Paris Banh Mi Cafe Bakery has opened in a spacious corner spot in the Mills 50 District. And as its name suggests, it’s a combination French patisserie and Vietnamese eatery.
It was a banh mi – the distinctly Vietnamese sandwich – that brought me to the little shop. But it was the display of pastries that made the first impression.
A variety of croissants, donuts (and croissant donuts) and sweet and savory pastries is set out on a long display table. There’s a stack of trays and a collection of tongs for customers to use to serve themselves then take to the counter to pay.
I grabbed a traditional looking cheese Danish and a savory ham and cheese counterpart and paid for them while I waited for my Special Combination banh mi to be ready. All were packaged for me to take with me, although there are plenty of places to sit in the the pleasantly appointed and brightly lit space.
I was not disappointed with my sandwich. The combination – which combines three of the pork meat options into one filling – had steamed pork, jambon and pate as well as the typical pickled carrots, radishes and cucumbers that give bahn mi their distinct flavor. The baguette – the bread was introduced to Vietnam during French colonialism – was fresh and appropriately doughy.
The pastries were less satisfying – at least to me; others may find them quite enjoyable.
As is usual with Asian pastries, the cream cheese variety was not very sweet. The dough had a flat taste, more like bread.
Oddly, though, the ham and cheese variety tasted sweeter. Neither had much in the way of fillings.
The staff members who took the orders and handed over the food were friendly and smiling.
There’s no shortage of banh mi opportunities in the neighborhood, but Paris Banh Mi adds a nice element of a casual cafe to enjoy it in.
Paris Bahn Mi is at 1021 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursday through Tuesday. The phone number is 407-866-2012.