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  Nhu Lan--Bahn Mi restaurant in Lincoln Square
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  • Nhu Lan--Bahn Mi restaurant in Lincoln Square

    Post #1 - August 21st, 2009, 6:19 pm
    Post #1 - August 21st, 2009, 6:19 pm Post #1 - August 21st, 2009, 6:19 pm
    I was looking through past GNR nominations and I was quite surprised to find that Nhu Lan hasn't yet been nominated. Besides the delicious Bahn Mi (my favorite is a number 4 with extra jalapenos, usually delivered in a little ziploc baggie), Nhu Lan has demi baguettes, French pastries and a variety of delectable Vietnamese snacks. I've always liked fresh spring rolls and Nhu Lan does a nice job with these--they offer a variety pack with one tofu, one pork and one shrimp. I've also become quite fond of their fried rice cake. The coolers have an array of imported Vietnamese bottled and canned beverages as well as interesting homemade drinks and deserts. This a family operation and the proprietors are extremely outgoing and helpful. As soon as I walk in the door..."honey, what can I get you..." Plus, you can get two sandwiches and drinks and still get change back for a $10.

    Here are some past posts that have mentioned Nhu Lan

    Nhu' Lan Bakery & Sandwiches
    2612 W Lawrence
    773-878-9898
    8am - 8pm
    Closed Tuesday
  • Post #2 - August 24th, 2009, 8:55 am
    Post #2 - August 24th, 2009, 8:55 am Post #2 - August 24th, 2009, 8:55 am
    I absolutely support this nomination. I always enjoy the rice noodles, spring rolls, pate chaud and desserts at Nhu' Lan, and their croissants are usually very good (not always). But its Nhu' Lan's outstanding banh mi sandwiches that have had me constantly returning for the last 2+ years, particularly the pork belly and pate bahn mi sandwich which might be my favorite sandwich in Chicago. All of the bahn mi sandwiches are excellent (I should note that you would never know that the vegetarian bahn mi sandwiches are meatless), and feature amazingly fresh tasting ingredient and absolutely perfect bread - so crispy on the outside, so soft in the middle. It's also always reassuring to know that when you order a sandwich at Nhu' Lan, it will be made from scratch and they happily accept special requests. To me, that makes Nhu' Lan the capital of bahn mi sandwiches in Chicago.
  • Post #3 - August 24th, 2009, 11:40 am
    Post #3 - August 24th, 2009, 11:40 am Post #3 - August 24th, 2009, 11:40 am
    This place has everything a GNR should: great food and a friendly family running the place. The sandwiches have received plenty of good press, but I'll add that some of the other offereing are excellent, as well. I've previously written about the fried rice cakes (Vietnamese Matzoh Brie): http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=23263&p=249928&hilit=brei#p249928

    Strongly supported,
    Jonah
  • Post #4 - August 25th, 2009, 2:45 pm
    Post #4 - August 25th, 2009, 2:45 pm Post #4 - August 25th, 2009, 2:45 pm
    I'll agree with everything said and one more - the food here is just an amazing value. Fresh, made to order, sandwiches and shrimp rolls for change from the bottom of my purse.
  • Post #5 - August 25th, 2009, 2:47 pm
    Post #5 - August 25th, 2009, 2:47 pm Post #5 - August 25th, 2009, 2:47 pm
    I strongly support this nomination. In fact, I'm about to run over there for a quick Bahn Mi.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - August 25th, 2009, 2:58 pm
    Post #6 - August 25th, 2009, 2:58 pm Post #6 - August 25th, 2009, 2:58 pm
    stevez wrote:I strongly support this nomination. In fact, I'm about to run over there for a quick Bahn Mi.

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! Closed on Tuesday
  • Post #7 - August 25th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    Post #7 - August 25th, 2009, 2:59 pm Post #7 - August 25th, 2009, 2:59 pm
    BR wrote:
    stevez wrote:I strongly support this nomination. In fact, I'm about to run over there for a quick Bahn Mi.

    NOOOOOOOO!!!! Closed on Tuesday


    Thanks. You saved me a trip.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - August 25th, 2009, 3:13 pm
    Post #8 - August 25th, 2009, 3:13 pm Post #8 - August 25th, 2009, 3:13 pm
    thaiobsessed wrote:I was looking through past GNR nominations and I was quite surprised to find that Nhu Lan hasn't yet been nominated.


    Wow, that is surprising! If Nhu Lan isn't a GNR, I don't know what is ~ I 100% support this nomination, good call, Thaiobsessed!
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #9 - August 25th, 2009, 3:25 pm
    Post #9 - August 25th, 2009, 3:25 pm Post #9 - August 25th, 2009, 3:25 pm
    Ursiform wrote:
    thaiobsessed wrote:I was looking through past GNR nominations and I was quite surprised to find that Nhu Lan hasn't yet been nominated.

    Wow, that is surprising! If Nhu Lan isn't a GNR, I don't know what is . . .

    In fairness, Nhu' Lan has only been open a little more than 2 years. Personally, no matter how much I like a restaurant, I'm hesitant to nominate it for a GNR until it's been open at least 2 years, so that I know that it can maintain its consistency and because I want to make sure it's going to be able to stay in business. That being said, in the 2+ years Nhu' Lan has been open, I believe they have more than demonstrated the quality, consistency and service worthy of GNR status.
  • Post #10 - August 25th, 2009, 9:02 pm
    Post #10 - August 25th, 2009, 9:02 pm Post #10 - August 25th, 2009, 9:02 pm
    I strongly support Nhu Lan as a Great Neighborhood Resource but have some problems calling a place that is overwhelmingly carryout and has a grand total of two tables a Great Neighborhood Restaurant. My big regret is that they quit producing full-sized baguettes.
  • Post #11 - August 25th, 2009, 9:20 pm
    Post #11 - August 25th, 2009, 9:20 pm Post #11 - August 25th, 2009, 9:20 pm
    ekreider wrote:I strongly support Nhu Lan as a Great Neighborhood Resource but have some problems calling a place that is overwhelmingly carryout and has a grand total of two tables a Great Neighborhood Restaurant. My big regret is that they quit producing full-sized baguettes.

    Checking the list, I've noticed quite a few GNRestaurants which do not even have a single table, so I'm not sure I would agree, especially when the requirement for being a GNRestaurant is that it serves "ready-to-eat food."
  • Post #12 - August 26th, 2009, 9:16 am
    Post #12 - August 26th, 2009, 9:16 am Post #12 - August 26th, 2009, 9:16 am
    I almost nominated this place last year. It's not in my neighborhood anymore but just last week I rode my bike up there during my lunch break (15 mile round trip) because I was craving their spring rolls and also wanted to try this lemongrass tofu banh mi everyone had been talking up (pretty good but next time I'll get one with meat like usual :twisted: ) It's definitely got my vote.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #13 - August 27th, 2009, 12:29 pm
    Post #13 - August 27th, 2009, 12:29 pm Post #13 - August 27th, 2009, 12:29 pm
    This would have been my nomination had it not already been nominated. Big yes.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #14 - August 27th, 2009, 3:53 pm
    Post #14 - August 27th, 2009, 3:53 pm Post #14 - August 27th, 2009, 3:53 pm
    Bakeries have historically been considered GNR(estaurants,) and for consistency's sake should remain so.

    GNR Guidelines wrote:Surprisingly, what seems like the simplest term has been the most contentious. Every year, a new nomination would further stretch the definition of Restaurant, until in the new nominations of 2008 it broke. A nomination was excluded because it did not logically fit into even the loosest definition of the term restaurant.
    As a result, starting in 2009, we decided to codify the definition of this word. For the Great Neighborhood Restaurants, a Restaurant is any place where we go primarily to get ready-to-eat food or drink. Specifically, it is any place that fits into the categories defined by the places that were already GNRs as of January 1, 2009. While we generally wish to leave it to the posters and nominators to determine the category of a place, based on tradition so far, bakeries shall be considered Restaurants for the GNRs.
  • Post #15 - August 27th, 2009, 5:32 pm
    Post #15 - August 27th, 2009, 5:32 pm Post #15 - August 27th, 2009, 5:32 pm
    Throwing my hat into the ring for Nhu Lan as well, a place also on my short list of possible nominees.

    They do a limited number of things, which they do better (at least where the bahn mi is concerned) than anywhere else in the city, for an exceptional price, and they do it with palpable joy. They changed what I thought about bahn mi, and have me craving their sandwiches and grilled pork rolls on a regular basis.

    Big yes for Nhu Lan.
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #16 - August 28th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Post #16 - August 28th, 2009, 3:39 pm Post #16 - August 28th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    I'll 9th or 10th (whatever we are on) this nomination. Fresh bread, fresh ingredients... great Bahn Mi sandwich. Cheap and big portions, but most importantly, the taste does not disappoint. Great nomination!
  • Post #17 - August 29th, 2009, 9:58 am
    Post #17 - August 29th, 2009, 9:58 am Post #17 - August 29th, 2009, 9:58 am
    After visiting Pizza Art Cafe last week, I decided to stroll about and found myself at Nhu Lan (I had been there on the Lawrence-A-Thon), I left loaded down with remarkable pastries, drinks, and desserts. While one shouldn't compare two such different establishments, Nhu Lan made my afternoon special. I support its nomination.
    Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn't really about the quality of the bread or how it's sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It's all about the butter. -- Adam Gopnik
  • Post #18 - September 1st, 2009, 2:47 pm
    Post #18 - September 1st, 2009, 2:47 pm Post #18 - September 1st, 2009, 2:47 pm
    I unequivocally support this nomination. For me, it easily satisfies the "out-of-town friend" guideline: the "seasoning" pork belly banh mi is simply the best banh mi I have ever eaten. I've eaten at Nhu Lan at least 30 times in the last 2 years, and I've never been disappointed. (Except maybe when I tried to experiment with other sandwich options, only to find myself wishing that I'd stuck with #5.)

    [edited to correct typo]
    Last edited by BJY on September 4th, 2009, 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #19 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:52 pm
    Post #19 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:52 pm Post #19 - September 3rd, 2009, 11:52 pm
    Based on my inaugural trip here last weekend, I enthusiastically support this nomination. Great sandwiches on bar-setting bread, a wide variety of other delicious offerings and extremely friendly owners/staff. What a great place!

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #20 - September 11th, 2009, 2:39 pm
    Post #20 - September 11th, 2009, 2:39 pm Post #20 - September 11th, 2009, 2:39 pm
    I CRAVE Nhu Lan so desperately on a regular basis. The sandwiches are divine. <Sigh>

    Like Jordan going to down the lane, unguarded, this one... is a layup.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #21 - September 12th, 2009, 9:43 pm
    Post #21 - September 12th, 2009, 9:43 pm Post #21 - September 12th, 2009, 9:43 pm
    Put my vote in for Nhu Lan, as well. I've tried pretty much everything on their menu and I'm definitely a fan. I'm not a vegetarian, but both their lemongrass and ginger tofu sandwiches are delicious. A much-deserved nomination.
  • Post #22 - September 12th, 2009, 11:57 pm
    Post #22 - September 12th, 2009, 11:57 pm Post #22 - September 12th, 2009, 11:57 pm
    LTH,

    Nhu Lan is the quintessential LTHForum GNR, wonderful food, friendly staff, real attention to detail and amazing value for one's dining dollar.

    Count me a fan!

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - September 14th, 2009, 11:55 pm
    Post #23 - September 14th, 2009, 11:55 pm Post #23 - September 14th, 2009, 11:55 pm
    Yes, yes, yes!!! Like several other posters, I thought Nhu Lan was ALREADY a GNR. Let's make that a reality now!!!
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #24 - September 19th, 2011, 5:00 am
    Post #24 - September 19th, 2011, 5:00 am Post #24 - September 19th, 2011, 5:00 am
    This place is up for renewal of its GNR. Please post your comments here until 10/10/11.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #25 - September 19th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Post #25 - September 19th, 2011, 9:17 am Post #25 - September 19th, 2011, 9:17 am
    Nhu Lan is the standard for Bahn Mi in Chicago. More often than not, it's the first place I think of when I'm thinking about lunch options. I support renewal.
  • Post #26 - September 19th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Post #26 - September 19th, 2011, 10:13 am Post #26 - September 19th, 2011, 10:13 am
    Best Bahn-Mi around, but that pate in puff pastry is what I crave fortnightly.

    I support this renewal, even as I fight that craving.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #27 - September 19th, 2011, 11:48 am
    Post #27 - September 19th, 2011, 11:48 am Post #27 - September 19th, 2011, 11:48 am
    Nha Lan is my neighborhood sandwich shop. It's the place I go for a quick, inexpensive meal. It's also a delicious option for a road trip as the sandwiches are still delicious after many hours in the cooler. The staff are always friendly and helpful and work hard to get you your food quickly.

    I support renewal.

    Ronna
  • Post #28 - September 19th, 2011, 12:01 pm
    Post #28 - September 19th, 2011, 12:01 pm Post #28 - September 19th, 2011, 12:01 pm
    I doubt Nhu Lan needs my approval to win it's renewal. It's pretty obvious that the sandwiches rock, but it also has the best avocado shake I've tried in the city.

    It also really shines when it comes to a great neighborhood spot. Feels like walking into home, a really warm and friendly atmosphere.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #29 - September 19th, 2011, 2:38 pm
    Post #29 - September 19th, 2011, 2:38 pm Post #29 - September 19th, 2011, 2:38 pm
    REB wrote: It's also a delicious option for a road trip as the sandwiches are still delicious after many hours in the cooler. Ronna


    My typical trip to Nhu Lan includes ordering 2 sandwiches (one pork mix, one lemongrass tofu) and 2 of the packaged sides--yesterday it was the sticky rice with pork strips and some kind of translucent and multi-colored dumpling. I always cut a third of each sandwich, along with a few bites of whatever else I bought for my lunch that day. Then the 2 remaining sandwich pieces and the leftovers from the sides become my next 2 days lunch. And those sandwiches don't suffer the slightest bit (ok, maybe the bread isn't as pillowy but it still has crunch and flavor!!!) Considering that most sandwiches don't survive the drive home in good condition, this is one of the little bonus things to love about Nhu Lan.

    As Laikom said--they don't need my support to be renewed but they certainly have it :P
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #30 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:43 pm
    Post #30 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:43 pm Post #30 - October 2nd, 2011, 4:43 pm
    I just adore Nhu Lan. These are, by far, the best banh mi in town and their other offerings are consistently excellent, too. I cannot say enough good things about this wonderful place. Oh wait, you can buy 3 huge, delicious, quality sandwiches and get out the door for about $10. I heartily support renewal.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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