Friday, October 11, 2013

Bánh Mì & Co (the Loop location)

A colleague and I decided to check out a newly opened Vietnamese restaurant nearby. It was only a couple blocks away from the Chicago Board of Trade, and the place was buzzing with people by the time we got there.

We weren't surprised with the crowd at all. It was normal for lunch places to get busy during lunch hour. What really set this place apart was the atmosphere and decorations. Most lunch places in the Loop usually don't pay much attention to such things. People are here for a quick lunch, not here for a date.

That is not Bánh Mì & Co. Bánh Mì & Co is small, busy, and typical for a lunch place in terms of space. But the commonality basically stops there. We were greeted with exotics decorations that transported us from the modern Chicago financial district to what one would expect of a restaurant in a small Vietnamese resort.

For a place you are only expected to spend 30 minutes, the place is really detailed and authentic to make you forget work.

The price was more than reasonable. It was cheap, and nothing on the menu goes above $8.50. They have sandwiches, too. There really isn't any excuse to go to Subway everyday for lunch.

The line was long, but everything was moving surprisingly fast. Yet the ladies at the register didn't make us feel like we were getting rushed at all. We ordered our food and waited for them to call our number, and I had to snap a picture during all the business.

The food was really, really good. It didn't take us longer than 5 minutes to get our order, too. We both got Pho with beef, which is basically noodle soup. It was decently portioned, and the soup was made of fresh ingredients instead of MSG. I actually ended up not finishing my noodle. I had to waive my white flag before I succumbed to the food coma that's going to make me drowsy for the rest of afternoon.

And of course, no Asian restaurant would serve a meal without the fortune cookies mandated by the FDA.

Would you bring your bros here?

Yes. This is great place for a quick lunch break, and their food will shut up even your most cynical colleague. 

Should you bring someone here on a date?

Unfortunately, Bánh Mì & Co has limited seating and hours like most lunch places in the Loop. That being said, if your date is only looking for a quick break during, this is the perfect place.

Can I bring my boss or colleagues for a happy hour?

This is primary a lunch place. No happy hour here. But if you are looking for catering and something exotic, Bánh Mì & Co is the place. 

Is this a family friendly place?

Probably not. But if you are taking your parents sightseeing in the financial district, this might just be the place for a quick bite of culture.

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