Thursday, November 21, 2013

     I freely admit it.  I was 56 years old before I tasted a Vietnamese sandwich.  If I were you, I would not wait that long.  Bon Banh Mi, on Spring St., will open a whole new world of sandwiches to you, without emptying your pocketbook.  This tiny little restaurant offers big, big flavors and a creative way to make your own Vietnamese sandwich dream.
     First, you pick the vehicle for your fillings, either a crispy-outside, soft-inside sub roll, a taco, or a salad.  Then the fillings, seven choices of protein.  I tried the ginger lemongrass chicken and th five spice pork.  The "fixins" that cradle the protein are:  cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon radish, cilantro, holy basil and crispy shallots….postscript: YUM.  If you choose the salad option, add lettuce, cabbage and tomatoes to the list.
     The ginger lemongrass chicken was lightly flavored and nicely complemented by the fixins, but my favorite was the five spice pork.  Packed into the sub roll, surrounded by crispy fixins, the pork was shredded, savory and tender- a slight mystery for my palate, but so delicious that I stopped trying to figure out what the five seasoning spices were and just enjoyed the ride!
     Bon Banh Mi offers free delivery on the peninsula, pick-up yourself  or eat-in, with limited seating at the lunch counter along the front windows.  We ate-in, and enjoyed observing the world go by on busy Spring St.  Parking is available on the street and in four spaces behind the restaurant. ( As I am "parking challenged", I had a bit of a hard time turning my car around out back.  A BIG shout-out to the nice construction worker who helped me point my car in the right direction! )
     Bon Banh Mi, a great sandwich destination and revelation…try it soon.
                                                                  162 Spring Street

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pie...who doesn't like pie??  This delicious pie is from P.I.E. (Paige's Incredible Edibles) Bake Shoppe at 5 Warren Street.
On a recent cool, fall day, I stopped by P.I.E. for a quick lunch, and was pleasantly surprised by the long list of sandwiches available.
     My dining partner ordered a turkey and cranberry chutney sandwich (house-made chutney- delicious!).   It was a tasty stack of turkey on fresh bread, pleasantly accented by a generous layer of whole cranberry chutney and mayo.  It comes with provolone, spinach and tomato as well, but the staff kindly honored our request for a relatively streamlined sandwich- many thanks for that.
     I ordered their featured soup, Spiced Pumpkin.  It was creamy, rich and flavorful, with soft bits of onion and a slight red pepper zing...just the way I like it!  Their soup can be ordered either by the cup or bowl.  I ordered the bowl, and the portion was generous.
     Many patrons ordered to-go at the baked goods counter, but we chose to eat in their tiny but comfortable dining room.  I knew I'd found a new lunch home when I saw a well-used copy of my favorite cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, on the shelf over our table.  The dining room had the nostalgic feel of your grandmother's kitchen with modern touches.
     P.I.E is a small establishment that offers big taste.  I highly recommend it.