Au Petit Cafe: Dirt Cheap but Delicious Banh Mi
4851 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
I finally got a chance to try Au Petit Cafe, a little family-run Vietnamese restaurant.
The small restaurant is famous for their authentic banh mi: Vietnamese subs. Untouched by hipsters and food trends (Phnom Penh is not so lucky), the banh mi are still less than $10 at Au Petit Cafe.
I ordered the banh mi with homemade ham, house meat balls and veggies minus the hot peppers. Banh mi are served in crusty French bread, one of the positive influences from Vietnam’s colonial days.
Au Petit Cafe is known for serving their banh mi hot and my sandwich came to the table, warm to the touch, the bread was toasty and the meat was hot.
I’ve always loved moist and fatty Vietnamese meat balls, they’re loose and saucy, kind of like a Swedish meatball times 10. The soft, moist, salty meat was a wonderful foil to the fresh, crunchy vegetables in the sandwich. And the crusty bread was so delectably crunchy on the outside but pillowy soft on the inside, it was hard not to gobble up this sandwich quickly. I only stopped for pictures!
I also couldn’t help but order some deep fried spring rolls stuffed full of pork, chopped carrots, spices and bits of vermicelli. The crispy spring rolls were as delicious as the banh mi. The outer crust was light but very crispy, it was totally noisy eating this! The fillings were well flavoured and scrumptious.
The one drawback about Au Petit Cafe is that it closes at 7 pm. So even though banh mi and spring rolls make the best late night snacks, this place is not an option for post-clubbing eats. I wish it was though!