Chong Lee Market

The Banh Mi is such a versatile food item. Think of it. Much like a sandwich, it is portable and accessible. Unlike a sandwich, the Banh Mi has remained relatively inexpensive. It's true. The humble sandwich has been elevated to "gourmet food" status which ultimately means $10.00+ for one is the norm. Look at places like the Dirty Apron, Meat & Bread and Big Lou's. Now I'm not slagging those places; rather, I believe that their sandwiches are worth the price they charge. They are delicious, unique and generally a decent size. However, when we look at a Vietnamese sub, it is also delicious, unique and decent in size. The one thing that sets it apart is the price (oh and the ambiance as well I guess). You can get one for around $3.00 - $3.75, which is substantially less expensive than not only gourmet sandwiches, it is cheaper than most sandwiches period (think Subway, Sandwich Tree, Skyway etc...). In terms of versatility, the Banh Mi is more than a quick lunch or even dinner (eat more than one), it can be a snack or even breakfast. In all honesty, whenever I need a quick bite, I stop by a Banh Mi shop. Much better than McD's or a bag of chips.

That was partially the reason I stopped by Chong Lee Market. I was in need of a snack and Viv was in need of lunch. Generally, I'm not that fond of parking at Chong Lee since the lot is not exactly user-friendly. The spaces are only suitable for a Honda Fit. Whatever, I found a space and besides, it wasn't the first Tuesday of the month (it gets crazy in there!). I decided to get 3 subs - Special, Cold Cut and Meatball. Honestly, there is not much difference between the Special and Cold Cut. Both seemed to have nearly the same types of meat, pate and other ingredients. Whatever the case, both were pretty decent. The bread (which appears to be supplied by Ba Le) was crunchy and not too heavy. There was a strong pate and Maggi sauce taste which gave plenty of flavour. As for the Meatball, it was not as flavourful as I would've liked, it could've used more onions. Yet again, it was also decent where the meat was moist and not too fatty. Hey, not the best Banh Mi I've had; yet it did the job. Hey! And it wasn't on Kingsway either!

The Good:
- There is parking, albeit dangerous for the health of your car doors
- Inexpensive

The Bad:
- As mentioned, your car is in the line of fire in this parking lot
- Banh is okay; but there is better

Chong Lee Market 昌利市場 on Urbanspoon

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