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Ba Le Deli & Banh Mi, Rupert

One of Vancouver’s most well known Vietnamese banh mi chains has a new location in my childhood neighbourhood. Had this been available and accessible to me growing up, I would have been a regular.

Like most of their other locations, it is a simple cafe with minimal seating and a grab and go concept. They are in their soft opening phase, but the neighbourhood has already fully accepted them. We visited towards the end of their day and they sold out of buns 1.5 hours before closing, having to turn away many disappointed individuals. Each here for their solid banh mi and the 10% opening discount for the month of June.

They have a condensed menu of Ba Le Banh Mis and drip coffees. We would explore a few selections from both.

Their Signature Phin Drip Coffee Collection is in collaboration with Highlands Coffee. A mix of coffee and popular Asian flavours like egg cream and black sesame, as well as cafe classics like salted cream and white chocolate. Be warned there are no diary alternatives or substitutes, but they are working on Some. We got the two most colourful beverages from their collection.

The Ube coconut coffee had the texture of real ube and the flavour of coconut cream. The strong flavours of coconut and coffee fighting for supremacy make this a full bodied beverage.

However, I preferred the flavour of the Coffee pandan latte. I didn’t get much pandan, but the sweetness of the cream came through, making this a lovely latte.

When we were at the counter and ordering I pointed out skinny boba straw shaped bread. I thought they were mistake buns, but it turns out that these were intentionally made skinny to be their Mini banh mi series. Priced individually, but there is a minimum requirement of two to an order. Available either savoury or sweet. The latter is sugar and butter, an Asian classic I had growing up. Although tempting, I felt the money would be better spent on the savoury option with pate, pork floss and hot sauce. I liked the idea and the flavour, I just wanted more of it. More even bread to spread ratio, as is this fell short.

As for the actual banh mis, my friend got her usual go-to of Grilled Lemongrass chicken. Chicken thigh and house mayo, with the traditional pickled vegetables. The chicken was tender, but the sandwich was not so exciting. We both agreed that my go-to order below was the winner.

House Special Cold Cut with Head cheese, cured ham & pork sausage, pork pate, and house mayo. I also asked for extra pate knowing that I like it, and often find that banh mi could use more of it. That and pickled vegetables here. I wanted to be able to taste the ingredients more than the bread. It was a good sandwich, but just not my favourite condition.

They also have shrimp salad Garden Rolls. Pretty standard and nothing spectacular here. As always I could use more shrimp than the two pieces butterflied. There was much more greens and noodles. At least there’s plenty of peanut butter sauce to give it its flavour.

Overall, a welcomed addition to the community, and I’m glad they have already seen so much support. If you live in the area, be sure to check them out and enjoy 10% off all food drink and dessert for the month of June.

Ba Le Deli & Banh Mi – Rupert
3779 Rupert St, Vancouver, BC V5M 3W2
(604) 336-7747

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