L and I made a deal. He thinks the chandelier in our powder room is gaudy. I see no reason to replace it, but his constant complaining finally got me. I negotiated 19 banh mi dates in exchange for a replacement. Initially, I wanted 20 dates, but L kept trying to get the number down. I told him that he wanted the chandelier switched out more than I wanted the subs, and if he was a smart man, which I know he is, he would pay my price. For this post, let’s listen to “Price Tag” by Jessie J and B.o.B.
I should have placed conditions in our contract because it turned out our banh mi dates include “fusion” subs. I didn’t realize L wanted a say in where we ate. I just assumed I would be picking each venue. For banh mi date #1, L wanted to try To Me Sub – a popular drive-in spot on Macleod Trail.
I’ve read that To Me gets so busy with customers that drivers block the traffic on Macleod Trail. Pro tip – if you don’t want to get honked, pull around and wait in line via the parking lot so you aren’t disrupting the traffic flow.
We were lucky. There was only one car ahead of us, so we waited less than five minutes. I ordered Shrimp Salad Rolls ($5), Mango Bubble Tea ($5), Satay Beef Sub ($6), and a Coconut Chicken Sub ($6).
The mango bubble tea was about the size of a large Slurpee. The frozen mango puree was sweet and syrupy. To Me sells one of the cheapest bubble teas in town.
The salad rolls are worth ordering again. Each salad roll contained three pieces of shrimp, crunchy julienned lettuce and vermicelli. The wrapper was soft and tasted better than the salad rolls I make at home. I liked the dipping sauce – smooth, tangy and a touch sweet.
Size-wise, these subs were as big as My Tho BBQ. When we got home, the bread was warm and soft from the heat of the filling. L appreciated the generous amount of cilantro in his sub. The beef was tender, sliced thin and piled high. The flavours in the beef sate were more subtle than Thi Thi or Trung Nguyen. L wished the vegetables were pickled, but for the price and portion, he’s not complaining. The portion was so large that L and I could only eat half our subs.
The chicken in my sub reminded me of a Thai yellow curry. The heat was mild, and the flavours were subdued. I thought I could taste some cheese in the sauce. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. The ingredients in the subs are so approachable that even people who typically shy away from traditional Vietnamese food would enjoy the food at To Me.
One down and 18 more to go! For our next banh mi adventure, L wants me to retry his favourite spots – Bake Chef and Thi Thi. I want to check out Ami Tea; Bambu; Bánh Mì Phương Mai; Banh Mi SUB Asian Fusion; Five Spice; La Cay (temporarily closed); Lily Submarines; Lotus Deli; Nan’s Noodle House; Paper Lantern; Pho Chu; Pho Dau Bao; Pure Modern Asian Kitchen; Secret Cafe Vietnamese Sub; and Thai Thien Sub. Send me a note if you know of any spots I haven’t tried or listed.