I stopped by to check out the new Yum-mi Sandwiches on Mills Avenue. This is where Ba-Le, a chain-ish Vietnamese cafe used to be. The block of buildings that incorporates Yum-mi has just been renovated and spiffed up, and the interior of the restaurant has also been redone and given a clean if spartan look.
The name is a play on the popular Vietnamese sandwich called a banh mi. With banh mis showing up on trendy menus all over the country, the sub-like sandwich is something of a sandwich du jour. And using a French term is entirely appropriate because the traditional bread of the banh mi is a French baguette, something acquired during the French colonization of Vietnam. Besides crusty bread, a banh mi usually holds meat and vegetables, such as cucumber, daikon and pickled carrots, garnished with fresh cilantro. Some of the ingredients might be a bit spicy, but heat is not a distinguishing factor.
Yum-mi offers a full roster of banh mi, but I figured I would get the one labled “original” so that I could have a touchstone.
I can’t say I’m impressed. The baguette was good and crusty (crum-mi?), but the meats were so thinly sliced and layered on so meagerly as to be negligible (and unidentifiable, though I’m sure they were variety of pork products). The pickles had good flavor, but they were too large to be inside the sandwich.
The shredded pork and pork skin spring roll from the list of Yummitizers, wasn’t much better. There was a finely chopped substance with the texture of sawdust inside translucent wrapper that I suppose was crackling, but I could see nothing that looked like shredded pork. Couldn’t taste any pork, either. It was mostly just noodles.
Yum-mi is fast-casual — order at the counter then find a seat and someone will bring your order to you. My food was delivered with impressive speed.
I’ll probably give Yum-mi another try. I like the concept, and I’m a fan of a good banh mi. So if they can produce one, I’ll be there.
Yum-mi Sandwiches is at 1227 N. Mills Ave., Orlando. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily. The website is listed as yummisandwiches.com, but the link takes you to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The phone number, which is not on the Facebook page, is 407-894-1808.