Sherman's Food Adventures: Ba Le Deli & Bakery

Ba Le Deli & Bakery

Here we go, another ol' favourite that I blogged about a long, long time ago (just like yesterday's Phnom Penh post).  In the meantime, I've visited Ba Le plenty of times but never felt the need to blog about it again (even after the installation of their own oven).  However, after visiting quite a few Banh Mi joints in the GVRD, it was only natural that I come back to the well for a comparison.  For those who haven't been to the place in awhile, it has doubled in size and yes, they baked their own baguettes now.  Pricewise, they are only slightly more than before.

I decided to order 3 subs starting with the classic Cold Cut (Special, Dac Biet or whatever they call it).  As much as people have lamented the change in bread, I found their in-house baked baguette decent being light and airy with a pronounced crunch.  Although the amount of meat in the sub was not substantial, it was enough while I could taste the pate.  Probably not my favourite Banh Mi in town, but good nonetheless.  I gave the Shredded Chicken a try too and upon eating it remembered why I rarely order it.  The chicken was somewhat stringy and dry with very little flavour.  Fortunately, there was enough butter mayo to provide some moisture.  Moreover, the pickled daikon and carrots helped add some needed flavour.

Lastly, I had the Meatball Sub which was decent with moist ground pork which had a good amount of sweet onions.  Good but I personally prefer the one from Au Petite more.  Naturally, the best Banh Mi in town is highly subjective.  It could range from Tung Hing to Kim Chau and then some, but the Banh Mi at Ba Le continues to be a reliable option in the GVRD.

The Good:
- Still one of the better ones in town
- Bigger place and they make their own bread now

The Bad:
- Skimpy with the filling
- The parking lot just plain sucks

Ba Le Deli & Bakery on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

Steve said...

Ba Le is one of my top 2 favourite banh mi shops - the other is Tung Hing.
Tung Hing's sandwiches are a little bit larger and usually contain more fillings (the house special is my favourite)
At Ba Le, I always go for the #2 grilled pork. Some might find the sauce they use on it to be very rich and quite sweet but it sure works for me. Another plus for Ba Le is that they have tables to eat at. I like to eat my sandwiches right away while they are at their best, and eating in the car just doesn't cut it - I hate vacuuming up all the crumbs
As for the bread, I believe both places bake multiple batches throughout the day, so it can be kind of hit or miss whether yours is fresh out of the oven or several hours old.

LotusRapper said...

Ba Le's baguettes are better now (now that they bake their own), but they're still skimpy on the fillings. And I don't have to tell ya Tung Hing is still better as far as packing in the fillings.

Another option, #35 (banh mi with grilled pork) at Bon Cafe, Main & 33rd. Fresh-grilled savoury pork from kitchen stuffed right into the banh mi, for only $4.

LotusRapper said...

@Steve - go try #35 at Bon Cafe (Main/33). Would love to hear what you think of it.

Sherman Chan said...

@Steve Yah, Tung Hing is good too. Kim Chau is another option as well. But yes, Ba Le remains a standby for sure.

Steve said...

@LotusRapper - just tried Bon Cafe's grilled pork bahn mi (now #50). I found it to be very good with plenty of fillings however the pork was a little chewy and there was some gristle in it, but enjoyable none the less. Also tried the shredded pork (#48) and really liked that one. It contained shredded pork plus some finely ground up cracklings for a very nice texture. With a bit of added hoisin sauce, it definitely gives Ba Le's # 2 a run for their money.
I also enjoyed a better than average bowl of Bún bò Huế at the Bon Cafe, flavourful, medium spiciness, not too much sodium, lots of the usual meats. The sprouts were also accompanied with some morning glory and banana blossoms.
Thanks for the tip LR, I will be returning.

LotusRapper said...

Glad you enjoyed them, Steve :-D

I must be using #35 from a very old menu !!

The shredded pork one is good to, 'tho I admit not being a big fan of the shredded pork texture.

Bon appetite !