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Nhu' Lan Bakery--Banh mi in Lincoln Square

Nhu' Lan Bakery--Banh mi in Lincoln Square
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  • Post #121 - December 3rd, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Post #121 - December 3rd, 2010, 4:36 pm Post #121 - December 3rd, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Just had the tofu lemongrass today, delicious as usual.

    Wow, my first post.
  • Post #122 - December 3rd, 2010, 9:51 pm
    Post #122 - December 3rd, 2010, 9:51 pm Post #122 - December 3rd, 2010, 9:51 pm
    bline2003 wrote:Just had the tofu lemongrass today, delicious as usual.

    Wow, my first post.

    Welcome! I love that sandwich. :)

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #123 - February 27th, 2011, 2:25 pm
    Post #123 - February 27th, 2011, 2:25 pm Post #123 - February 27th, 2011, 2:25 pm
    While I otherwise enjoyed my pork belly, pate, and pork roll banh mi, I found the much beloved lemongrass tofu sandwhich, a bit too...um...mr. clean. I'm a bit surprised nobody else seems to have come to this conclusion. Ginger tofu will be next.
  • Post #124 - February 27th, 2011, 2:39 pm
    Post #124 - February 27th, 2011, 2:39 pm Post #124 - February 27th, 2011, 2:39 pm
    The last time I had my beloved lemongrass tofu, it had an unpleasantly squishy texture. More so than usual, I mean. Not that I think any less of Nhu Lan - even the best places have off days - but I think that will be the impetus I need to branch out. I had been eating my way through the offerings when I got stuck on the tofu (for two years) so back to that.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #125 - February 27th, 2011, 2:45 pm
    Post #125 - February 27th, 2011, 2:45 pm Post #125 - February 27th, 2011, 2:45 pm
    I must say, it wasn't the texture at all. I'm used to a sharper taste when dealing with lemongrass. This struck me as, literally, industrial cleaning fluid as flavor enhancer. I love Nhu Lan and will continue to frequent them, but this was just a massive fail. I will try again.
  • Post #126 - February 28th, 2011, 9:13 am
    Post #126 - February 28th, 2011, 9:13 am Post #126 - February 28th, 2011, 9:13 am
    I went through the same mild disapointment recently with my Lemongrass chicken. Not only was the usually fragrant lemongrass aroma practically extinct, and left an almost borderline-chemical secondary taste on my palate, but the chicken was dry and boring.
    Fortunately, the paté chaud was still flaky and delicious.
  • Post #127 - February 28th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Post #127 - February 28th, 2011, 9:17 am Post #127 - February 28th, 2011, 9:17 am
    pinzu wrote:I must say, it wasn't the texture at all. I'm used to a sharper taste when dealing with lemongrass. This struck me as, literally, industrial cleaning fluid as flavor enhancer. I love Nhu Lan and will continue to frequent them, but this was just a massive fail. I will try again.


    Three lemongras-tofu sandwiches for me in the last month, all as good as any I've had in the past.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #128 - February 28th, 2011, 11:16 am
    Post #128 - February 28th, 2011, 11:16 am Post #128 - February 28th, 2011, 11:16 am
    I've no doubt the sandwich I had was up to Nhu Lan's standards. It just wasn't to my tastes. My brain kept thinking, lemon dish soap, and I couldn't find a way to shut it the hell up.
  • Post #129 - February 28th, 2011, 1:00 pm
    Post #129 - February 28th, 2011, 1:00 pm Post #129 - February 28th, 2011, 1:00 pm
    alain40 wrote:I
    Fortunately, the paté chaud was still flaky and delicious.


    That's truly killer; I munch on one of those (OK, I wolf one down) while I wait for my sandwiches to be made. Just fantastic.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #130 - March 5th, 2011, 5:22 pm
    Post #130 - March 5th, 2011, 5:22 pm Post #130 - March 5th, 2011, 5:22 pm
    Took Sparky to Nhu' Lan today...had a lot of fun, first I pointed to the pictures on the wall and then asked if he wanted to read the menu. I read the first one or two items conversationally, and explained that "headcheese" was like the oxtail pichta we'd made this summer...he looked the menu up and down and promptly said "I want a sardine sandwich" which is what he got.

    The young lady at the counter smiled and I ordered my own, I think the "combo" - which she immediately pointed out didn't have headcheese on it, having pegged me (correctly, of course) for an offal kinda gal. I stuck with the combo and Sparky and I had a very nice dinner with the two sandwiches when we got home - I will say that the carrot/daikon pickle was a bit sweeter than I remember it, and I neither of us thought it went well with sardines, but otherwise we were really quite happy.
  • Post #131 - April 13th, 2011, 12:03 pm
    Post #131 - April 13th, 2011, 12:03 pm Post #131 - April 13th, 2011, 12:03 pm
    Nhu Lan getting some Dolinsky love:

    http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky ... kery-84986
  • Post #132 - April 29th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    Post #132 - April 29th, 2011, 5:26 pm Post #132 - April 29th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    After years of loving Ba Le (and introducing many friends to it, including one as recently as yesterday) I made my inaugural visit to Nhu' Lan today and tried the much-lauded lemongrass tofu. A few thoughts:
    * Great bread, as good as (or even better than) Ba Le.
    * Prices are also similarly fantastic (and maybe even a little lower?) than Ba Le.
    * Great selection of other Vietnamese prepared dishes and wish I'd thought to try one.
    * As boring as it may sound, I love chicken banh mi, and wish I'd gotten that at Nhu' Lan so I've have a baseline point of comparison. (Yesterday at Ba Le we shared a BBQ pork banh mi & a chicken chicken banh mi, so I have a fairly recent reference point.) Hindsight is 20-20.
    * That said, the lemongrass tofu rocked for at least the first 3/4 of the sandwich. If I'd had just a couple bites, I never would have guessed it was tofu. But I have an ongoing problem with tofu masquerading as meat (which is probably how I'd characterize this)...after almost a full serving, I stop loving it and find it a bit unappetizing. I'm not sure what causes this (and it doesn't happen with a regular marinated semi-firm tofu). Don't get me wrong, I ate the entire thing, but I probably would have been happier sharing a lemongrass tofu and something else with a friend.
    * Yesterday at Ba Le and today at Nhu' Lan I had sandwiches where all of the meat was packed against the hinge side of the sandwich and all of the veggies against the outer edge. My mouth isn't that big, so I find myself taking a veggie bite and then a meat bite. Please, banh mi makers, think of those of us with small mouths when making sandwiches!
    Last edited by chgoeditor on April 30th, 2011, 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #133 - April 29th, 2011, 5:54 pm
    Post #133 - April 29th, 2011, 5:54 pm Post #133 - April 29th, 2011, 5:54 pm
    I really am fond of Nhu Lan and have tried quite a few of the sandwiches now. I agree that the veggies and meat/tofu should be more evenly distributed. Also, when I want spicy I have to ask for double jalapenos. That said, hey also have great spring rolls. I like the combo (pork/tofu, shrimp). This is definitely a go to place for a tasty and inexpensive sandwich.
  • Post #134 - April 29th, 2011, 11:04 pm
    Post #134 - April 29th, 2011, 11:04 pm Post #134 - April 29th, 2011, 11:04 pm
    A little Nhu Lan love in today's Tribune:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/ ... 5898.story
    trpt2345
  • Post #135 - May 22nd, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Post #135 - May 22nd, 2011, 2:15 pm Post #135 - May 22nd, 2011, 2:15 pm
    Kennyz wrote:
    pinzu wrote:I must say, it wasn't the texture at all. I'm used to a sharper taste when dealing with lemongrass. This struck me as, literally, industrial cleaning fluid as flavor enhancer. I love Nhu Lan and will continue to frequent them, but this was just a massive fail. I will try again.


    Three lemongras-tofu sandwiches for me in the last month, all as good as any I've had in the past.


    First time today! I was with boudreaulicious & mbh. That lemongrass-tofu sandwich will make any meatlover fall in love with tofu. Fantastic. Plus don't forget the mango lychee bubble tea!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #136 - May 22nd, 2011, 3:38 pm
    Post #136 - May 22nd, 2011, 3:38 pm Post #136 - May 22nd, 2011, 3:38 pm
    My recent Nhu Lan go-to sandwich is the #13 (I think) sugarcane shrimp. It's actually a sausage, and it's a great sweet/shrimpy mix. A great warm(er) weather sandwich.
  • Post #137 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Post #137 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:55 pm Post #137 - May 23rd, 2011, 8:55 pm
    Shasson wrote:My recent Nhu Lan go-to sandwich is the #13 (I think) sugarcane shrimp. It's actually a sausage, and it's a great sweet/shrimpy mix. A great warm(er) weather sandwich.


    I've never noticed this sandwich before, but decided to make tonight the night I finally break away from the clawlike grip of the lemongrass tofu. And I'm glad I did - this was a great sandwich, richer than I expected, and very flavorful. Good call!
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #138 - May 25th, 2011, 10:34 am
    Post #138 - May 25th, 2011, 10:34 am Post #138 - May 25th, 2011, 10:34 am
    Lemongrass tofu sammich is so good here. It's definitely the best vegetarian sandwich I've ever had, though to be honest I haven't had very many of those other than at veggie restaurants like chicago diner, blind faith cafe, etc. and those are usually imitations of regular sandwiches with seitan or tofu subsitutes for meat. This is more of a unique invention and stands on its own. Also, the cost of one of these badboys -3.25 - is amazing. Also if you buy like 5 or something, you get 1 free, making this a great place to do group lunches.
  • Post #139 - July 22nd, 2011, 8:19 am
    Post #139 - July 22nd, 2011, 8:19 am Post #139 - July 22nd, 2011, 8:19 am
    whiskeybent wrote:New flavors!
    - Pate, ham and eggs

    I am very pleased to have discovered this kick-ass breakfast sandwich (#16) today. It's a standard ham and pate banh mi, with the addition of hot, custardy scrambled egg that just has to be cooked to order to be this good. The other advantage of hitting this place early in the day is bread still warm from the oven.

    Nhu Lan for breakfast. Who knew? Could become a habit.

    --Rich
    I don't know what you think about dinner, but there must be a relation between the breakfast and the happiness. --Cemal Süreyya
  • Post #140 - August 17th, 2011, 8:31 am
    Post #140 - August 17th, 2011, 8:31 am Post #140 - August 17th, 2011, 8:31 am
    Went to Nhu Lan last night only to get the stiff-arm/closed-on-Tuesdays. Headed over to Ba Le to quench my Banh Mi craving. Both my wife and I agreed we won't make that mistake again. Ba Le was okay, certainly not bad, but nothing compared to my recent Nhu Lan experiences. My BBQ Pork was bland and seemed a little light on fillings for the hefty bread, compared to the bright and bold flavors at Nhu Lan.
  • Post #141 - August 17th, 2011, 11:19 am
    Post #141 - August 17th, 2011, 11:19 am Post #141 - August 17th, 2011, 11:19 am
    Went to Nhu Lan Sunday for a couple of sandwiches and found they've altered the menu a bit and the manner in which the menu is presented quite a bit. First off was finding that Mrs. Kman's favorite, the #7 veggie, is now the #9 veggie. There's now a total of 16 standard sandwich options and TWO LCD monitors hanging from the ceiling to display them. Besides the veggie I ordered one of the new (at least to me) items, the shredded pork. Both sandwiches were very good, crisp fresh bread and just as fresh veggies, (extra) jalapeno's as numbingly hot as ever, and of course super nice people. So glad to have such a great place like this so close to my house.

    Nhu Look at Nhu Lan
    Image
    IMAG0142 by kmankmankman2001, on Flickr
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #142 - November 10th, 2011, 5:01 pm
    Post #142 - November 10th, 2011, 5:01 pm Post #142 - November 10th, 2011, 5:01 pm
    As of about 4:40 pm this afternoon, there were 2 fire trucks at Nhu Lan (I did not see any fire). If anyone is planning to head over today, you might want to call first to check to see if they are open.
  • Post #143 - November 10th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    Post #143 - November 10th, 2011, 5:06 pm Post #143 - November 10th, 2011, 5:06 pm
    mrsm wrote:As of about 4:40 pm this afternoon, there were 2 fire trucks at Nhu Lan (I did not see any fire). If anyone is planning to head over today, you might want to call first to check to see if they are open.

    I noticed that too, but while stopped in traffic, I looked and did not notice any of the firemen actually in Nhu' Lan and it looked like business as usual. So while you may want to call first, I wouldn't assume that there were any issues with Nhu' Lan.
  • Post #144 - November 10th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    Post #144 - November 10th, 2011, 6:57 pm Post #144 - November 10th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    Just a heads up that if you click on the "Our Location" tab on Nhu Lan's homepage, it lists the incorrect store hours. They close at 7pm, not 8pm. Found that out the hard way.
  • Post #145 - November 11th, 2011, 6:21 am
    Post #145 - November 11th, 2011, 6:21 am Post #145 - November 11th, 2011, 6:21 am
    BR wrote:
    mrsm wrote:As of about 4:40 pm this afternoon, there were 2 fire trucks at Nhu Lan (I did not see any fire). If anyone is planning to head over today, you might want to call first to check to see if they are open.

    I noticed that too, but while stopped in traffic, I looked and did not notice any of the firemen actually in Nhu' Lan and it looked like business as usual. So while you may want to call first, I wouldn't assume that there were any issues with Nhu' Lan.


    A friend picked us up some sandwiches at around 6p yesterday so whatever was going on there wasn't affecting service.
  • Post #146 - December 4th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Post #146 - December 4th, 2011, 3:34 pm Post #146 - December 4th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    RAB wrote:
    whiskeybent wrote:New flavors!
    - Pate, ham and eggs

    I am very pleased to have discovered this kick-ass breakfast sandwich (#16) today. It's a standard ham and pate banh mi, with the addition of hot, custardy scrambled egg that just has to be cooked to order to be this good. The other advantage of hitting this place early in the day is bread still warm from the oven.
    This sandwich is awesome. The mix of textures, temperatures, and flavors is just incredible.

    As a side note, Nhu Lan has started serving Bo La Lot. They're offering them up in a sandwich, which strikes me as odd, but you can also just buy a side order of them w/ dipping sauce. Not as good as the ones at the now-closed Pho Xua, but far better than the ones I had recently at Pho 777.

    -Dan
  • Post #147 - December 5th, 2011, 3:02 pm
    Post #147 - December 5th, 2011, 3:02 pm Post #147 - December 5th, 2011, 3:02 pm
    The egg sandwich is, as expected, delicious. What sandwich here isn't? I also tried the Bo La Lop (as they spell it there). It was a much better texture than those from 777 which we tried during the pho crawl. I'm assuming because they're made fresh instead of frozen, but I thought it was lacking in flavor. Mine were certainly not grilled, no char flavor or texture at all. They looked precooked, sitting in the case. I'm guessing they were probably nuked in the microwave.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #148 - January 11th, 2012, 11:29 am
    Post #148 - January 11th, 2012, 11:29 am Post #148 - January 11th, 2012, 11:29 am
    I popped in to Nhu Lan for their new addition - a beef stew served with a mini baguette for dipping. Succulent and filling - I had one on Thursday and was craving it again by Saturday. It's not pho, but similar in spirit. A couple of tips I picked up from eating at the bakery - the jalapenos and cilantro can be added to the bowl, but the salt & pepper mix is for dipping the beef into.

    Also - fun news from the owner! The Lakeview location is nearly ready to open. It's near Belmont & Broadway, about a block from the lake - prime smoothie real estate. This location will have much more seating.
    "To get long" meant to make do, to make well of whatever we had; it was about having a long view, which was endurance, and a long heart, which was hope.
    - Fae Myenne Ng, Bone
  • Post #149 - January 11th, 2012, 4:51 pm
    Post #149 - January 11th, 2012, 4:51 pm Post #149 - January 11th, 2012, 4:51 pm
    lemoneater wrote:I popped in to Nhu Lan for their new addition - a beef stew served with a mini baguette for dipping. Succulent and filling - I had one on Thursday and was craving it again by Saturday. It's not pho, but similar in spirit. A couple of tips I picked up from eating at the bakery - the jalapenos and cilantro can be added to the bowl, but the salt & pepper mix is for dipping the beef into.

    Also - fun news from the owner! The Lakeview location is nearly ready to open. It's near Belmont & Broadway, about a block from the lake - prime smoothie real estate. This location will have much more seating.


    Huzzah! But will they be open on Tuesdays?
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #150 - April 11th, 2012, 11:09 am
    Post #150 - April 11th, 2012, 11:09 am Post #150 - April 11th, 2012, 11:09 am
    Kman wrote:Went to Nhu Lan Sunday for a couple of sandwiches and found they've altered the menu a bit and the manner in which the menu is presented quite a bit. First off was finding that Mrs. Kman's favorite, the #7 veggie, is now the #9 veggie. There's now a total of 16 standard sandwich options and TWO LCD monitors hanging from the ceiling to display them. Besides the veggie I ordered one of the new (at least to me) items, the shredded pork. Both sandwiches were very good, crisp fresh bread and just as fresh veggies, (extra) jalapeno's as numbingly hot as ever, and of course super nice people. So glad to have such a great place like this so close to my house.

    Nhu Look at Nhu Lan
    Image
    IMAG0142 by kmankmankman2001, on Flickr


    I stopped into Nhu Lan's new location (602 W Belmont) last week. Sandwich was great, but their prices are higher than Ba Le and higher than those in this picture (which is a year old). I don't eat at the original Nhu Lan enough to know if this is a recent price increase at both locations, or if Belmont is just more expensive.

    Looking at the menu I picked up:
    Nhu Lan special: $4.50
    Grilled Pork: $4.75
    Original: $3.95
    Lemongrass tofu: $4.75
    Sugarcane shrimp & pork: $5.50
    Shredded pork: $4.50
    Chinese roast pork: $4.50

    Lemongrass turkey was great! Will need to slowly work my way through the rest of the menu now that they're just a 5-minute walk from my house.

    ETA: That's not the entire sandwich list, just a selection. Looks like they have 18 sandwiches plus a decent assortment of other savories (the typical stuff), about 20 types of smoothies and an assortment of other pre-made sweets (puddings/gelatins/desserts).
    Last edited by chgoeditor on April 11th, 2012, 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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