5944 34th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33714
Cost range: 1.00-10.00
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
Alcohol: No alcohol
Vietnamese variety shows on the TV and a few low-slung couches make it an easy place to while away an hour or two, but the bulk of the business seems to be quick in-and-outs for boba tea and one of 10 styles of banh mi. Boba for the uninitiated is a curious thing. Milky tea or fruity smoothies (more than 50 flavors) get a big scoop of chewy tapioca balls, which you slurp up through an extra-fat straw. A Taiwanese craze that has swept the planet, new boba twists are added all the time. The banh mi are all $3.50, the No. 1 being, well, the No. 1. It's called the "Vietnamese specialty" and you see them stacked up on the counter with their layers of meat - grilled pork, chewy pork skin, a salty ham they call jambon and a spongy, pate-like head cheese - awaiting a customer before the veggies and herbs are added in. There's a haunting five-spice flavor to this sandwich that adds an elegant note to the rest of the salty-sweet-sour-spicy goodness.