Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pampanga Eats: Bánh Mì Vietnamese Eatery

It had been a long day of eating when my foodie family and I went up on a day trip to Pampanga that we took a respite from all the chomping to enjoy a quick shopping free at Puregold Duty Free before heading back down. I wanted to spend more time perusing the home and living section - I am in dire need of nice looking flatware and dishes, but I doubt I would've found any there I suppose - but got distracted with the shelves upon shelves of chocolate. I ended up going home with a huge tube of Malteasers. Heh, priorities.

Before going back to Manila, we had a quick pit stop for dinner at Bánh Mì Vietnamese Eatery. I had no idea what I was in for, but if my homeboy Spanky says its the shiznit, then it's the shiznit!

An unassuming sandwich shop in the middle of nowhere is exactly what I needed at 8 o'clock in the evening. I also never realized how much bánh mì sammies in Manila sucked (with the exception of Bon Bánh Mì in Makati - they're both affordable and awesome) until I got my mouth full of one of their crackly, crunchy subs. Yes, its deliciously dirty as it sounds. But I was trying to be a good example to Mama J's teens, so I didn't put all of it in my mouth all at once.

The restaurant has an industrial feel, with bánh mì graffiti art scrawled on the walls. This must be a pretty dope hang out place in Pampanga, as most of the people that were there were pretty hipster, er, young.

Not one to pass up a good sandwich, I got the BBQ Pork Banh Mi (P95). This is definitely one of the best damn bánh mìs I have ever tasted, and it all starts with the crackly, crackly baguette stuffed with pate, pulled bbq pork, a lot of vegetables, and lots and lots of cilantro. This was smashing! I was debating whether or not to order another one for take away.

Jane's teen, my pseudo-sister, Ate Fitspiration, got a bowl of Bun Thit Nuong (P120), a noddle salad with your choice of bbq pork or roasted chicken (of course, she got chicken), rice vermicelli noodles, pickled carrots, daikon, cilantro, cucumber, chopped peanuts, and crispy onions, with a Vietnamese dressing. The bow was pretty big and it did look very appetizing. Just not as yummy as the bánh mì I was currently chomping down.

I was afraid I'd never get back here fast enough, so I also ordered some Fresh Spring Rolls (P99) for good measure. It's your usual Vietnamese mix of fresh vegetables, thinly sliced pork, and fresh shrimp rolled up in rice paper. This, along with the creamy peanut sauce it came with, was addicting. Everything's mostly made of vegetables anyway, so you don't feel too bad tucking into the whole thing by yourself. Two thumbs up for the fresh spring rolls!

Spanky settled for a bowl of Pho Bo (P195), a Vietnamese clear beef noodle soup. The smell of cilantro and spring onions wafted over to where I was sitting, so I had to get a shot in to remind myself to try this the next time I find myself here.

I still can't get over how amazingly affordable the food at Bánh Mì was! I'm not one for pasalubong, but I wouldn't mind bringing down a couple of these amazing sammies for friends who ask nicely.

When mucking around Pampanga, Bánh Mì Vietnamese Eatery is one pit stop you just have to take! You don't know what a real bánh mì  tastes like until you've eaten at Bánh Mì! And yes, I did end up ordering one for take away!

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Banh Mi Vietnamese Eatery
+63 45 888 5805
1-1 Pacimar Estate, Jesus St.,
Pulungbulu, Pampanga
Monday - Saturday: 12nn - 9pm