Weekly Lunch Pick: a pair of Asian snacks at Banh Mi Boys
After days of holiday excess, cheap, hearty and delicious food is just what’s called for. Banh Mi Boys, opened by brothers and first-time restaurateurs David, Peter and Phil Chau, serves just that, with a menu that fuses Vietnamese, North American and Korean flavours into surprisingly coherent snacks. The kalbi taco ($3.99) features a soft, roti-like flatbread that’s crammed with sweet soy- and pear-marinated beef short ribs, mild kimchee, cabbage and dabs of chili sauce. The five-spice pork belly bao ($3.49) is a soft steamed bun filled with meltingly tender pork belly that’s been braised for four hours and topped with refreshing cucumber slices. Both handheld treats are garnished with a boatload of cilantro, sliced jalapeno and pickled daikon and carrots. A generous stack of crisp, lightly battered sweet potato fries ($2.99) rounds out the meal, which we wash down with a bottle of lemon white tea Flavür ($2.50).
The cost: $14.66, including tax.
The time: eight minutes to process the order just before the midday rush.
Banh Mi Boys, 392 Queen St. W., 416-363-0588, banhmiboys.com