I'm always game for some Banh Mi. For me at least, it's the perfect snack food. Not quite large enough to be a full-sized sub sandwich; yet not too small that there is no substance to it. Yes, I do get it for a meal occasionally. However, I usually get at least 2 to make sure I am full. It's been months since I've had one and when I saw Ben's post on Ba Le on Kingsway, the Banh Mi cravings came to the forefront. You know, the urge to have crumbs scattered all over you from the crusty baguette. The urge to have your tongue burn from the hot peppers. The urge to have pate and Vietnamese meats in one sandwich. Yes, those urges. If you've never had these urges, I "urge" you to try one for yourself.
One problem. Since I work in North Delta, the chances of me finding a Banh Mi are not good. A good samosa yes, Banh Mi no. Wait. There's the Surrey location of Ba Le! But that's all the way in Guildford! Hey, it's only a 15 minute drive to the Guildford T&T (where it is located). Fine, that's it, when I have a craving, I need to satisfy myself or I'll totally space out. Case in point. In both softball and hockey, my teams are constantly frustrated when I start thinking about food prematurely prior to a game ending. When that happens, they know that it's a lost cause. Might as well throw the game, Sherman is useless. So, not trying to be a useless zombie for the rest of the afternoon, I headed over to Guildford on a quest for my Banh Mi.
Well, either there was no traffic or I broke some speed laws because I made it out there in less than 15 minutes. The wait for the subs seemed to take longer. I ended up picking up 4 of them - 1 cold cut, 1 satay beef, 1 meatball and 1 grilled marinated pork. No, not all for me, I got some for Ma as well. Okay, either they didn't use fresh bread or something was amiss. Instead of the usually light, airy, crusty baguettes which Ba Le is known for, these were dense, chewy and hard. I'm hoping that this is a one time thing. It's too bad really since the meats and fillings were plentiful. I particularly liked the meatball sub the most. The cold cut was pretty standard with usual meats, pate, cucumber, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, hot peppers and fish sauce. Ma's satay beef was excellent, with plenty of meat, peanuts and the aforementioned fillings except for the pate.
The marinated grilled pork was probably my least favourite. I didn't mind the "jerky" type of texture and flavour of the pork, it was actually good. There just wasn't enough filling to overcook the dense bread. Once again, it's too bad the bread did not work out for me today. I'm sure that this is not the norm since I've rarely had a bad experience at any of the Ba Le locations. I'm just glad there is one in Surrey. Now only if they had one a bit closer, say... in North Delta...
- A nice selection of different subs
- Decent amount of filling
- Bread was not good this time (chewy and dense)