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Feb 19, 2008 09:27 AM

What do you get at Banh Mi Che Cali?

There is a new place on Valley between Atlantic & Garfield. Besides Banh Mi, what other items are worth trying?

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  1. uhhh.. it's far from new and i like the $3 curry ga. but i'm not sure why.

    1. This is a new outpost of a venerable old chain of banh mi-erias. Their ca phe sua da is acceptable and I like the goi cuon. Not into their pa te so, but some of the che is very good.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I'm not familiar with Vietnamese names (except pho & banh mi, lol), so please explain the items. Thanks.

        1. re: fdb

          cafe sua da is coffee milk ice. Or rather, coffee with condensed milk, iced.

          goi cuong = spring rolls, or equivelent. Usually rice wrapper with lettuce + stuff inside, dipped in a hoisin based sauce

          pa te so, i think what DuG is referring to, is pate chaud in french
          che = a type of vietnamese dessert, usually with coconut milk, sweet rice, sweet beans (a combination of those)

          1. re: ns1

            There are two kinds of "spring rolls" in Viet cookery -- goi cuon are fresh rolls, with fresh soft rice paper and herbs and lettuce, and generally pork and shrimp, and you dip in a hoisin-peanut sauce. Cha gio (pronounced "chah? yaw!"), also called "nem ran" in North Vietnam, are deep-fried rolls with lots of pork and stuff inside. They tend to be "cracklier" than Chinese spring rolls. You wrap them up in lettuce leaves with herbs and dip them in nuoc cham (sweetened garlic fish sauce).

            And ca phe sua da is the best possible pick-me-up on a hot day -- hugely caffeinated, a big hit of sugar, and poured over nice refreshing ice.

            Pate chaud (pa te so is pronounced exactly the same -- pah tay shoh -- but is the Vietnamese name) is puff pastry around a meat filling.

            BM&CC have a number of different kinds of che... it's buy-two-get-one-free like the sandwiches, and $1.50 each, so try it out!

            1. re: ns1

              so I'm a coffee fan and I really really want to like cafe sua da but of all maybe 8 I've tried in the past, I can't help but taste an aftertaste. I can't describe it...... stale? anyone taste what I'm tasting?

              1. re: Beignets

                Metallic. It comes from the coffee being brewed in a cheap tin filter. The same taste as camping-style coffee or church-basement type coffee.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Never noticed it, but maybe they should stop washing the filters, like the Italians.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    i never noticed it, and I think I've had 1 cafe sua da every day for the past....7 years

                    of course, that might be why I don't notice it...

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      maybe... i'm thinking it's that plus the lack of freshness in the condensed milk which is weird because I really like condensed milk in chinese or taiwanese shaved ice.

                    2. re: Beignets

                      No idea. If it's proper cafe sua da it's chicory. Otherwise it's just the flavor of the condensed milk.

                      My go-to place for cafe sua da is kang lac bakery, on bolsa near bushard. The corner across from Lee's Bakery/Asian Garden Mall next to an asian bbq place. I pick up 12 cups and bring it back to LA every week.

                      1. re: Beignets

                        I've switched to ca phe DEN da and gotten the same caffeine hit without the cloying condensed milk. Some peeps just gotz to have that sweetness and texture; not me.

                        I love cha gio, but you absolutely have to balance the flavors somehow, otherwise the overwhelming taste of fried food coats your mouth. That's where the lettuce leaf comes in, but my favorite way is to pair it with a great soup broth (obviously will not be available at BMCC, but you get the idea).