I hadn't wanted to go back even though the banh mi wasn't bad but a few months ago I saw an advertisement about them having half-price banh mi on Tuesdays and half-price bowls on Thursdays. The bowls are normally $8.50—$8.75 so at half price my interest was re-piqued.
I went for lunch one Thursday a few weeks ago with a friend and most recently stopped by on another to get dinner for the family.
The first re-visit I ordered the Drunken Noodles Bowl with Steak. It was pretty good and cost around $7.00 for the bowl and a fountain drink. That's really not too bad at all for one person's lunch.
The second re-visit I thought I'd try a couple of different bowls so ordered the Drunken Noodles with Steak, Pad Thai with Chicken and Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Shrimp. I've had pad thai and coconut curry from a Thai restaurant before so thought they'd be similar. I guess the flavoring of both were similar to what I had but the texture of the rice for the curry was not what I expected.
First: The Drunken Noodle with Steak was very good both times I've had it. The sauce is very tasty as well as the steak. The steak has a sort of sweet marinade kind of like sweet teriyaki. Even though it's a noodle dish, I felt like it could have also been put over some steamed rice. I think mainly to help soak up some of the sauce as it might be overwhelming to some straight.
Second: The Pad Thai with Chicken was pretty good. My wife and kids liked it the best. I thought it was good but prefer the drunken noodles to the rice noodles. Maybe if it had drunken versus rice I'd like it better. I don't know. I'm not saying it was bad. I kind of felt like I was eating spaghetti noodles more than some Asian noodle.
Third: The Spicy Green Coconut Curry with Shrimp was good. My wife and kids did not like it but curry isn't exactly something they particularly like. I thought the curry was very flavorful. It mixed well with the shrimp but it wasn't exactly a marinade taste as with the steak. What I didn't like about the dish was the rice. The description says, "served over white rice." That part was true. However, it didn't say the stickiest, wettest rice every made! I'm not sure if it was standard or it was because they were pretty busy that night for dinner and they didn't cook the rice well enough, but it was CLUMPY! In fact, the rice was more like a cheese ball than rice. Each grain of rice was mushy and just mashed together in the bowl. Even when I tried to mix and stir everything together, the rice just kind of stuck to my fork. I tried to separate it by using the tines of the fork and it just mushed the rice even more. I basically ended up with the consistency of cheese ball mashed potatoes. So, I think if the rice was less mush and clumps, this dish may have been better. Again the flavoring of the dish was good, it just didn't work at all with the rice I was given.
So, overall, I'd say I'm pretty satisfied with what I've tasted at The Banh Shop so far. You definitely can't beat the price of half-price with the amount of food given...even for the banh mi, although I haven't had any since the first visit. I might try it once again but I'm just not a fan of the thickness and slight hardness of the bread.
For $4 dollars an entree on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'd be silly to not keep going at least until they end the deal.