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Hungry Girl’s Guide: Au Petit Cafe

June 23, 2010
Today was car-free day in several Lower Mainland communities! Normally I am on Commercial Drive enjoying car-free day in my own neighbourhood, but today I am on Main Street with my friends, Erica (@thestylespy) and Raul (@hummingbird604). It started on Main and 16th so by the time we got to the end of the festival it was Main and 33rd – I was starving by that time! We decided to stop at Au Petit Cafe well because it was just before 33rd and we have no energy to walk any further. Au Petit Cafe is a small little cafe with less than 50 seats, it is tiny but it has a big reputation for its Vietnamese Fresh French Bread (which Vietnamese people call Banh Mi).

Au Petit Cafe - Exterior

Au Petit Cafe – Exterior

Au Petit Cafe - Interior

Au Petit Cafe – Interior

Au Petit Cafe - Vietnamese Banh Mi

Au Petit Cafe – Vietnamese Banh Mi

We got to Au Petit Cafe around 3:00 pm and most of the Banh Mi were almost sold out, they only had 3 loaf Banh Mi of two different varieties left. My usual homemade ham, liver pate, veggies and hot pepper were completely sold out as with my other favourites. So I settled for what they had available, which is shredded chicken with veggies and hot pepper, and Raul got the special which came with meat ball, veggies and hot pepper. I also ordered a side of spring rolls to share. Erica got spring rolls with vermicelli and veggies combo.

Au Petit Cafe - Shredded Chicken Banh Mi

Au Petit Cafe – Shredded Chicken Banh Mi

Au Petit Cafe - Vietnamese Fresh French Bread - Vancouver

Au Petit Cafe – Homemade ham, meatball, veggies & hot pepper

Au Petit Cafe - Spring roll with vermicelli and veggies

Au Petit Cafe – Spring roll with vermicelli and veggies

Au Petit Cafe - Vietnamese Spring Roll - Vancouver

Au Petit Cafe – Vietnamese Spring Roll

I can’t even describe what my shredded chicken Banh Mi taste like, it was sooooo good! The bread was soft and yet crunchy, the chicken was nicely flavoured and paired well with the pickled carrots with the right amount of pate. I wish I had the words to describe the experience other than after the crunch the perfect morsel of meat with veggies just literally melt in my mouth. This is as close as you can get to authentic Vietnamese bread served in Vietnam.

My typical breakfast in Vietnam usually included Banh Mi or Pho (beef noodle soup) paired with Vietnamese coffee (which we call Cafe Sua). It is similar to French Press but it comes with its mini-version. Now if you haven’t had a Vietnamese coffee I have to warn you, real authentic Vietnamese coffee is VERY strong. I like my coffee hot with condensed milk but you can also get it iced. Au Petit Cafe serves Vietnamese coffee in the style that is served in Vietnam as well, but unfortunately, the coffee is not as strong. Vietnamese coffee bean are roasted with rum and butter so it is supposed to be sweet even without sugar, so usually I drink it dark with no sugar. But here it is more water downed so I usually enjoy it with condensed milk.

Au Petit Cafe - Vietnamese Coffee - Vancouver

Au Petit Cafe – Vietnamese Coffee

Au Petit Cafe - Hot Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk

Au Petit Cafe – Hot Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk

Between the three of us with all the dishes we ordered plus one coffee and two cokes, it came to just under $30 dollars. It is super tasty and affordable so it’s definitely worth checking out the next time you find yourself on Main street.

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