BITE-SIZED

Make Me a Bahn Mi

New Vietnamese spot makes a perfect sandwich and more

With 15 bahn mi offerings, you’ll want to order one just to experience the light, flaky golden French bread.
Caron Streibich
The com thit xa xiu (grilled red barbecue-charred pork with a fried egg, steamed white rice and crisp pickled vegetables) from the specials menu was full of flavor.
Caron Streibich
The shrimp and pork spring rolls are easy to share as a starter.
Caron Streibich
The taro che 5 mau, or five-color bean dessert, was a unique mix of blended taro milk tea, chewy tapioca boba pearls, tapioca jelly and assorted beans.
Caron Streibich
With a large wall menu, complete with color photos, ordering items to go is easy. If you choose to dine in, there is table service.
Caron Streibich
The bahn mi sandwiches arrive warm and securely wrapped in paper.
Caron Streibich
The taro che 5 mau, or five-color bean dessert, was icy, sweet and full of textures from the various beans, boba, and tapioca jelly.
Caron Streibich
Several unique desserts and beverages are available in an oversized case at the entrance.
Caron Streibich
Upon entering the Southside spot, which formerly housed a Mexican restaurant, you’ll notice a tidy restaurant with bright pastels, natural lighting and friendly staff.
Caron Streibich
Upon entering the Southside spot, which formerly housed a Mexican restaurant, you’ll notice a tidy restaurant with bright pastels, natural lighting and friendly staff.
Caron Streibich
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Posted

11380 Beach Blvd., Ste. 20, Southside

329-2623

q-cupbobatea.com

Caron Streibich covers dining out throughout Northeast Florida. If you have information about new restaurant openings, menu changes or other food-related news, contact her here. Streibich is also the host of our regular Folio Weekly Bite Club gatherings. Follow the Bite Club on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about it.

Just off bustling Beach and St. Johns Bluff boulevards lies a new Vietnamese restaurant, Q-Cup Boba Tea. Upon entering the Southside spot, which formerly housed a Mexican restaurant, you'll notice a tidy interior with bright pastels, natural lighting and friendly staff. The owner is no stranger to the restaurant business — he owned nearby Vietnamese restaurant P.K. Noodles for seven years before opening Q-Cup earlier this year.

The menu is broken into specials, bahn mi sandwiches, snacks, desserts and a lengthy selection of beverages — flavored milk teas, smoothies, slushies, specialty drinks, mocha blasts and flavored teas. Color photographs help guide you through the various options.

We started with the simple shrimp and pork spring rolls, which were perfect for sharing. Accompanied by a hoisin dipping sauce, peanuts and shredded carrots, four pliable rice wrapper rolls were carefully filled with shrimp, pork, crisp lettuce, rice vermicelli noodles, cilantro and crunchy bean sprouts.

From the specials, a photo of the com thit xa xiu caught my eye: grilled red barbecue-charred pork with a fried egg, steamed white rice, crisp pickled vegetables and a slightly salty dipping sauce. Upon arriving at our table, the owner politely explained that the egg was to be broken on top of the rice, then the sauce poured over the egg-and-rice mixture. The bite-sized grilled pork pieces were tender, and the overall portion size was generous.

From the 15 different bahn mi sandwiches, I selected the bo xao cay (stir-fried spicy beef). A good bahn mi is measured by the quality of the French bread. After carefully unwrapping the paper from my sandwich, I bit into a perfect light, golden, crackly crust — and was immediately impressed. Inside the warm, fresh baguette, which was not too dense but didn't get soggy from the fillings, were pieces of spicy stir-fried beef, raw jalapeños, pickled vegetables and several sprigs of cilantro. To turn up the heat even more, I drizzled a bit of Sriracha inside.

A fan of tapioca pearl boba milk teas, I opted for the taro che 5 mau, or five-color bean dessert: icy and sweet with a purplish hue from the taro, various beans, boba and tapioca jelly. I preferred the coconut boba smoothie, which was thick and coconutty, with lots of tapioca pearls perfect for slurping through the oversized straw.

If you've never tried Vietnamese cuisine, you're missing out. With practically everything priced less than $10, Q-Cup offers a great bargain for quality food. 

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