Friends, I like to think that I know my neighbourhood pretty well. I've lived in Ahuntsic my whole life, and I've spent an unhealthy amount of time exploring it -  so I like to consider myself a self-appointed expert on Montreal's best quartier (in my slightly biased opinion).

Still, there are some spots that have managed to fly under my radar over the years. Some spots that, for whatever reason, I just never really discovered; one such spot, located on Fleury Street, has managed to evade my exploration skills for a handful of years now. But no more. Because, friends, I've found it... and, the good news? It's freaking amazing.

Chez Hoang (1714 Rue Fleury E) is a Vietnamese restaurant located in Ahuntsic, on the Promenade Fleury. I was stumbling around that stretch of the Promenade, minding my own business, when I came face-to-face with the sign. Curious as to why I've never noticed it before (it's slightly secluded if you don't know what you're looking for), and excited at the prospect of trying something new, I decided to hop in and treat myself to some lunch.

And, guys, I'm seriously glad I did. I took a Banh Mi style sandwich and a bubble tea, and let me just tell you one thing: My mind was completely blown. I was actually blown away by how amazing this sandwich was. The bread was fresh, crispy, and soft on the inside; the sandwich was packed with fresh, moist pork, and crisp, flavourful, delicious vegetables. The coriander wasn't overwhelming, and served as a delicious compliment to the explosion of flavours that was going on in my mouth. In a word? It was phenomenal.

A photo posted by Thomas White (@thomaswhitemtl) on

Not only does this spot serve up a seriously life-changing Banh Mi sandwich, but the rest of their menu features Vietnamese selections that are out of this world, as well. My aforementioned bubble tea? Sweetened just the right amount, creamy, and brimming with delicious boba. When I went back and tried their soup, I was equally amazed - it's got a perfectly complex, flavourful broth, topped with chunks of moist, tender meat; vibrant, tasty vegetables; and filled to the brim with crisp and fresh noodles.

Although this spot might seem kind of tucked away, it's seriously a great place to enjoy some traditional Vietnamese fare. Next time you find yourself in Ahuntsic and craving a straight up good Banh Mi sandwich, try this place out - and, as always, thank me later.

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