Ba Le Vietnamese Bakery

I heard that one of the Vietnamese specialty is Banh Mi AKA Vietnamese hoagie which made with a French baguette filled with Vietnamese Sausages, pickled veggies and mayonnaise. After some research, I found this Ba Le bakery online and people were giving very good review about their sandwiches. So we decided to stop by to pick up some sandwiches for picnic.

The store is located at Chicago up town area. They area looks ok and safe and they are quite a bit of Vietnamese and Thai community in that area. We arrived at the bakery around 8:30AM which there are already people in and out the store for breakfast.The store are very clean and loaded with all Vietnamese specialties food. if you arrive as early as we are, you can feel that all the food are still warm and fresh out from the kitchen.

Since we have not had Banh Mi before, we decided to go with Ba Le Special sandwich which only cost $2.75. Instead of order another sandwich, we picked up a few other items to try on. We selected Vietnamese Spring roll, 2 Shrimp balls, 1 sticky rice cake and sausage sandwich and a cup of cold Vietnamese coffee. Total cost were $15.40 which I was quite shock. It turns out that the sandwich is the cheapest among all item we get from the store. A cup is Vietnamese coffee cost $3 and 2 little Shrimp balls $4.50. Oh well, I guess it's worth the experience since we hard find a good Vietnamese restaurant in my area.
Here's the verdict for my tasting:

Sandwich - it was pretty tasty. I like the French Baguette. Very fresh and crunchy and the pickled veggie taste great in the sandwich and I wish there are more meat in the sandwich.

Iced Coffee - That's reminded me Malaysia Kopi tiam Coffee with condensed milk. Hmmmm..

Shrimp Ball - taste ok, nothing special but it's a bit pricy in my opinion

Sticky rice cake with sausage- The sausage was fresh in the bakery. I was thinking maybe I can get 1 home. So I asked the cashier how long can the sausage store in the room temperature and she said the sausage will get spoil after a day if I don't put it in the fridge. So she recommended this rice cake to me. The rice cake is basically a sausage sandwich with 2 piece of glutinous rice flour dough like a mochi and the whole was wrapped by 2 pieces of banana leaf. It was quite tasteless actually. I prefer Mochi over this.
Spring Rolls - instead the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce, this spring roll actually come with a sweet dipping sauce much like the Chinese hoisin sauce. Either way, I love the Spring Roll. It is very refreshing food I think.

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