BANH MI BOYS | ***

Simply put, dollar for dollar, this has to be one of the best places to eat in the city. A Viet-fusion menu with something for everyone, we will be back in a heartbeat.

http://banhmiboys.com
Banh Mi | Yonge & Gerard
Dinner for three (a guest joined us, let's call her Forky) ~$33 incl. tax + tip.

FOOD
The obvious items of note here are Bahn Mi sandwiches, and they were top-notch. The duck confit was succulent and juicy, a luxurious treat fit for a king, yet priced for a pauper. We topped ours with jalapeno, which was a nice compliment to the richness of the confit and the onion chutney. The grilled chicken (ordered by Forky) was dressed with garlic soy and was, as a result, quite salty. Aside from this, it was flavourful. Each sandwich came on a soft, crispy baguette bun, and were topped with fresh and pickled vegetables, delivering a nice, crunchy touch.

On to the sides. The kimchi fries were excellent, with tangy and spicy kimchi smothered atop fresh-cut fries. The jicama papaya salad was a great coleslaw-y accompaniment to the sandwiches, and took the edge off the spice of the fries and the sandwiches.

The highlight for us, however, was the 5-spice pork belly steamed bao. The steamed bao was so perfectly soft and chewy, it could have been enjoyed alone. Throw in the pork belly, whose spice sneaks up on you and brings a smile to your face, and you’ve got the perfect snack. Oh, and it’s only tree-fiddy.

We’re looking forward to returning soon to try their kalbi beefsquid and meatball banh mi and/or taco (let’s face it…and).

SERVICE
Simply order your meal at the cash, and wait by the counter. Fast service ensures you aren’t tortured too long by the intoxicating aromas that makes you more and more hungry.

ATMOSPHERE
Banh Mi Boys is small and simple, with a bright red menu on a TV monitor above the cash (and, for some reason, there’s one above the exit). The graffiti murals of Angry Birds-esque birds on the walls are pleasant, vibrant, and painted by local graffiti artist, Uber 5000.

VALUE
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a deal like Banh Mi Boys. The bao is only $3.49, and the most expensive banh mi was the duck confit at a mere $7.49. For that, you get the freshness, quality, and tastiness that you’d expect for double the price. If they raised their prices by $1 or $2, it’d still be a bargain in this high-priced city.

HIPSTER SCALE
Other than the graffiti artwork on the wall (which wouldn’t be hipster if Banksy wasn’t famous), the hipster level was quite low, so you’re safe. That said, we were at Yonge & Gerard, not its Queen West location.

WASHROOM
Spotless and well-stocked, just like their open kitchen.

BUZZ
Anonymous, Toronto Life: 1/5 stars
Ryan Spencer, BlogTO: 4/5 stars
Joanne Kates, Post City: #58 on Kates’ 100, 2014
Yelp: 4 stars (at time of writing)
Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon

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