Biblical Bahn Mi – Vietnamese subs at Tung Hing Bakery ,Ba Le
“Bahn Mi”. Those two words conjure up great images of deliciousness in Lo Pan like few others. The light crispy baguette, mild meats, exotic pickled veg and the special sauce. Like many great dishes, it was born out of cross cultural breeding. In this case, a marriage of Vietnamese and French. We’re not talking one of these flash in the pan Madonna and Sean Penn or Demi and Ashton celeb marriages. We’re talking a marriage made in heaven. This is a great thing as so often such fusions go awry, resulting in ghastly, misguided offspring like Jaden Smith or the ugly baby from Seinfeld. The Bahn Mi, on the other hand is a beautiful love child that Michael Jackson or any starving priest would gladly take a bite of. And indeed if munching on a Bahn Mi is somehow akin to some gastronomic pedophilia, then you can call Lo Pan a pedophile all you want. There’s nothing you can say to offend Lo Pan while his face is planted in a house special sandwich from Tung Hing Bakery.
There are great sandwiches to be found on Kingsway, but if hard pressed, Lo Pan would have to choose Tung Hing as his favorite. The reason probably being that they have the best house made bread of the bunch. Indeed, good bread is to a good sandwich as Axl Rose is to tardiness. Arriving around lunch time you will no doubt be met with bread still steaming hot from the oven.
Also unique to Tung Hing is their great special sauce. Heavy on the fish sauce/soy flavors and less on the mayo, it makes for a highly addictive sandwich. Another thing they do is put Chinese BBQ pork in their sub and there is nothing better than sweet, sweet piggy meat. They are not overly generous with the meats but there is a great balance to the sandwich and the veggies really shine through.
To top it all off, this glorious torpedo of love can be had for a meager $3.25. That’s right! Half the price of a plastic tasting disaster found at Subway or Quiznos. What more do you really need?
Well……… when Lo Pan is especially famished he may indeed need a lil bit more. And luckily Ba Le is just a couple of blocks away on (when it comes to Viet grub) the aptly named, “Kingsway”. Ba Le boasts an almost equally delectable young boy for Mr. Jackson and Mr. Lo Pan to fondle and slurp up. They make their own bread as well and while not quite as perfect as Tung Hing’s it is very good indeed. The highlight at Ba Le is the ample meat they put in their sub and the awesome pate that you can actually taste in each bite. Their sauce is a bit more creamy but it lacks a little of the addictive nature of Tung Hing’s. The house special here will run you a laughable $3.50 so why not pick up a sandwich at both shops and have a cheap, tawdry menage au trois with a couple of innocent Vietnamese church boys.
“Bahn Mi”……………. Two words that I would gladly join the priesthood for.