Knockout sandwiches where you'd least expect them
A newcomer to our city's unfortunately anemic banh mi scene, Banh Mi House is located in the urban hellscape we call Downtown Crossing, tucked into a small, difficult-to-find quasi food court. There is nowhere to sit or stand, really. But none of this should deter you from going; the banh mi are delicious.
The first time I visited, I went straight for the meatball banh mi ($4.20). The balls were supple (I know what I just said), with soy and garlic flavor — a wonderful counterpoint to the perfectly crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside baguette. The daikon and carrot pickles had an appropriate crunch and zing, and the cilantro was in perfect ratio to the other ingredients. All in all, an ideal banh mi.
On a subsequent visit, a friend and I shared three different banh mi. Having nowhere to sit in the immediate vicinity of the point of purchase, friendly owner Tin suggested we go to another food court diagonally across the street where there was ample seating. For the sake of continuity, we decided to choose a table in front of another popular-seeming banh mi restaurant called Subway.
The Classic Banh Mi ($3.99) was a symphony of mystery meat, truly great versions of Vietnamese pâté, and sliced ham. The grilled-beef banh mi ($4.45) featured sweet, umami-rich slices of beef, and a special shredded-pork banh mi ($4.45) shone with an underlying kick of fish sauce. Any banh mi can be made "spicy" with the addition of jalapeno and/or Sriracha; I did so on the grilled-beef banh mi and was very pleased.
With banh mi prices hovering around the $4 mark, Banh Mi House is on the higher end of the Boston banh mi price spectrum. But when anything this good is under $5, the quality spectrum takes precedence — and Banh Mi House is on the high end of that one, too.
EAT UP :: 48 Winter St, Boston :: 617.396.7371 or banhmi-house.com :: MON–FRI, 11 AM TO 6 PM
: On The Cheap
, Downtown Crossing, cheap eats, Banh Mi, More