Denver’s food scene is making a big post-pandemic comeback, and we’re hungry to get out. With so many new businesses and old favorites to visit after more than a year of restaurant closures and restrictions, the choices can be overwhelming, so we’re introducing Short Stop, with recommendations for things that should definitely be on your doorstep. culinary list. This week we present to you Small Bakery.
What: Fried chicken banh mi
Or: Little Bakery House, 2439 South University Boulevard
When: Open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In early May, a “grand opening” banner quietly appeared on a storefront in a small mall near the University of Denver campus. The location, which once housed a deli area and sits next to a blackjack pizza with a Wendy’s looming less than a block away, was not a neighborhood draw for culinary adventures. But that has changed: Small Bakery, at 2439 South University Boulevard, is a must stop. And it’s definitely not a bakery – at least not the kind of bakery Americans think of when they see the word.
In his native Vietnam, says owner Tom Xu, “bakery” is synonymous with banh mi, the country’s staple sandwich, built on chopsticks. When he chose the name Little Bakery House for his new establishment, he admits he didn’t expect so much confusion; many people have stopped expecting to find bread or muffins instead of the little menu board listing banh mi and noodle and rice bowls. But those he’s convinced to try his food love him, Xu says, pulling out his phone to show off the perfect five-star rating he got on Google.
A taste, however, and you won’t need Google to convince you that it knows what it’s doing.
The new addition of the university district is a must.
Xu worked at his family business, King’s Land Seafood Restaurant, for eighteen years before it closed in 2019. This restaurant had a reputation as one of the best dim sum spots in town, winning several Best of awards. Denver, but now Xu is ready to make a name for himself. He chose the location because he “wanted to bring something new to the neighborhood” and opted for a quick and relaxed counter service model to cater to neighboring students hungry for bites between classes and families at the back. search for quick and affordable meals.
Everything served at Little Bakery House is homemade, including the bread for the banh mi, which is baked daily. And, oh, what a bread this is. While the loaves at other banh mi spots lean outward crumbly, the loaf here nails the slightly crispy exterior texture that avoids soggy while the interior remains extremely light, airy, and chewy.
And the banh mi only gets better from there. Options include more typical toppings like grilled lemongrass pork or beef and a charcuterie combo with a vegetarian version, but Xu is most proud of his two non-traditional additions: the grilled lemongrass shrimp and the fried chicken. . “These are just mine,” he said with a smile.
In a world where we are talking about “Fast Food Fried Chicken Sandwich Wars”, please pay your attention to the Fried Chicken Sandwich here, which truly deserves the fanfare. Finely mashed and in a super crispy panko crust, the tender chicken breast is perfectly seasoned. Like all banh mi from Little Bakery House, it’s added to a split baguette with mayonnaise, cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, and pickled radishes and carrots.
The only possible way to improve this banh mi is to ask alongside some bright, homemade red chili oil, a request Xu is happy to answer – as long as you don’t want a dozen blueberry muffins, either.
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