Monday, April 28, 2014

For the Love of KIMCHEE - Bahnmi Boys Toronto

*Photos Pending.... baby crying right now :^P*

I'm on mat leave and the weather has finally improved enough to venture out with baby.  That said there are still some pretty annoying limitations around Toronto.  The biggest, food related restrictions are:

1. Location:  Is it located on a streetcar line?  Then it's not good for me.  I don't drive and streetcars are NOT stroller friendly in the least.  They are narrow and have no lifts or ground level entry.
2. Entry:  Is the restaurant entry at ground level? or limited to 1 step? Does the entry have any annoying double door entry that makes it impossible with a stroller to get through?
3. Dining room:  Are there enough tables and space between tables for you to roll a small stroller in and not hog too much room nor get in peoples' way.
4. Ambience: Is it too loud? People or music? Is the clientele likely to be annoyed should baby start to cry.

I chose the Bahnmi Boys location near the Eaton Centre/Ryerson University Campus.  The Dundas Street subway station has elevators for the stroller and I get to visit H&M and Old Navy while I'm downtown :^D

Bahnmi Boys - Kimchee Tofu Fries
I originally saw Bahnmi Boys on You Gotta Eat Here and was drawn like lemmings to a cliff by the promise of a Kimchee Poutine style dish.  I'm not big on Bahnmi.  Hubbo is and we'd been meaning for ages for him to try them because they're not as ubiquitous in Toronto as they are in Vancouver.  We never get around to coming down on the weekends since there is so much to do with both the kids and ironically, it's easier for me to get down here on the subway than it is to wend our way through traffic with the car.

I got the Tofu Fries and the Lemongrass Tofu Bahnmi.  I had wanted to get the Kimchee Fries but the menu read that it had Pulled Pork on it.  It did not fully describe the Tofu Fries so I was very pleased to discover that the Tofu Fries were actually Kimchee Fries with Tofu instead of the Pork.  They are fresh fries with a nice sweet and tangy gochujang base sauce topped with Kimchee, Tofu and Scallions.  The Kimchee tastes right and that's coming from someone who's mom not only makes 2 dozen of her own Kimchees but her own Gochujang, Fish Sauce, Soy Sauce and Miso.  So yeah, it's good.  They offer optional Mayo which I took and it added a nice creamy balance to the fries.

Bahnmi Boys - Ryerson Campus - Lemongrass Banhmi
The Bahnmi was okay.  The Tofu was tasty and flavourful but the proportion of filling and veg to the bread was lopsided.  There could have been more veg.  It was a tad bread.  That said, it was all very fresh.  The fries are a fair price.  I found the Bahnmi not as good a value given the breadiness.  I will go back again and again because regular fries will never seem enough :^D

Price: reasonable
Baby: accessible by transit and in restaurant, not too loud; did not check out bathroom
Food: Fresh and very tasty
Staff: Friendly and efficient

Bahnmi Boys
399 Yonge St 
Toronto, ON 
Banh Mi Boys on Urbanspoon