It's a rather small space when you get inside; a couple steps in and you're at the counter already, their amazing homemade baguettes (small and large) staring at you in the face. Move about two steps to the right, and the pastries are tantalizing you with some type of pastry striptease without doing a damn thing. Talent!
Then turn 90 degrees right and you'll see more desserts and pastries playing some type of master seductress. Resistance is futile. Well, the panda locked himself in a cage full of great sexy food, so I guess it's perfectly OK to walk out a few pounds heavier!
While here, I give the grilled pork with lemongrass banh mi ($2.99) one of my highest recommendations. The incredible baguette alone would net that coveted five Yelp stars. Never have I seen such a toasted baguette stand up so firmly to any sandwich filling, yet give way so easily when biting into it. The insides of that bread stretch to their very max and somehow find that extra gear to stay together until you literally rip them apart with the almighty jaw.
|Can't beat these prices!|
|The paper sleeve package your banh mi comes in|
|Grilled Pork with Lemongrass Banh Mi|
(An Xuyen Bakery)
The banh mi filling? Heaven. The pork is amazingly flavorful and tender, the veggies crunchy and ideally pickled. Just the right amount of mayo to give it that extra lubrication. Certainly panda foodporn-worthy.
It's simply one of those sandwiches I couldn't stop eating. Autopilot is a great thing. And seriously, it's three freakin' dollars. That's just sick. Evilly sick. Panda cries foul. Not fair to stomach or my weakness of eating just about anything edible.
For a dessert, I tried their guava roll ($1.25). It's like a jelly doughnut met a turnover and decided to have a kid. Just so flaky and light. Delicious guava filling, being sweet, but not too sweet. Perhaps I'd like a bit more filling, but that's just minor nitpicking. While this roll can cause a little mess, I've never been one to shy away from being a slob and eating like a crazy person.
(An Xuyen Bakery)
|Guava filling on the inside!|
Oh, and if you like coffee, I recommend the banh mi and coffee combo for $3.49. Highly doubtful that you'll find a better deal with such quality -- unless maybe someone buys your lunch so you can enjoy all of it free.
I could kick myself for not going sooner and more often. Plain and simple, this is a Portland gem. An elite Portland gem. 9.5/10