Local Review: Yum-Mi Sandwiches
Location: 1227 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, 32803
Hours: Mon-Sat (10 – 8), Wed (Closed), Sun (10 – 6)
Are there any restaurants that you live relatively close to and think “I really want to try that place!” every single time you drive by, but still haven’t been to? Well, that’s me on a daily basis — And my “Want to Try” list is so long that I’m pretty sure I’d gain 10 pounds just trying to sort through it. At the top, for the last few weeks, have been this Lebanese place I can’t pronounce and Yum-Mi Sandwiches, a new Vietnamese sandwich shop primarily dedicated to the traditional sandwich that the restaurant’s name lends itself from — banh mi.
The modernista art deco appearance of the inside and outside of the restaurant were really appealing to my symmetry-loving brain. The interior is mostly black and white, with a bit of gray and bright pops of orange splashed around here and there. There are lots of sofa-like bench seats, huge windows and a window bar seating section where customers can dine while staring out onto Mills Avenue. “We wanted to create a place that was more inviting to the young crowd while still satisfying our traditional Vietnamese customers,” explained one of three owners of the small sub shop.
The ordering was very straight-forward — Lining the wall directly facing the entrance are menus offering titles and brief descriptions and prices of each of the restaurant’s fare. The cashier was very helpful and friendly, and didn’t mind when we took a few minutes to decide on what we wanted.
What We Ordered:
Shimmy Shaker ($5.95)
Miss Piggy ($4.50)
Shrimp and Pork Yum-Yum Spring Rolls (2 rolls for $3.25)
Steamed Bun ($3.00)
Vietnamese Iced Coffee ($2.95)
Taro Tapioca Milk Tea + Boba ($2.95 + $.50)
The food is delivered to your table by the cashier in stages — He started with our drinks and steamed bun (which is literally a steamed bun stuffed with some sort of sweetened pork and hard-boiled egg mixture), followed with our shrimp & pork spring rolls (which were served with a delicious soy-peanut sauce) and then our sandwiches. The Vietnamese iced coffee was amazing, but so strong that it was only easy to drink in very small sips. Nick’s Taro milk tasted exactly how it’s supposed to – like a lilac colored liquid birthday cake. The boba were chewy and not gross and soggy as well, which made the drink even better!
My “Miss Piggy” sub contained caramelized pork belly, tomatoes and lettuce along with the more traditional ingredients such as pickled carrots, cucumber and cilantro. Parts of the pork were a little hard to get through — They were too chewy and I had to dispose of a few pieces. There were also whole jalapeno spears, which I believe is a traditional part of the sandwich, but I think it should be mentioned before being added to each sub just in case a person who is new to Vietnamese sandwiches and not a lover of excessive spice (ME!) isn’t expecting it and then has to fight back tears because her mouth has been set ablaze by a rogue ingredient she wasn’t planning on eating. But I digress.
Nick’s “Shimmy Shaker” contained asian marinated beef cubes along with the traditional veggies, loaded up high on the crusty-exteriored bread that the dish is named after. He didn’t much mind the spiciness — His taste bud tolerance puts mine to shame. 😦
If local Vietnamese restaurant Pho 88‘s success is any indication, Yum-Mi Sandwiches could be around for the long run. After all, the three owners (sisters Rosa and Linda plus brother David), are the progeny of the Pho 88 restauranteurs.
Overall, the experience was a great one for us — My only other complaint other than the jalapeno-without-warning situation had to be the music. I’m not sure why the shop seems to be going for a mid-nineties hip hop club in terms of sound, but it really didn’t mesh well with the delicious cuisine and modern atmosphere. If not for the awkward music choice and spiciness, Yum-Mi Sandwiches would have definitely gotten an A in my book. Even still, we’ll definitely be going back to try a few of their other menu items!