sure yet which days she's closed or the hours, but so far she's been open during lunch and dinner when I've gone by.
3rd Arondissement
Paris

Related Posts by Category



Widget by Gagan

17 comments:

  1. Ooo.. bahn mi I love! Come to think of it, although we do eat Vietnamese food in Paris, I have not had bahn mi... this sure sounds like an exciting deal and the fact that it's like a 2 minute walk from the apartment... sounds like it's gonna be my lazy lunch solution.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Two minute walk? Try 20 second walk. I think you'll like it, babe. Good price, good taste, close to home. What more could you want?

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh man, that translates to what? a 6-7 dollar banh mi? People here would go crazy! Paris is an expensive town, but one day I hafta go and check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need to come back to read all of these posts-great food reviews and photos. Thankfully, Atlanta has plenty of banh mi joints...
    From Norcross, GA

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Anon - wow, you got a lot of Banh Mi spots in Atlanta?? I never woulda thunk it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for writing this up. I visited this place and really enjoyed my Bahn Mi.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @thekua - glad you liked it. I am due for a visit soon, it's been a while.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Roger - it's a pretty good one, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For those of you complaining about high banh mi prices, they are readily available for about 2,40€ at a number of places on Ave d'Ivry and Ave de Choisy in the 13th, and pretty delicious! Often times the pimente is actual crushed peppers, and actually much spicier than the typical Sriracha. (Obviously hard to find in Paris) It's unclear why people in Paris don't seem jazzed about exploring what are Paris's vrai "outer boroughs."

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Stephanie - the complainer is from NY where everything is cheaper. He is a known cheap bastard AND a good read. Check him at foodinmouth.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. @FN As a former NYer now in Paris on a grad student USD stipend (which makes me broke in the US, broker in Paris), I resent that you sent me to your friend's insanely mouthwatering, insanely awesome food blog. :) But thanks for your reviews here!

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Stephanie - ouch, you must be starving half the time.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Try the bubble tea.

    There's also beer to go with your sandwich.

    And there's a bottle of rum hidden away in the frigo. She might put a shot in your bubble tea.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Anon - I'm not much of a bubble tea fan, but adding rum to it might change my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow!! Ming send me to this place. Just incredible!! Wish I was in Paris again.
    Holland

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Conny - Ming knows a good thing!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.