Category Archives: Vietnamese

Banh Mi Bar

Address: 189 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON

Phone: (647) 629-8358

During the summer, Kensington Market becomes pedestrian only on Sundays.  I was lucky enough to enjoy the freedom and full width of the streets while I stroll around the neighbourhood.  There were a lot of food stalls and performances you can enjoy during your visit on Sunday afternoon.  Situated along the main street of the Kensington Market, Augusta Ave, is a Vietnamese fast food like restaurant.  You can either sit in to enjoy the meal or take out.a14dd5b4c6ba48716e3eba08025425a9_1438454859_200_thumbDo not mix up Bahn Mi Bar with Bahn Mi Boys.  They are not affiliated.

Other than the famous Vietnamese style sandwiches, they also offer spring rolls, pho and rice.  We ate a lot while we were strolling around the market.  Banh Mi Bar is the last place we stopped into and wanted something light.  The best option was the sandwiches.
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On the wall next to the cashier or food station is their hand drawn  sandwich menu.  Obviously, there are many variations you can try.  Our criteria were simple and cheap!
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Grilled Pork Belly Banh Mi Sub ($5.99) is grilled pork belly with pickled raddish, carrots and cilantro on a baguette with hoisin sauce on the side.  I appreciate the waitress cutting the sandwich into 3 portions.  She was attentive for respecting our needs and requests.  The sandwich was made fresh in the little kitchen.  The pork belly took at least 8 minutes to grill or cook.  It was really fatty and oozing in oil, soft texture overall.  The vegetables were fresh and crispy or crunchy.  Ingredients were trying to gush out of the baguette.  Our sandwich was fully loaded!

My complaint is on the salt levels.  I was so thirsty for the remaining half of the day, chugging myself with water.  My mouth was so dry after this sandwich, which was loaded with MSG and salt.  Thank goodness I did not apply the hoisin sauce.  I would have enjoyed the sandwich more if there were lesser amounts of salt.

I think I will just stay with the cold cuts Vietnamese sandwiches for more simplicity and healthiness.  In fact, I can make many variations with such a simple sandwich by adding more condiments or whatsoever.

Ratings

Food 2.75/5

Service 4/5

Ambiance 2/5

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Green Lemon Grass

Green Lemon Grass

Address: 9425 Leslie Street. Unit 8.  Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3N7

Phone: (905) 508-5328

Green Lemon Grass is located in Richlane Mall, where they have served the Richmond Hill neighbourhood for over a decade.  This restaurant is like a busy bee, tables always full, continuous short lineups and fast service.  In other words, table turnover rates, on average, are high.  I would not say they have the best service ever, but it is good enough for the speed they go at and polite enough in my terms.

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This restaurant that has a lot of Asian character to it.  Open windows mimic street vendors from Asia.  Try imagine sitting on the open bustling streets having a meal.  It is quite a cute and clever open concept, their clientele can observe the activities within or can lure potential clientele to eat there.  The menu is based on comfort foods of noodles, curry, roti, rice and soups.  Do not expect fine dining here.  They built their reputation for fast convenient meals (fast food like), which is represented by the street vendor decor.  Everyone come and go~

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BBQ Chicken & Spring Roll Vermicelli ($7.75) was a mixture of grilled chicken, fried spring rolls, topped with peanuts, carrots, cucumbers, shredded lettuce and mixed with fish sauce.  Served dry and warm, it was quite appetizing with the tangy fish sauce.  The chicken was over-grilled and very dry; rubber-like texture.  The spring roll was also over- fried, where parts of the wrapper was burnt; however, was crunchy.  But burnt food can cause cancer.

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Small Rare Beef Noodle Soup ($6.75) has bean sprouts, slices of  beef and garnished with green onion and a sprig of mint leaves.  The beef was thinly sliced and lightly cooked; therefore, the texture was well maintained and easily absorbed the soup base.  It had a very standard pho soup base, therefore tasted consistent with my perception of pho.

I found both noodles were extremely salty and had too much MSG to it.  Water was being chugged down the throats for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  For the speedy service, convenience of meals, on a tight schedule, does not hurt to go.  But if you are looking for an enjoyable, savory meal, then this restaurant is not what you are looking for.

Ratings

Food 2.75/5

Service 3.5/5

Ambiance 3/5

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