Mile Enders have a shiny new sandwich purveyor starting right now. Operating under the slightly cheesy pun name Bánh Mì Bánh Yiu (presumably meant to be a play on "me" and "you"), they’re dishing up exactly what the name suggests: Vietnamese style sandwiches in crusty bread.
It’s tucked in a wee storefront just along from the St-Viateur Bagel mothership on St-Viateur in part of a former clothing store. The vibe is somewhere between "fancy dépanneur" (with various candy boxes lining shiny counters) and "grab-n-go" counter service sandwicherie.
Food-wise, banh mi sandwiches unsurprisingly dominate (see the menu below) — crusty French-style baguettes with Vietnamese fillings, a hybridized by-product of French colonialism in Vietnam that classically features pâté, cold cuts, carrot, cucumber, white radishes, and cilantro.
This modern Mile End edition of the sandwich has a couple of the classics (pork and chicken) with some decidedly non-Vietnamese options. Those include satay chicken and avocado pâté — fusion territory, but mercifully sensible versions of it, unlike the falafel banh mi of late 2016. There’s also a few soup or salad options, and Vietnamese iced coffee, complete with condensed milk.
The best part? While Bánh Mì Bánh Yiu looks to be the sort of place with food prices that scream "gentrification", the prices are eminently reasonable. Six dollars (tax in) for most of the sandwiches is a touch above older staple places like Hung Phat, but it’s still one of the cheapest bets in the area — and one of very, very few for banh mi.
STATUS — Bánh Mì Bánh Yiu is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. as of today, January 3, at 255A St-Viateur Ouest. Delivery is available.