Banh Mi in Westminster?
ok, I'm here for a few more days visiting family in huntington beach and want to take advantage of the great vietnamese in westminster.
I did a bit of searching and found this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/313836 Looks like the following were pretty well regarded:
1) Banh Mi Che Cali on the corner of Brookhurst and McFadden
2) Top Baguette, on the corner of Bolsa and Magnolia
The thread was from about a year ago... has anything changed? Or of the two above, any particular preferences you have?
Top Baguette's gone seriously downhill since its glory days, and has been so since last year some time. This is a serious bummer for me, since I was one of its cheerleaders when they opened in January 2004. I posted this a week after their grand opening: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/58230...
I ask for Long, the guy that used to run the joint, and I get blank stares in return. The menu board is different, the staff inside is different. I suspect the ownership and more importantly, the bread baker, has changed.
Their baguette, the foundation, has totally changed from its former glory to a mediocre shadow of its former self. The fillings are still ok to my tastes, but the bread - feh. Overall, it's not a bad sandwich, but it's no longer exemplary. Go to Che Cali. I might have to revisit Banh Mi Cho Cu to see how they're doing these days.
Also - the Banh Mi Che Cali mothership is on the NE corner of Brookhurst & Westminster. It's the location where they roast their coffee in house.
Bánh Mì Chè Cali is a thumbs up & you can't beat the price: buy 2 get one free. For the best experience of the three locations we suggest the lively Brookhurst/Westminister location to see all the bread coming fresh, hot out of the oven. You can see the bustling kitchen frying all of the sweet bánh tiêu, bánh cam (fried mochi balls filled with sweet mung bean), & the chewy giò cháo quẩy for all their locations.
Don't waste your time on Top Baguette; here some other great suggestions:
1.Bánh Mì Saìgòn (SW corner Magnolia/Westminister)...The crackily, crust on the bread is steller, in our opinion. The fillings are good & satisfying but try to go earlier in the day for best bread. Sandwiches come in your choice of baguette or "boule" rounds. Also buy 2 get one free on their "rounds".
2. Tip Top Baguette ( definately not to be confused with Top Baguette).. Brookhurst/Westminister... Since the change in ownership the notable, thinner, crusty bread is a far change from the original. The sandwiches are usually always full with flavorful fillings. These baguette sandwiches are thin, long( half of the baguette without the ends cut off) & satisfying. Good Việt vegetarian sandwiches too.
3. Tân Hoàng Hương Bakery ( 15972 Euclid St. #A in Fountain Valley, Euclid/Edinger). The bread is not as crackily, crusty as the others but the sandwiches on whole are well made. The fillings are fresh and right in front of you to see as they are assembled. Unlike most other places where sandwiches are assembled behind a blocked work station or away from sight, this clean place has all the ingredients for you to see. Nothing to hide.
4. Zòn...( if you are outside Westminister, visiting Tustin...14081 Newport Ave.)...worth mentioning if your cravings can't make it to Westminister. The owner seems to have lots of pride in preparing their sandwiches....takes longer to assemble than the other zippity places, but the meat fillings are O so fresh and flavorful.
Hope you have fun visiting our favorite spots. Too bad you can't wait a few more days for our "Battle of the Bánh Mì's" page to come out. We really battle it out ( between ourselves) about the better Bánh Mì. We still have lots of eat for we still want to re-visit other places we haven't been to in a while. You can reference our "Việt Baguette" page on www.whiteonricecouple.com for more location info.