Jump to content


Photo

An Xuyen


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1 ELA

ELA
  • Members
  • 42 posts

Posted 27 June 2010 - 07:32 PM

Like the topic says I just don't get it. I found that their baked goods are in a word, disgusting. I don't get the raves about this place. Saturday morning after a great weekly meal at Bun Bo Hue Mihn, I got a grilled pork sandwich, 3 chocolate strawberry creme puffs and a chocolate strawberry tart for my family figuring I would try it out after reading all the good reviews about this place.

After passing out the creme puffs to my kids I later found a large pile of the chocolate covering on a napkin on the table. I asked my kids what was wrong? "It tastes funny" they replied. I took a taste, it was like every off taste in the fridge came alive. The off taste followed through to the dough. Not a good thing. My son and daughter, his twin, only ate the top half of the puff and some of the filling before they just gave up and left the rest of it. Pretty much 2/3rd's of it. My oldest daughter went for broke and ate the whole thing but in the end said she didn't like it.

I went downstairs and asked my wife what she thought of the banh mi. She said the bread was awesome, far better than other places we like, but the filling not so much. Missing a lot of taste. She liked the addition of the cucumbers but missed the pickled radish and cilantro. The grilled pork was also lackluster according to her.

Later in the day I had the chocolate strawberry tart and drew the same conclusion as my kids. Disgusting. Every "fridge" off taste was in the tart. I couldn't finish it. So what draws the raves other than the cheap price? Did I just catch them on a off day? Was the stuff maybe day old? I didn't think so since it was a Saturday morning, around 10am. Should they invest in some Armor & Hammer? I mean I just don't know, pretty much a five out out five failure this go around. Minus the bread I will say.

#2 Napzard

Napzard
  • Members
  • 187 posts

Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:05 PM

Like the topic says I just don't get it. I found that their baked goods are in a word, disgusting. I don't get the raves about this place. Saturday morning after a great weekly meal at Bun Bo Hue Mihn, I got a grilled pork sandwich, 3 chocolate strawberry creme puffs and a chocolate strawberry tart for my family figuring I would try it out after reading all the good reviews about this place.

After passing out the creme puffs to my kids I later found a large pile of the chocolate covering on a napkin on the table. I asked my kids what was wrong? "It tastes funny" they replied. I took a taste, it was like every off taste in the fridge came alive in the chocolate. Not a good thing. My son and daughter, his twin, only ate the top half of the puff and some of the filling before they just gave up and left the rest of it. Pretty much 2/3rd's of it. My oldest daughter went for broke and ate the whole thing but in the end said she didn't like it at all.

I went downstairs and asked my wife what she thought of the banh mi. She said the bread was awesome, far better than other places we like, but the filling not so much. Missing a lot of taste. She liked the addition of the cucumbers but missed the pickled radish and cilantro. The grilled pork was also lackluster according to her.

Later in the day I had the chocolate strawberry tart and drew the same conclusion as my kids. Disgusting. Every "fridge" off taste was in the tart. I couldn't finish it. So what draws the raves other than the cheap price? Did I just catch them on a off day? Was the stuff maybe day old? I didn't think so since it was a Saturday morning, around 10am. Should they invest in some Armor & Hammer? I mean I just don't know, pretty much a five out out five failure this go around. Minus the bread I will say.

I work about 1/8th of a mile away from An Xuyen. I only get the iced coffee and Banh Mi Ga(Chicken). The pork is uneventful and dry. The dumpling is also uneventful. The dac biet is ok when I want a change from my normal chicken.

#3 Jill-O

Jill-O
  • Moderator
  • 7,144 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Eastside, on the cusp between N and S

Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:28 PM

If I go there, I only get banh mi and pate chaud. But I usually go to Binh Minh about 20 blocks further east on SE Powell, I think their banh mi are superior (and pate chaud just as good). I like the special (with extra meat) and the meatball banh mi best.
Never give up! Never surrender!

#4 ELA

ELA
  • Members
  • 42 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 07:42 AM

I work about 1/8th of a mile away from An Xuyen. I only get the iced coffee and Banh Mi Ga(Chicken). The pork is uneventful and dry. The dumpling is also uneventful. The dac biet is ok when I want a change from my normal chicken.


I don't think I'll be going to back for another try. I usually try a place multiple times in case of an off day but when virtually all the items tasted don't rate I can't see giving em another shot. They are inexpensive though I will give em that.







If I go there, I only get banh mi and pate chaud. But I usually go to Binh Minh about 20 blocks further east on SE Powell, I think their banh mi are superior (and pate chaud just as good). I like the special (with extra meat) and the meatball banh mi best.



I've been meaning to try that place. I used to go to that location a number of years back but they closed. Nice to see another banh mi shop open there. Do they have steamed buns there?

#5 Jill-O

Jill-O
  • Moderator
  • 7,144 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Eastside, on the cusp between N and S

Posted 28 June 2010 - 04:10 PM

Yes, they did have steamed buns at Binh Minh last I was there. I have not tried them, though.
Never give up! Never surrender!

#6 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 30 June 2010 - 12:32 PM

FYI, changed the name of the thread to keep it from being prejudicial.

I think An Xuyen is above the average in Portland. But I almost never end up there. I either choose Best Baguette for ease and value and the tasty Saigon bacon or Binh Minh for quality. I like An Xuyen's bread, but their meats could definitely be better.

btw, more in this thread:

http://portlandfood....-banh-mi-in-pdx

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#7 ELA

ELA
  • Members
  • 42 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 01:55 PM

FYI, changed the name of the thread to keep it from being prejudicial.

I think An Xuyen is above the average in Portland. But I almost never end up there. I either choose Best Baguette for ease and value and the tasty Saigon bacon or Binh Minh for quality. I like An Xuyen's bread, but their meats could definitely be better.

btw, more in this thread:

http://portlandfood....-banh-mi-in-pdx


Above average as in what way? I will concede that the bread was good but it takes more than good bread to make a good banh mi or any sandwich for that matter. IMHO good bread doesn't matter if the fillings are bland or sub-par. I mean I don't go to Bunk cause the bread rocks. :lol:

I mean that if they were truly above average that would make most people forgo "ease and value" and go get what it is that will truly fulfill what they are craving. For example Rose's Deli is very close to where I work. Easily walking distance. It fits ease and value but at lunchtime I will load my ass onto the Max and go to K&Z to truly fulfill my corn beef or pastrami craving. Ken's Special totally rocks by the way.

I think I will stick with Best Baguette for now. Mmmmm... Saigon bacon... I also want to try Binh Minh. There is also a little bakery right next to Pho Oregon that makes banh mi's. Not sure of the name. They are in the back. Need to try them as well. I already like their creme puffs.

Cheers.

#8 Jill-O

Jill-O
  • Moderator
  • 7,144 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Eastside, on the cusp between N and S

Posted 30 June 2010 - 02:28 PM

There is also a little bakery right next to Pho Oregon that makes banh mi's. Not sure of the name. They are in the back. Need to try them as well. I already like their creme puffs.

Cheers.


Is that Lanvin?
Never give up! Never surrender!

#9 nervousxtian

nervousxtian
  • Members
  • 2,126 posts

Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:06 PM

Best Baguette usually wins out for me, because my lazy ass doesn't like to park. It helps they don't suck, and the saigon bacon is a guilty pleasure.

I like HA&VL better than Binh Minh, and don't really like Lanvin at all, though maybe they were "off" the few times I tried it.. but it's location isn't as convenient as places on Foster or Powell are for me.. I don't find my self on that side of I-84 on 82nd all that often.

#10 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:52 PM

HA&VL uses Lanvin's bread, I believe. I don't like them as much as Binh Minh for banh mi. Part of that is the bread, though.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#11 vj

vj
  • Moderator
  • 2,729 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Albina (NE Pdx)

Posted 30 June 2010 - 04:50 PM

I haven't been to Lanvin in a while, but it was an also-ran. Binh Minh has been the shop to beat for a long time.

#12 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:40 PM

http://www.portlandm...er-18-an-xuyen/

Well, An Xuyen is a satisfying and affordable exception. While they may not be the best bakery in town, and they may not even make the best bánh mì (according to Portland Monthly’s food editor Karen Brooks, that title belongs to Binh Minh Sandwiches at 7821 Southeast Powell Blvd), the sandwiches are exactly good enough. The fillings are well-seasoned and not too fatty, and there is plenty of sliced cucumber, daikon, jalapeños, pickled carrot, and cilantro to add a fresh counterpoint and crunch. The key, however, is that their bread actually kicks ass—flaky/crispy/chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, it absolutely makes the sandwich. Ask for a side of sriracha if you like a little extra kick.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#13 lhollers

lhollers
  • Members
  • 30 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Multnomah Village
  • Interests:Environmental law, dining out, cooking...and more

Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:19 PM

Ate lunch here today - had already tried Binh Minh (without even realizing it was considered the "best" in Portland, banh mi wise). Was actually quite impressed. If I had read the posts on here first, I don't think I would have gone...

Lots of various baked good inside - I don't really like sweets, so none of this appealed to me, but it did smell great inside

Posted Image

Posted Image

They did have a lot of different actual breads, which looked quite good - might return to try those.

Here's some of the menu (the food portion, anyway):

Posted Image

Really bad photo quality, sorry. I went with the #13 - grilled pork with lemongrass.

Posted Image

Good-sized sandwich. I really, really liked the bread here - the lady running the joint told me it was baked in-house (nice, but I hope that's pretty standard). Fillings were good, not incredible. She asked me about five separate times, "You want spicy on sandwich?" I kept saying yeah, but the only noticeable heat I could pick up was from the jalapeno. I liked their vegetable style here a little more than other banh mi's I've tried - these were a little bit bigger...spears of pickled carrot and cucumber, and actual big "slices" of jalapeno, rather than the matchsticks I've had experience with. Pork was good, and I could definitely taste the lemongrass, but it was still a bit dry. Some sort of aioli or wet binder would have helped a lot. Cilantro was good, as always - here's another shot, with a bit of the actual interior (you can see the big chunk of jalapeno on the right-middle of the sandwich):

Posted Image

I also got the salad roll special you can barely make out on the specials board in the menu picture, above. Pretty good (also pretty hard not to mess up) - two types of pork, which was nice, and a peanut sauce that didn't break, which was also nice. They also had a Grilled Pork Honey Jerky that they had made that morning - the little old lady sold me on it pretty easily...wish I could have gotten a picture of this. Really, really good, probably the best thing I had from there today. They also had the normal bao and steamed bao - BBQ Pork or Meatball were the options today. Apparently they also have good hot and iced coffee, but I don't like coffee, so I declined. Anyway, it seems like I didn't have the same experience most of the other posters in this forum had...I'd like to give Binh Minh another shot; I don't think I caught them on their best day because I wasn't blown away, but I will certainly return to try another sandwich from An Xuyen. Btw, sandwich, two spring rolls, and the pork jerky came out to $7 even.

Take it easy.


An Xuyen
5345 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 788-0866

#14 reduxredux

reduxredux
  • Members
  • 62 posts

Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

An Xuyen is my go-to banh mi place because I live three blocks away. I don't make it there that often, in part because I have had bad service experiences, including being trapped in some ridiculous conversations with the precocious child that often works the counter. Your tolerance of funny/annoying children may vary.

I almost always get the meatball banh mi. On good days the meatballs are light and porky with a pronounced black pepper taste. They usually have some sort of hot food like sticky rice with sausage, veggies, and eggs, which can be quite good if they are made fresh. One of the things I hate about An Xuyen is that they sometimes try to upsell (white?) customers stale egg rolls. It really depends on who comes to counter.

It's a commercial bakery, and a lot of their products are mediocre. They do have samples sometimes, and I imagine you could ask to taste before you buy. I do like their bread better; I don't hate the crusty bread at Best Baguette, but I end up covered in crumbs.

I might prefer BB if I lived closer. I think the banh mi are different but comparable, and the service is more reliable at BB. I have tried Binh Minh but was not that impressed. The banh mi had a satisfying toasty/buttery flavor, but it lacked the variety of flavors that I am looking for (though I would give them a second shot). I'm not that picky about banh mi due to the price point, but I also have not been to one place that excelled at everything.

EDIT:
I'm referring to the Binh Minh on Powell. I was reading the Best Baguette thread and it seems like there is a better place with the same name on 68th and Broadway. I'll have to check that one out.

#15 Ben Waterhouse

Ben Waterhouse
  • Members
  • 64 posts

Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:31 PM

An Xuyen is my go-to banh mi place because I live three blocks away. I don't make it there that often, in part because I have had bad service experiences, including being trapped in some ridiculous conversations with the precocious child that often works the counter. Your tolerance of funny/annoying children may vary.


That little girl is the bane of my existence. Now when I want hamburger buns or banh mi I just make my wife go.

#16 Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis
  • Members
  • 1,854 posts
  • Location:413 NW21st
  • Interests:You live to serve this ship<br />So serve well, and live<br />-Ben Hur

Posted 11 February 2011 - 04:28 PM


An Xuyen is my go-to banh mi place because I live three blocks away. I don't make it there that often, in part because I have had bad service experiences, including being trapped in some ridiculous conversations with the precocious child that often works the counter. Your tolerance of funny/annoying children may vary.


That little girl is the bane of my existence. Now when I want hamburger buns or banh mi I just make my wife go.


Dang. Aside from Flynn's boy that little girl may be the only child I like.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#17 Ben Waterhouse

Ben Waterhouse
  • Members
  • 64 posts

Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:10 PM



An Xuyen is my go-to banh mi place because I live three blocks away. I don't make it there that often, in part because I have had bad service experiences, including being trapped in some ridiculous conversations with the precocious child that often works the counter. Your tolerance of funny/annoying children may vary.


That little girl is the bane of my existence. Now when I want hamburger buns or banh mi I just make my wife go.


Dang. Aside from Flynn's boy that little girl may be the only child I like.


Does she ever play keepaway with your sandwich? That was the last straw.

#18 nervousxtian

nervousxtian
  • Members
  • 2,126 posts

Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:15 PM

Does she ever play keepaway with your sandwich? That was the last straw.


She's my favorite child worker outside of when the Taqueria Antojitos Yucatecos lady has her kid there taking my money.

#19 ExtraMSG

ExtraMSG
  • Admin
  • 18,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Felony Flats
  • Interests:Me like food.

Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:31 PM

I vote "annoying as hell", too. And while I don't really mind it when buying a $3 sandwich, I've gotten the upsell many times.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 nervousxtian

nervousxtian
  • Members
  • 2,126 posts

Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:56 PM

Curmudgeons.