I had always heard so much about Au Petit … about how popular it is but we had never been there nor did we know where it was. All we know was that Au Petit is a Vietnamese restaurant. We met up with Angie’s family again for a weekend lunch.
As many of you already know, Angie is the person behind Sea Salt With Food. Sea Salt With Food specializes in home cooking recipes. What is amazing with her site is that all the recipes were her own cooking … and she blogs everyday. Moreover, she told us that she tries to make her home cooked food better than what she comes across outside. I was just thinking how lucky her family is having such variety of home cooked food everyday.
The Au Petit cafe is located on Main Street and 33rd St in Vancouver. From the outside, it does not really look like what I had imagined it to be. It was somewhat more old and rundown than I had expected.
The place is really small, befitting its name. Despite its looks, it is undoubtedly a very popular restaurant with a lot of customers, many of them taking out. There was once I heard the owner saying at the top his voice that he needed people to order one at a time when there were a few customers milling around the counter trying to place their take out order all at once! BTW, FYI, the owners are Cantonese speakers.
As much as we wanted to spend a lot of time enjoying the meal, we realize that this is not a place where you hang out after a meal. We do feel rushed, not because the owners rushed us but the sheer turn around of the tables and the many take out customers.
We soon realize why this place is so popular. There are nothing on the menu that costs more than $7.50.
I had the Dark French Iced Coffee With Condensed Milk. It was a much smaller cup that I am used to in other Vietnamese joint — much smaller but much better. They made it very thick and what I like best is it is rather bitter’ish too. $3.15.
The other drinks we ordered was the Ice Soda with Lime. $2.50.
And the Iced Tea was $2.
Their Vietnamese Shredded Pork Salad Rolls is highly recommended. It has a very fresh crunchy vegetables and particularly great dipped in the fish sauce. What we like most was the strong basil flavour. It was $6.25 and came in two rolls.
I believe their specialty is not the Pho but their fresh French Bread. They had it mentioned on their signboard and most tables had them too. It was indeed the best such bread we had ever tasted. It is very light but the amazing part is the crust which is thin and crumbly. It does make a mess breaking the bread. You gotta try their French Bread.
The bread actually came together with the Curry Beef Stew ($7.50). This dish quite OK (not great) with lots of firm beef cubes and tendon with carrots which is the saving grace. We wished that the beef stew is made hot and a bit more thicker.
The above is excellent. It’s called the French Bread Sub with Home Made Ham, House Meat Ball, Vegetable and Hot Pepper … and it is only $4.50. Be warned that the hot peppers are deceptively hot. If you like hot stuff, you will like this. It’s messy eating this because I ended up with lots of crumbs all over the table and my lap. If you want to order just one thing in Au Petit, you should try this.
Angie had the BBQ Lemongrass Boneless Chicken with Vegetables. This is served on rice noodles and fish sauce. The BBQ Chicken looked really good and they are quite generous with the amount of chicken meat on this dish. $7.50.
Nanzaro had the Assorted Seafood Rice Noodle in Soup ($7.50). I find this a pretty respectable seafood noodle soup because of the number of seafood items in there.
Arkensen and Justin had Pho. A large one costs $6.75. Arkensen gave a thumbs up for this. I find that it has quite a bit of MSG. Also, they did not serve pho with fresh basil and chili. Maybe they forgot about it. It does look pretty unexciting to me.
The bill came up to about $70 including tax and tips. They accept only cash, BTW. We wished we had a lot more time here but overall the meal was good. I think they have one of the best Vietnamese subs around … all thanks to their bread which made the world of difference. And don’t forget their awesome pork salad roll too.