Eat This Now: Kimchi Fries With Pulled Pork From Banh Mi Boys in Toronto, ON


[Photograph: Michael Nusair]

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.