This... to me is an institution in Vancouver. Sure, there are a lot of Vietnamese sandwich shops around, but I believe that Ba Le is the best (well, not anymore, I like Kim Chau more). They have 2 locations in Vancouver, one in Chinatown on Main Street and one on Kingsway at Fraser. Today I visited the Kingsway location after helping Costanza take things to the city dump. After that tasteful experience, I needed something yummy to get the taste of crap out of my mouth. Luckily for me, the truck rental place is a block away from Ba Le, so off we went. Costanza was gracious enough to pay for my sandwiches after the city dump experience.
So, what is a Vietnamese sub anyways? Well, thanks to the former French occupation of Vietnam, we have a fusion of French and Vietnamese foods. The sub itself is a french baguette with pork pate, Vietnamese ham, headcheese, pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber, hot peppers, cilantro, butter-mayo and fish sauce. This may sound like an extremely weird combination of ingredients, but trust me, it works. If you are adventurous, skip Subway and Quizno's and try a Vietnamese sub!
Also, they are dirt cheap, one deluxe sub will only set you back $3.25. There are other varieties such as grilled pork, grilled beef, chicken and Vietnamese ham. In addition to the subs, there are other Vietnamese specialties as well. There is Bahn Cuon (rice noodle with pork and wood ear mushrooms) accompanied with a vinegar/fish sauce dressing and sticky-rice with sausage (don't know the proper name for it).
The service is efficient, they try to get the sandwiches made quickly and send you on your merry way. However, be warned that sometimes they are preoccupied with really large orders and you might have to wait awhile. In terms of eating at Ba Le, I don't recommend that, just take it home or eat it at a park. The dining area and counter have recently been renovated, so it's nice and clean. If you have never tried a Vietnamese sub before, do yourself a favour and try it. I'm sure that you'll be surprised how good it is. Moreover, get it from Ba Le, my favourite Vietnamese sub joint.
- Sub is very yummy
- Ingredients are fresh
- Not open late (since that would be the best time to eat one!)
- Seems to be always busy, lineups are long
Ba Le Sandwich Shop
#21 - 701 Kingsway
9:00am - 6:00pm (Mon - Fri)
8:00am - 6:00pm (Sat & Sun)