Stopped by this brand new Vietnamese spot on Dorchester Ave. at Hancock St (DBar, Antojitos Chapinas). The place is huge, bright and clean, with ample parking in a nearby lot. Lots of tables near the windows and a big grocery section that doesn't feel fully stocked yet. There are big windows at the back to allow a view of the bakery and a large open kitchen area.
There's coffee, bubble tea and smoothies, a section of warm and cold prepared foods, and a good selection of bakery items (including special occasions cakes). I didn't try any of this but it all looked good. What I did try was bahn mi. There's a list of a dozen or so, of which I tried the BBQ beef and the shredded pork. The first thing of note was the bread. The sandwiches are not on the type of bahn mi french bread rolls you typically see but instead on half of a somewhat narrow baguette (somewhere between a ficelle and a traditional baguette in width). So you end up with quite a long (10 inches) and narrow sandwich, which I thought worked great. Came with the usual cilantro, carrot, daikon and cucumber with a little onion and sliced red (and quite hot) chilies. The beef was outstanding, very tender and flavorful, in a generous amount. The pork was dry but I think that's the way it's supposed to be (cha bong a.k.a. cotton meat) so it's really a matter of personal preference. I think they have another pork sandwich but I'm not sure (they don't have takeout menus yet and the website seems to still be inactive.) Don't remember about vegetarian options but they must have had tofu and they definitely had sardine, which I believe is still not a vegetable, but you know what I mean. Very friendly staff with plenty of english spoken.
Overall, they jump right to the top of my bahn mi list. Sandwiches are $3. I'd happily pay $5.
1229 Dorchester Ave.
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