Let’s start the next part of Broadway Street with my favorite new food trend: Banh Mi. You’ve probably started seeing a lot more of this since the Nom Nom Truck was a finalist on The Great American Food Truck Race, and some great restaurants have been popping up in Chicago ever since. Places like Saigon Sisters and Ban Lé have been so popular that the latter’s been able to open up a second location. My favorite place to get this Vietnamese masterpiece, though, is at Banh Mi & Co. at 3141 N. Broadway St.
The hipper, smaller cousin of Bun Mi Express up closer to Boystown, Banh Mi & Co. rises above the fray with a simple menu, friendly staff, a great combo deal, free samples, and just the best damn pickled veggies in town. I recommend the traditional Vietnamese Meatball option. Not only are their meatballs a lot fresher than the ones you’re used to getting in your pho on Argyle, but their pickled veggies are cold and crisp with an excellent brine. Combined with the taste of their warm, sweet bread, the spice from the fresh jalapeño, and their house mayo washes over your tongue, you know you’re in heaven. And that feeling in your stomach when you leave? That’s called a “healthy full,” people. Awesome.
On the other side of the coin you might find yourself wanting a full that isn’t so healthy, but hurts so good. Enter in the Jewish grandmother of Broadway, The Bagel (3107 N. Broadway St.). This is the closest thing to a traditional New York deli you’ll find on the North Side (if y’all can think of something better, please tweet it at me), and you know it from the beginning. I may be discerning, but I’ll admit at times I’m easy to please. Begin my meal with a big bowl of pickles and I’m already sold, but The Bagel follows up with heaping portions of kosher deli meats, blintzes, and traditional Jewish favorites like gefilte fish and matzo ball soup. I even went there during Passover and they served up a plate of matzo instead of bread. Classy touch. I fancy myself a connoisseur of Corned Beef Hash, and at The Bagel you can get it as a scramble or an omelette. ‘Nuff said. You know it’s good.
What else should Angus eat? Tweet him @theangus or comment below.