REVIEW (w/foodie porn flix and pix!): Mr. Baguette - Banh mi, baby, banh mi
For foodie porn flix and pix click: http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com
Ooh, let's start with dessert! The foodie porn flix of us eating a very weird yet quite delicious Vietnamese dessert at Mr. Baguette in Rosemead.
Two still life views of our "weird" dessert which consisted of sweet grean bean noodles, white beans, red beans, and ice drowned in coconut milk.
Mr. Baguette is a banh mi and bakery chain in So Cal. Mr. Baguette's banh mi seem like a steal if you happen to live in the Silver Lake or Eagle Rock area and are used to paying $9 for something that is called a banh mi but is really a poor excuse for a sandwich served on stale French bread. How much would a banh mi cost on the Westside? Anyhoo, Mr. Baguette's banh mi range in price from $2.85 to $4.35 which is actually pretty high end considering that most places in the OC charge about $1.50.
These high prices are not scaring the masses away. Hiking Gourmet T and I revved up the old M3 and bombed out to the San Gabriel Valley on an early Sunday morning only to be greeted by mobs of people ordering banh mis, pastries, and iced coffees galore. One would have thought that we were at Philippe's after an SC game! But the place opens at 6 am so I guess that banh mis early in the morn are de rigueur.
Two views of the grilled chicken sandwich (I splurged for a sesame baguette which is 20 cents extra) which included the odd ingredient of sliced American cheese. I thought that it worked but Hiking Gourmet T was not as enamored with it as I.
My other sandwich (I only order a lot for my art, Dear Reader), the grilled beef banh mi. This was "eh." The first time that I had had it was at a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl and it was fabulous but on this day it was kind of boring.
My Doppelganger's smoked bacon banh mi. This looked really French to me.
I bought a "Special" banh mi for mumsy. The "Special" is the house sandwich so to speak. It has pate (accent aigu), ham, pork meatloaf, and headcheese. Since mumsy has old world tastes I knew this was the sandwich for her.
Two views of my pate chaud (that's "pat show" to you) stuffed with beef curry. In Italy this would be called a "Nun's Breast." For some reason the Italians like to call anything that slightly resembles a boob a "Nun's Breast." Apparently, the Vietnamese have the same sense of humor since they've added a nipple to the top of this pastry.
Despite the shape, this pate chaud was quite yummy and one could see the skill that went into making the pastry: many layers that were tender yet flakey at the same time.
8702 E. Valley Boulevard
Rosemead, California 91770
Mr. Baguette has been on the decline for the past few years-- their sandwiches skimp on the charcouterie and the veggies, herbs within. What herbs, you might ask? A Banh Mi should have fresh herbs such as cilantro inside. Mr. Baguette's Banh Mi has lacked fresh herbs for the past few years. Try the neighboring Baguette Express (also on Valley just west of San Gabriel Blvd.) for the full banh mi experience with plenty of pickled veggies and fresh herbs.