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Jan 26, 2007 08:48 PM

Best Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) in Mt. View/vicinity?

Where does a chowhound go for his/her favorite vietnamese sandwich (banh mi)?
What about pho?
Location: Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Palo Alto.

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  1. I've been idly looking for Banh Mi in this area too.

    I remembered, dimly, from 1997, a place in a strip mall off El Camino on the Mt View / Sunnyvale boarder, and expect to go sniffing for it soon.

    Any other leads appreciated.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbulkow

      You're probably thinking of Pho Quyen II.

      1185 W El Camino Real.

      The pho isn't so great, but they're the closest place to Mountain View for Vietnamese sandwiches.

    2. http://www.leesandwiches.com/

      These guys are all over. Sunnyvale location was OK - probably the one you saw.

      1 Reply
      1. re: orezscu

        orezscu - not sure if you're replying to me or OP, but I've never been to a Lee's. The place I want to was very mom and pop. I remember it was directly next to a dollar store --- I'm just going to have to drive around where I used to work and see if I can follow my nose.

      2. Pho Vi Hoa (I believe their website is phovihoa dot com) on San Antonio/El Camino practically in the border divide that is Palo Alto/Mountain View/Los Altos has the best pho in the region (even better than surrounding Sunnyvale). No banh mi though.

        2 Replies
        1. re: K K

          Agree 100%. Not the A+ pho, but certainly the best in the area. Since it's in Los Altos, expect to pay $13-15 for a nice bowl of pho with a drink.


          1. re: vincentlo

            PVH is cheaper than that. Small bowls run like 5-7 bucks, large 6-10, and small is pretty big. I don't love their pho, but it is pretty good. Their grilled beef-onion rolls are only OK, but I really like their fried rice, simple but tasty.

        2. Just had the chicken banh mi Saigon City (San Mateo). It's the crispy/soft roll kind, not the baguette. Served hot, like it was just baked (since it was 11:30 it probably was). I missed the heavier pickle flavor and crunch of Lee's -- SC's just had extremely soft shredded carrot without much crunch or tangy flavor. Great rare beef pho with generous herbs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: orezscu

            I had the shredded pork at Saigon City on Monday. The bread was dry and stale. A couple of months ago I had one and it was great, warm light bread with a nice light crust.

          2. I've had mixed success with Vi Hoa: it has been great, with a brightly flavored soup and good noodles, and it has also been disappointing, with cloudy muck and soggy noodles.

            I have also had a range of experiences at Pho To Chau, on Villa just off Castro in downtown Mountain View. Sometimes the ingredients come together perfectly, and it's about half the price of Vi Hoa's sit-down fanciness.

            The chain Lee's is a source of banh mi in Sunnyvale, largely lauded because they bake their baguettes there, they open at 7 am, and your number gets called by a computer voice. If the baguettes are fresh, they can be a treat, and it is one of the only places near the Peninsula where you can get sardines and pate on a still-warm baguette for breakfast. Like a lot of 'hounds, I am partial to a few chains: the Atlanta-based megalith Popeyes, the strange but liver-and-onions cafeteria called Luby's, and Lee's. Oh, plus Beard Papa.

            Pho Vi Hoa, 4546 El Camino Real, Los Altos. www.phovihoa.com
            Pho To Chau, 853 Villa, Mountain View.
            Lee's Sandwiches, 939 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale.