Eat This Now: Kimchi Fries With Pulled Pork From Banh Mi Boys in Toronto, ON
As the name implies, Banh Mi Boys is known primarily for their take on banh mi sandwiches, the Vietnamese specialty featuring meat or pâté, pickled carrots, cilantro, and other veggies on a crispy, baguette-style roll. Banh Mi Boys puts their own spin on it with less traditional fillings like pork belly, duck confit, and crispy deep-fried squid.
However, the best thing on the menu, surprisingly enough, is not a sandwich at all—it's fries. Specifically, Kimchi Fries ($5.99 CAD), a decadent creation that finds a healthy portion of French fries topped with pulled pork, mayo, green onions, and, of course, kimchi.
It sounds (and looks) like a bit of a mess, doesn't it? It's surprising how harmonious the flavors are. The dish starts with perfectly cooked, crispy-on-the-outside and creamy-on-the-inside fries, topped with impressively smoky pulled pork (it spends a solid 10 hours in a smoker), and garlicky house-made mayo. The whole thing's finished off with chopped green onions and a generous amount of spicy kimchi; these last two ingredients add a powerful punch that helps cut through the richness of the potato, pork, and mayo combo. In short, these are some crazy good fries.
It's not, however, a side dish—a fact I discovered the hard way after ordering both a sandwich and the fries and then spending the rest of the afternoon alternately clutching my stomach, groaning, and shaking my fist at the heavens. A local paper has a feature in which they analyze the nutritional content of Toronto-area dishes, and they found the kimchi fries to have a whopping 1183 calories and 86 grams of fat. Make no mistake: it's worth every calorie and clogged artery...just don't plan on eating much else.
About the author: Michael Nusair is a Toronto-area writer / podcaster / cool dude who likes eating good food and watching Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Sometimes at the same time! You can read about his various eating exploits here and here, and follow him on Twitter at MichaelKN.