The year of Southeast Asian food has been so big I've had trouble keeping up. Not sure I'll be able to cover them all but I'm glad I got to this new Banh Mi shop in Uptown. Little Saigon Baguette opened in the beginning of the year. Having caught my eye I made a note to stop by. It's pretty much like every other Banh Mi shop as far as setup and menu goes but quality seems to be better here.
Newly Opened on Broadway in Uptown
The shop sits in the back of a strip mall on Broadway. Upon entering you'll see a display case with a bunch of pre-made snacks both sweet and savory. One of the things that caught my eye was a homemade mayo that had the most yellowish hue of any mayo I've ever come across. I got some and used it on BLT's later that week and it was wonderful. Lot's of smooth mayo flavor and nothing like the store bought stuff. The sandwich menu here is pretty expansive though still pretty much like all the other spots. They got the fresh deli meat with headcheese and shredded pork, chicken etc. One sandwich that's something you dont see on all menus is the beef wrapped in betel leaves option.
Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaf in Banh Mi Form
First things first I've only been in here once but if what I got is always what you get than these guys might be the new Banh Mi front-runner in my book. The bread was as good as anywhere as far as freshness. I would've liked a bit more crunch but it had some so that was fine. But the common toppings had the type of crunch you can only get when the condiments are extra fresh. It was as well made as any Banh Mi I've tried. The beef wrapped in betel leaf was sliced in halves which I assume is done to help it stay in place. Texture wise it's more like sausage than beef but flavor wise it's got all the elements of the classic Viet appetizer mixed with the flavors of a Banh Mi. I'll be back.
Little Saigon Baguette
5251 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640