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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Best of 2011: Bahn Mi So

And just like that, another month has passed. Transitioning from March to April proved to be insanely busy for us, even more so than usual. Despite returning from vacation feeling relaxed and rejuvenated just over a month ago, Ryan and I have once again been feeling the stress of trying to juggle too many balls in the air at once.

Before we knew it, April appeared to be slipping away and we hadn't yet completed our monthly Best of 2011 challenge. We literally had to set aside our to do lists one Sunday afternoon and force ourselves to go out and grab lunch at one of the places on the list.

It couldn't have been a better decision, as we ended up having one of the most enjoyable afternoons that we've had in awhile. Few of the restaurants from the "Best Of" list were open on a Sunday afternoon, but Bahn Mi So caught our eye and we strapped on our helmets and set out via bike. The weather was perfect and the hilly jaunt to the restaurant revved our appetites. We were surprised to find the restaurant smack down alongside busy Grand Ave in St. Louis, not in the restaurant-heavy South Grand area, but sitting amongst apartment buildings and storefronts.

I've embarrassed to say it, being a restaurant review and all, but neither of us even stepped foot inside the place. We immediately grabbed seats on the patio, choosing to soak up the sunshine and enjoy our meal outdoors. From what I could tell, the interior was small and casual, proving it was the edible experience that put this little restaurant on STL Magazine's list.

A flashing sign outside claimed their spring rolls were the best in St. Louis, a claim we had to test. Along with an order of shrimp spring rolls, we opted for a vegetable tofu noodle dish. Neither of us typically choose tofu in a restaurant, but this was the byproduct of some confused ordering and an exasperated server (don't ask).

Food was delivered within minutes and we hungrily dug in. Though I have nothing to compare the spring rolls to, they certainly exceeded our expectations, stuffed with vermicelli, loads of fresh mint, and shrimp. The tofu dish also pleasantly surprised us, both of us noting that when thinly sliced and seasoned well, tofu lacks that blah flavor we often associate with it.

We cleaned our plates and took some time to chat with our friendly (and no longer exasperated) server, who humbly talked about the boom in business they've had since being included on the list. After paying for our (ridiculously cheap, might I add) meal, we assured him we would again return before hopping on our bikes and tackling the hills toward home.

Perfect Sunday afternoon. :)

Banh Mi So on Urbanspoon

For other restaurant reviews (St. Louis and beyond!), check out my Restaurant Review page
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