Sherman's Food Adventures: Ba Le Sandwich Shop

Ba Le Sandwich Shop

On my way back from a truly satisfying breakfast at Cafe Medina, I stopped by Ba Le in Chinatown. No, I wasn't getting some Banh Mi for myself, I'm not that much of a glutton! Rather, Viv had just taken our son out for his swimming lesson and didn't have lunch yet. Normally, I get my Banh Mi fix at the Kingsway location; but it really wasn't on the way home. Honestly, I really don't remember the last time I visited the Chinatown location. It would probably be back when we lived in downtown before kids. Ah, life was so much simpler back then.

The Chinatown location is quite a bit smaller than it's Kingsway counterpart. It is considerably more run-down looking after the recent renovations at the Kingsway location as well. However, no one really goes there for the ambiance (at least I hope not), it's the excellent Banh Mi that counts. But, there is a difference. For some strange reason, there were no hot peppers in the Banh Mi. Instead, there was an abundance of pickled onion slivers. Personally, Viv and I didn't like that combination and much preferred the other version better. It's probably that we had to request peppers to get it? Despite that, there was the requisite cold cuts, pate, butter mayo, fish sauce, pickled daikon and carrot and cilantro on a crunchy french roll. At $2.75, this has to be one of the best values in town, especially if you like Banh Mi (is it just me or is it cheaper than the Kingsway location?).

For good measure, I picked up some Thit Bo Vien (Beef Meatballs) and Chả Lụa (Silky Sausage) at around $5.00 each. These go great with any bowl of noodles at home. Despite being full from breakfast, I was still determined to fit a Banh Mi into my eating schedule today. Although we were planning to meet some friends for dinner tonight as well...

The Good:
- It's tasty, fast and cheap
- Great combination of textures and flavours in an unassuming sandwich
- Consistently good here

The Bad:
- If you don't like pickled onions, you'd better tell them before they make your sandwich
- Not much parking around there

Ba Le Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

8 comments:

KimHo said...

No, I wasn't getting some Banh Mi for myself, I'm not that much of a glutton!

ORLY???? From my Belgian Fries post, you commented:

Actually I ate the whole thing. I’m a pig…

:P

I went there long time ago but haven't been there for one of the reasons you mentioned: parking. Sure, transit is an option; however, when you go to Chinatown, it is unlikely you will go there just for a couple of banh mi and most probably your hands will be full!

Sherman said...

You know me by now Kim. I try to deny it, but yes I'm somewhat of a glutton... LOL...

Gretch said...

If you are a Bahn Mi fan you need to try Truong Giang Vietnamese Sandwich. Its located right around the corner at 392 E. Hastings Street. They are the sweetest people who own and run the place plus its clean with decent amount of seating and fresh newspapers. They give you free tea too if you eat it there.

Sherman said...

Thanks for the tip Gretch, will try!

holly said...

I used to go to Ba Le a lot too, until I discovered Tung Hing at 1196 Kingsway.

They bake their own baguettes fresh daily, and if you're lucky enough, yours may still be warm out of the oven.

They have the usual fillings, and I especially like their grilled meat (I think it's pork).

You often see people walking out with bags filled with banh mi sandwiches.

Sherman said...

Thanks Holly! So many places to try... sigh...

gigi said...

I used to go to the Kingsway location a lot but the Chinatown one is more convenient for me now. I actually like the onions although it wreaks havoc on my breath afterwards ;) They do have hot peppers but you just need to request it when you order your sandwich.

Sherman said...

Yah, I figured that they should have hot peppers as an option. Although they are really hot!