Passed by the big flashy sign the other night. A new Banh Mi Shop is set to open on Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains off the corner of E. Post Road, wedged between to Irish joints…hope it’s good, would be nice to have another Vietnamese option in Westchester…
They’ve only been in construction for way more than a year. It’s actually next door to Lazy Boy Saloon and their Whiskey bar. The only places I go to, every six months or so, on the “strip.” I think it used to be a tattoo parlor?
Big flashy sign? Not just the little sign on the new awning? I haven’t driven by since last friday. I drive by at least once a week waiting for them to open. It would just suck if they suck.
Drove by and saw the new sign. Pulled over and looked in a small opening and saw they still need to finish building it out. Hard to see, but kitchen didn’t look done, and no service counter yet.
They’ve had a “opening soon”, and “now hiring” sign in the window for a few weeks.
I really am very worried that either they will be lousy, or authentic but expensive, or some “artisanal” banh mi, made from “local, seasonal, farm to table”, etc. “non-authentic, but we’ll call it banh mi”, crap. I am very, very, worried.
Looks like they never got all their permits approved. It’s now been over two years… Owners don’t respond to emails, phone calls, etc. (I was asked to write an article about the opening for local media.)
Yes, passed by last night and there was still paper over the windows. Bold signage, though…
I really wish this place would open, but only of they make excellent banh mi (and pho, but pho needs to be eaten in, and this looks too small for that.)
If they only end up as mediocre banh mi, I will be totally PO’ed. If they open I will be totally on their case. Major cheerleader and supporter if very good, major critic if less than that.
I’ve had great (and terrible) banh mi all over the east and West Coasts of the USA, and in Vietnam. It would be great to not have to drive to Manhattan (or rarely, Brooklyn) for banh mi. (The ones in Queens are meh.)
The shop appears to be open. Haven’t tried it, but drove past last night and it was lit up, and people inside.
There is one review on Yelp and some pictures of the menu. The website listed on the menu comes up blank when I type in the address and the Facebook page doesn’t seem to exist. Correct me if I am wrong. Here are the menu pictures from Yelp.
Great news! As we can see by the amount of views this post has received, there has been a great deal of anticipation…I would caution though: give the place a chance to mature a bit before piling on. (My philosophy for any new restaurant that comes on the scene.)
Early on I found Saigonese on Central Park Ave. to be mediocre, but it has improved over time.
I went there shortly after it opened. Seems like a nice addition to White Plains. Place is small, clean and obviously new. More for takeout than eating in. There was a counter with a few stools. Very simple décor. They say delivery will be an option in the future. Seems like a family run business. Older man doing the cooking and a young woman and man taking and packing the orders.
Now for the food. I ordered spring rolls, original banh mi sandwich with extra meat and spicy mayo, and noodle bowl with marinated sliced pork. On the way home my car was filled with the scent of cilantro. Yum!
I was somewhat disappointed with the spring rolls as they only contained meat, no vegetables as I am accustomed to with other Asian cuisines.
Having never had a banh mi sandwich before I can only give my opinion. The meat, pork and ham, were pressed like deli meat. The sandwich had cucumber, cilantro, shredded cabbage salad and spicy mayo. I thought it was very good with the combination of flavors.
The noodle bowl was huge, loads of meat and noodles. The marinated pork was outstanding. Very flavorful and juicy. I wasn’t crazy about the noodles; the sauce that came with it was kind of bland and did nothing for the noodles. Perhaps that’s the way Vietnamese noodles are. I remember years ago I had a similar dish at Saigonese and felt the same way.
Overall I am looking forward to going back and choosing other items including their bubble tea.
Thanks for this first report on the food, foodygrandma. Sounds promising. Looking forward to trying it…
Holy crap! It’s open!!! Who knew? Has anyone tried the Pho?
Nice to see you here … glad you found us
I have studied in culinary schools in Vietnam and eaten my way all over the country, especially Saigon. And I have to rty just about every Vietnamese restaurant I come across. (I hate Saigonese. Overpriced, small servings, and mediocre food.)
I have been to the Banh Mi Shop twice, once the week they opened, and again a few days ago. I have had three types of their banh mi, the original, sliced pork, and short rib, but nothing else. So far I have not been impressed. The bread is 2/3 the size of most banh mi rolls. They scoop out the inside of the bread. No need for this. The bread is soft and fresh. They grate their daikon/carrot salad too fine and it is soft and mushy, instead of crisp. they have a decent meat ratio, but about 1/3-1/2 the amount of vegetables (cucumber, cilantro, and the carrot/daikon) needed, so it has no veggie taste, all meat. Balance is the key to a great banh mi. You can see what I mean in foodygrandma’s photo.
Also they don’t have Char Siu / Thịt xá xíu or pate on their banh mi. The typical banh mi, the Bac Diet, which means special, has cold pate, mayo, maggi sauce, sriracha, cucumber, jalapeno or thai peppers, hot char sui, sliced pork roll, sliced tendon, cilantro, daikon/carrot salad, on a hot on the outside, very crispy, soft fluffy inside, long roll. It’s a combination of flavors, textures, and hot/cold.
I think their prices are too high for what you get. About 1/3 higher prices than in NYC, and 1/3 smaller serving. So basically double what I expect to pay.
I have seen their pho, and again feel unimpressed about pricing and serving size. And it just looked dismal, and the person eating it didn’t look happy.
I will report more after I have given them more time and eaten more than just a handful of banh mi.
I visited early last night. The staff could not have been nicer. I ordered the Original Banh Mi with spicy mayo and the Brussels Sprouts with lemongrass and garlic. Both were delicious! I kept thinking about those sprouts all evening, they were so good. Looking forward to trying more items…While there I chatted with Len Dang, the owner, who confided he was taking a modern approach to Vietnamese cuisine. Glad they finally opened.
I finally got a chance to stop here today. (A perk of having jury duty!) I really enjoyed their original banh mi - although next time, I’m going to ask for the spicier mayo, and more of it. The Vietnamese iced coffee is strong and delicious - and definitely kept me from nodding off during the slower parts of the jury selection process! Since I’m a sucker for bubble tea, I had to try it. Very good - I like my H-Mart tea more, but this was a worthy fix and they let me combine flavors too. A neighbor seated next to me ordered the beef pho combo and it looked pretty good. I’ll definitely be back to try more.
Ok - so I finally went back last week to try the pho for takeout. I had the beef combo (beef balls and shredded beef). I should be ashamed to admit this, but this was my very first pho experience, so please forgive my amateur palate’s assessment - I really enjoyed it. They were generous with the beef and the broth had a slight licorice-like aftertaste to it. Really unique - I wonder what herb they used (tarragon??). They gave me a small bag of cilantro to add to the broth. (love the stuff) Got an original bahn mi for work the next day and ordered it with extra spicy sriracha & mayo – I highly recommend doing that. Great eats to combat the chill in the air.
You really need to go to a good place for pho and banh mi. None in Westchester do a good job. You will be blown away by the difference.
No tarragon. A bit more complicated: