Fast food giant Yum Brands — AKA the mega-corporation responsible for the travesty that is Doritos Locos tacos, not to mention the KFC Double Down — recently debuted their second one-off test concept in the DFW area (the first of course being Arlington's SuperChix), and despite some early controversy related to the poor choice of a logo, people overall seem to be enjoying Banh Shop. (It's also worth pointing out that there's another location opening soon in DFW Airport's Terminal D.) Here's what people are saying thus far about the prices, the banh mi, the service, and everything inbetween:
The Pricing News: Observer critic Scott Reitz weighs in: "I went with the pork meatball, which costs $6.99, and added the pork pâté because a banh mi isn't a banh mi without it. The addition tacked on another dollar to my order. For comparison the banh mi at Richardson's La Me set me back just under $3, pâté included." A Yelper sees the value: "I think the prices are great, especially for the location. $7.00 for a sandwich of this quality that fills you up seems like a decent price to me. I don't know what reality some people live in but $20 for a meal for two people WITH appetizers is a steal."
The Sandwich News: Thrillist seemed to enjoy all the sandwiches, but the steak in particular struck their fancy: "This was my favorite sandwich on the menu. The marinated sirloin steak is slightly spicy, bold, and hearty. The chargrilled honey-caramel glaze gives it warmth, while the cucumber-cilantro aioli adds balance." A Yelp user was unimpressed by that same sandwich: "The pickled veggies have no taste or texture. The bread was not a true baguette. The steak was bland." Another Yelp reviewer likes the banh mi, but is puzzled by a void in the menu: "The sandwich isn't terrible. It's actually surprisingly good ... What baffles me the most is their exclusion of thit nuong (grilled pork and lemongrass) in a sandwich ... I'm pretty sure not liking pork is a sin if you're Vietnamese, and they missed out on an opportunity by not putting it on their menu." A word of sandwich advice via Yelp: "Do yourself a favor and get it with pate, makes a world of difference."
The Rest of the Menu News: A Yelp user weighs in on the Vietnamese twist on elotes: "I had no idea what to expect from this... But it was so good! I like it even more than regular elotes. It even has a bit of nuoc mam (fish sauce) in there, but it was also really subtle and worked very well. You have to try it!" Another Yelper disagrees: "They take what tastes like canned corn and add an insufficient amount of Saigon sauce, red pepper, scallion, and crumbled white cheese, making this an insipid failure and travesty of Vietnamese street food." One reviewer is less than impressed by the spring rolls: "It's $2 for basically one spring roll cut in half, with not meat inside, and just vegetables. It was so small that I was so upset. Seriously save your two dollars." Several Yelpers and a Facebook fan mention the coconut bar as being a standout for dessert.
The Drinks News: A Yelper isn't impressed with the booze: "I'm pretty sure if I had finished both of those frozen drinks I would have diabetes. They were over sugared and not that good at all." Another reviewer is pleased with the Vietnamese coffee: "The drink is pre-made ice cold and dispensed a bit strong which is how Cafe Sua Da should be. Since I like mine super sweet, I asked for extra condensed milk on the side which they happily provided for me!"
The Service News: Customer service is apparently a major priority here. "On my second visit here I walked in the door at 9:58 PM thinking they closed at 11:00, but in fact they close at 10. I ordered the #2 Grilled Pork Meatball Sandwich and the staff had already cleaned up the entire kitchen, but that didn't matter," says a Yelp reviewer. "They happily pulled everything out and made my sandwich with big smiles on their faces." Another comments: "The customer service was above and beyond when I was there. It seemed like everyone who worked there cared about how we were enjoying our experience."
Banh Shop: 5629 SMU Blvd., (214) 890-9776, banhshop.com.