The Original Banh Mi Factory [closed Dec 2007]

1325 Finch Avenue
416-631-0070

[closed Dec 2007]

The Original Banh Mi Factory (Banh Mi meaning Bread) is a bakery, dessert, soup, smoothie, and submarine eatery with free Internet, 3 large TV screens with Muchmore music playing and has a casual and clean ambiance.

It may claim to be Canada’s largest sandwich shop, but The Original Bahn Mi (Vietnamese for sandwich) Factory has much more than sandwiches. Along with a selection of tasty Vietnamese subs, the 7,600-square-foot restaurant has a menu featuring more than 125 items.

I went with my colleague Carmen for lunch there and i was shocked at the selection. They have Pho (Vietnamese beef and rice noodle soups), as well as a large Bubble Tea selection, home made baguette, sushi, a vast array of desserts, Thai dishes like cold salad rolls (veggie and shrimp). Prices are beyond superb for what you get. I ordered a 6″ sub with thinly sliced tofu, thinly sliced carrot, cilantro, rice noodles, and pickled vegetables. The homemade baguette bread was hot and fresh, crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.

The place is a little kitcshy as it has two large TV screen with Much More Music playing movies like Grease and TV like Fame (all content on Much More Music is music themed). Also offers Internet access and has a large kiosk for freshly baked goods. The Original Banh Mi Factory resembles a bakery, sub shop, smoothie / frozen drink cafe with a smooth kiosk and professional blenders ready to make Bubble Tea smoothies.

A cool incentive of this place is if you spend more then $10 they will give you a free baguette to take home. In all reviews I’ve consulted, I am told that the Rose Cafe is the best when it comes to Vietnamese Subs, but this place is damn good to begin with. Baguettes (white or whole wheat) are made on the premises (which is a plus) and prices are quite reasonable.

Unfortunately the Pho dishes, which look large, satisfying, and healthy, are all beef based, since traditional Pho is comprised of raw beef that cooks with the veggies in the heated beef broth (GROSS). The place does remind me of McDonalds since it’s large, clean, and has a simple, fast food “look and feel”. They plan on having a drive thru window soon. They sell their famous Deli Majoos – cream filled pastries that taste like doughnuts. Since baked goods are made on the premises, expect all baked goods to be fresh and warm. You can see staff make all of the food since the kitchen is behind the cash but is open concept with clear view windows. Does resemble a bakery more than a restaurant. Nice front display with colourful looking dishes. Open concept dining room has high ceilings and is not crowded but feels very comfortable and seems too nice for fast food.

At present, they only accept cash but there is an ATM in the restaurant. Definitely recommended if you are in the Finch and Dufferin or Finch and Keele area during the day.

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