Lee's Sandwiches (new in Westminster)
- C. Sprouse Aug 11, 2001 11:24 PM
For those who like banh mi (vietnamese sandwiches) or are big deli-meat eaters, a huge place opened last week on Bolsa. Of course huge in this case just means not a hole-in-the-wall. It replaced a small grocery store there. They're from San Jose and apparently famous for their meats.
We went today and it was so crowded that they told us the wait was at least an hour (no joke) to get sandwiches made. I don't think this place will be really visitable during weekends for another month. But they had an express line with pre-made sandwiches stacked up (only one kind), so we settled for the 10-minute wait and got that.
Anyway, the quantity and quality of the meat was definately far above what I've ever seen in banh mi. I think the other things in the sandwich suffered because of the meat emphasis, and the bread was a little harder than I prefer, but I'm sure this improves when you get them made-to-order.
Thanks for the tip! I went there for lunch today and got a bbq pork banh mi and an iced coffee, all for $3. Oh yeah, also got an order of hot wings; they got a container of them right next to the cash register, 4 for a buck. The bread was more like a classic baguette than the other banh mi places I've been to, excellent. And the meat was less fatty and more in quantity. One is plenty for most people. Parking is quite hairy due to a tiny lot, but the wait inside was only about 10 minutes at noon. I've got a new place for lunch!
I tried Lee's the weekend they opened, and it was a mob scene . . . almost as though a Krispy Kreme had opened. In fact, in some ways, it is the same model as KK: they make the bread right there and even have a HOT light.
I did wait in line (which wasn't that long -- perhaps 20 minutes) and thought it was well worth it. The bread was very good. For some strange reason, though, they weren't making all the sandwiches on the menu (which, admittedly, is extensive). All in all, though, I liked it a lot and returned a few days later in the evening, when it wasn't nearly as crowded. Again, though, they weren't making everything on the menu.
I would rate it very highly, though I continue to remain the Will Rogers of banh mi: I have not met one I didn't like.