Where: Right around the corner from the Jean-Talon metro station on St Denis. It’s in the back of a Vietnamese deli/supermarket, and next door to a large Asian supermarket.
Kind of Food: Banh mi sandwiches, a few soups, and other Vietnamese goodies. Banh mi sandwiches contain fresh and savoury Vietnamese fillings and are served on crusty French baguette- fusion at its most delicious and least stuck-up.
Usual Suspects: A nice combination of hipsters that know where to go for some seriously delicious, cheap sandwiches, and Asian people– young and old, many with their hands full of shopping bags from the adjacent supermarket.
Why I love it: I fell in love with banh mis at a walking tour stop in New York City, and have only had one other banh mi since, in Toronto. I was extremely eager to get my hands on one in Montreal– it had been far too long since my last fix. The sandwich I ordered was packed with flavour, with many different components that worked in complete harmony with the crunch of the baguette. The restaurant atmosphere at Marché Hung Phat is non-existent, but in a good way– no pretence, no napkins, just excellent sandwiches, a service counter, and a few tables in a small Vietnamese deli.
Why you’ll love it: No-frills atmosphere combined with unbeatable prices (nothing higher than $4… really!) and a filling baguette sandwich that kicks Subway’s ass. No downside here. The place also has about 10 varieties of the sandwich, ranging from paté to ham to grilled chicken to shredded pork, so whichever protein you’re craving is at your disposal.
Who to take: Go with friends or a very down-to-earth date that enjoys sensational food.
I ordered: The grilled pork sandwich (#4 on the menu board). The grilled pork was clearly marinated in some sweet and sour mix because it was tender, delicious, and hilariously hot pink. And oh, the toppings. First, they slather on garlic mayonnaise. Then, a generous helping of a slaw of pickled shredded carrot and daikon radish. On goes the cucumber, cilantro, and diced hot peppers, and a healthy helping of a hoisin-like barbecue sauce. All these components, plus the spicy chili sauce at the table made for one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating– and it was only $3.50 and the process took about two minutes from order to mouth.
Price: $ / Rating: 5/5
Hours of operation: everyday EXCEPT Tuesday: 9:30am-7:30pm
Dahlia Snaiderman is a food writer at The Main. You can follow her on Twitter @dahljs