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Saigon Sandwich -- best banh mi in America? (New York Times)

soupçon Feb 7, 2011 06:59 AM

The New York times had an article entitled "The Vietnamese Sandwich | Banh Mi in America" today. It didn't spend a lot of ink on San Francisco, but had this to say about Saigon Sandwich:

"The space at Saigon Sandwich isn’t much to look at, but the banh mi — fresh, cheap and astonishingly delicious — may be the best in America."

It recommended the combo, where "fatty roast pork melts into creamy chicken liver pâté, buffeted by a noticeably sweet aioli and overflowing with cilantro leaves and stalks."

http://is.gd/NMSVKm

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Saigon Sandwich Shop
560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. chefj RE: soupçon Feb 7, 2011 02:34 PM

    Doubt that they made it over to International Blvd. in Oakland.

    1. psb RE: soupçon Feb 7, 2011 02:44 PM

      I'm a big fan of Saigon Sando too, but I might give the edge to Huong Lan on Tully Rd in SJ ... esp since HL has the AVOCADO DRINK. I Iiked one of the places on the other side of the lake from Int Ave (Cam Huong?), but havent been to any of the OAK places in a while.

      -----
      Huong Lan
      404 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA

      31 Replies
      1. re: psb
        Melanie Wong RE: psb Feb 7, 2011 10:07 PM

        Oh yeah, Huong Lan on Tully is better than Saigon Sandwich or Lee's Sandwiches. The author didn't try very hard.

        -----
        Saigon Sandwich Shop
        560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        Huong Lan Sandwiches
        1655 Tully Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

        Lee's Sandwiches
        2525 S King Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          ankimo RE: Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2011 10:24 PM

          Huong Lan, Thanh Huong, and Banh Mi Ba Le (oakland) need some love too.

          1. re: ankimo
            drewskiSF RE: ankimo Apr 1, 2011 01:13 AM

            Banh Mi Ba Le on International has probably my favorite Banh Mi in Oakland. #5 Xiu Mai (Meatball) w/ fried egg added (+$0.50).

            -----
            Banh Mi Ba Le
            1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

            1. re: ankimo
              Robert Lauriston RE: ankimo Apr 1, 2011 08:58 AM

              Ba Le might be as good as Saigon Sandwich. The big one on International has an unusually large selection of other stuff.

              -----
              Saigon Sandwich Shop
              560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Banh Mi Ba Le
              10174 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

              Banh Mi Ba Le
              1909 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                s
                shades RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 11, 2011 12:09 PM

                How dangerous of an area is Bahn Mi Ba Le in? picking up somebody from the airport and she loves bahn mi's, so i was thinking of grabbing some here, since it's highly rated on yelp, but seems there is only street parking and im not too familiar with the oakland area...

                1. re: shades
                  drewskiSF RE: shades Jul 11, 2011 12:19 PM

                  Somewhat industrial. Ba le closes at 6-ish I think so will still be daylight too. Should be fine, imo.

                  1. re: drewskiSF
                    s
                    shades RE: drewskiSF Jul 11, 2011 12:22 PM

                    okay, thanks for the quick reply...my other choices are the cam huong on 700 block of international or another cam huong in union city off exit 22 off I-880 north (i'll be driving from the south bay, so that will be on the way). which would you say has the best sandwich?

                    1. re: shades
                      drewskiSF RE: shades Jul 11, 2011 12:34 PM

                      Both Cam Huong & Ba Le make very good sandwiches though I'm partial these days to the Meatball + extra fried egg at Ba Le.

                      Cam Huong in Union City is probably the "safest" in a strip mall. Cam Huong on International has a small dirt parking lot across the street and might be considered a marginally better neighborhood than Ba Le 12 blocks down the street.

                      -----
                      Cam Huong
                      32124 Alvarado Blvd, Union City, CA 94587

                      1. re: drewskiSF
                        Ruth Lafler RE: drewskiSF Jul 11, 2011 05:51 PM

                        The area around Ba Le is as safe as any urban neighborhood for the hours that Ba Le is open and the length of time it takes to buy a couple of sandwiches. Honestly it's never occurred to me to worry about that area being unsafe.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 12, 2011 09:47 AM

                          It's sleazy, you might see hookers or pimps, but I don't think it's dangerous.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 10:01 AM

                            Around Ba Le? Doesn't seem like there's enough traffic around there to support hookers.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 12, 2011 11:03 AM

                              The guys at Boccalone across the street have all kinds of stories.

                              -----
                              Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
                              1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                          2. re: Ruth Lafler
                            s
                            shades RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 12, 2011 02:15 PM

                            thanks for all the replies, im picking her up from the airport and then we're heading up to oregon, so I may just do the union city stop...the photos of the exteriors of the ones in oakland make it seem like cam luong is more safe, but it doesn't sound like it's an issue, just paranoid with all the luggage that will be in the car...

                            1. re: shades
                              Robert Lauriston RE: shades Jul 12, 2011 02:18 PM

                              If you're heading to Oregon, you could swing by the branch of Ba Le in El Cerrito. It's probably quicker on and off the freeway than the International Blvd. branch.

                              -----
                              Banh Mi Ba Le
                              10174 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                s
                                shades RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 02:21 PM

                                oh okay, that sounds like a good idea. i'll figure something out, we're not leaving until next week, but thanks for all the help!

                                1. re: shades
                                  k
                                  kc72 RE: shades Jul 12, 2011 02:34 PM

                                  iirc, the Oakland Ba Le has a lot more sandwich choices than EC.

                                  1. re: kc72
                                    Robert Lauriston RE: kc72 Jul 12, 2011 02:45 PM

                                    True, Oakland has about 20 and El Cerrito has I think 11 or 12. Some of the extra ones are just different combos they could probably make on request. No fried egg at EC.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 14, 2011 09:21 AM

                                      Seating at EC is minimal at best.

                                      But, it's a very safe little strip mall so no worries on security - and easy on/off as noted.

                                      1. re: bbulkow
                                        s
                                        shades RE: bbulkow Jul 14, 2011 11:36 AM

                                        cool, i think that is where we're going to go, just grab some sandwiches and head back onto the road...thanks

              2. re: Melanie Wong
                l
                lrealml RE: Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2011 10:42 PM

                Does anyone know how Huong Lan IV is in Milpitas?
                I could use a good Banh Mi place near my work....

                1. re: lrealml
                  e
                  Eat.Choui RE: lrealml Feb 8, 2011 05:29 AM

                  My sister buys banh mi from that location since it's close to her work, and I can say it's definitely good. I constantly ask her to make a HL run for me. Huong Lan needs to open a location in Menlo Park and SF.

                  -----
                  Huong Lan
                  404 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA

                  1. re: Eat.Choui
                    l
                    lrealml RE: Eat.Choui Feb 8, 2011 10:49 PM

                    Thanks, I will have to try it out.

                  2. re: lrealml
                    c
                    cheesecakeking RE: lrealml Feb 9, 2011 05:54 PM

                    Huong Lan IV is good. Thanh Huong on 2050 N Capitol Ave in San Jose (near Montague Expwy.) is also very good, I like them a little better than Huong Lan.

                    -----
                    Huong Lan
                    404 S 2nd St, San Jose, CA

                    Thanh Huong
                    2050 N Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95132

                  3. re: Melanie Wong
                    f
                    FueledByGnocchi RE: Melanie Wong Feb 10, 2011 09:44 PM

                    Hi Melanie,
                    I'm new to the Banh Mi sandwich experience and very near Tully. I can't believe, I'm just now discovering this. I've only tried with chicken but am open to anything and everything. I intend to visit Huong Lan asap. I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind suggesting your favorites, especially from Huong Lan?

                    1. re: FueledByGnocchi
                      Stephanie Wong RE: FueledByGnocchi Feb 10, 2011 10:44 PM

                      The combination with pate and the BBQ pork are good.

                      1. re: FueledByGnocchi
                        Melanie Wong RE: FueledByGnocchi Feb 10, 2011 11:16 PM

                        I'm a traditionalist and almost always get the pork combination. As Stephanie mentions, the BBQ pork one is really good too.

                        Here's an old thread on the barbecued meat selection there, if you decide to branch out from sandwiches.
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540874

                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                          f
                          FueledByGnocchi RE: Melanie Wong Feb 11, 2011 06:24 AM

                          Thanks very much! I'm crackin' up because when I first started on chowhound years ago, you were the Master. I just returned to find that you still are! Go go go! (Thanks to you too Stephanie). Going there today.
                          All the best,

                          1. re: FueledByGnocchi
                            Melanie Wong RE: FueledByGnocchi Feb 11, 2011 10:54 AM

                            Please do report back on what works for you. HL has a wide selection of fillings.

                            Next I need to check out Thanh Huong that ankimo and cheesecakeking rec.

                            "Banh Mi Sandwiches"
                            http://crosscurrentsradio.com/feature...

                            -----
                            Thanh Huong
                            2050 N Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95132

                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              f
                              FueledByGnocchi RE: Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2011 09:38 AM

                              Hi again,
                              As far as the Banh Mi goes I've tried from HL: BBQ Pork, grilled chicken, shredded chicken, and vegetarian. I didn't do this all at once. I've been going back, I get sort of obsessed. I will never go to a subway again, ever. I will drive from Morgan Hill to Tully, period. I think, even with the gas expenditure, I'm still ahead on various levels. All of these were simply excellent. And the price!! Also picked up about 12 pc. bok choy for the price I would have paid for 1 down here. Lots of bonuses. I intend to try all of the Banh mi at HL, but I have to go easy until target weight is achieved in a few weeks (hence the leaner cuts currently). Will report back. Thank you!

                        2. re: FueledByGnocchi
                          psb RE: FueledByGnocchi Feb 11, 2011 11:21 AM

                          Gnocci: if you like AVOCADO, try an AVOCADO DRINK at HL.

                          1. re: psb
                            f
                            FueledByGnocchi RE: psb Feb 14, 2011 09:18 AM

                            Hi Psb,
                            Yes indeed. Thank you for the suggestion. Just recently discovered this too. In fact, I think I took a recipe from C.hound. I did this yesterday: 1 avocado, 1/3 c . condensed sweet milk (from HL), 8 ice cubes: Oh no! Or oh yes! I don't know if this is "the" recipe, but it was very good. Will sample the avocado drink from HL and others. Thank you. All suggestions are great. There are so many different things I want to try from HL, especially the food one would take home to prepare. I'm thinking I will check CH and google for recipe/prepartion ideas.

                    2. p
                      poser RE: soupçon Feb 7, 2011 03:15 PM

                      Oh great! As if the line isn't long enough now! The ladies who own and run Saigon work hard and are very nice. They deserve all the extra business this may bring.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: poser
                        k
                        Keesey RE: poser Feb 7, 2011 04:23 PM

                        Saigon Sandwich is no stranger to national press. I recall they were listed as the best bahn mi by Esquire 2 years ago. They've also been listed in Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure among others.

                        It used to cost $1.75, but the prices have increased along with its popularity. Currently now at $3.25. Still cheap, but imagine this beautiful sandwich at $1.75. A steal!

                        I must get the meatball w/pate at least once a month. Sooo delicious!

                        1. re: Keesey
                          p
                          pauliface RE: Keesey Feb 7, 2011 07:31 PM

                          Ah, I had a blissful couple of months when I dated someone who lived two doors down from Saigon Sandwich. Every morning I stayed over I'd go to Saigon Sandwich and get a Banh Mi before heading to work. Occasionally I'd be able to wait to eat it until lunch, but usually it turned into breakfast. Best I've ever had.

                          1. re: Keesey
                            w
                            wanderlust21 RE: Keesey Feb 14, 2011 02:16 PM

                            Keesey, Xiu Mai (meatball) with pate at Saigon Sandwich is also my favorite in SF. It's not on the menu, so I assumed not many got that combo. I'd like it even more if the bread was lighter and less dense, but I love the filling.

                            1. re: wanderlust21
                              Windy RE: wanderlust21 Mar 31, 2011 08:28 PM

                              Have you had the meatball bahn mi at Irving Street Cafe?

                              It's my favorite--very garlicky, and lighter bread than Saigon.

                              1. re: Windy
                                w
                                wanderlust21 RE: Windy Apr 1, 2011 11:19 AM

                                No I haven't tried Irving Street Cafe I will give it a try. Anything else worth trying while I'm there? Thanks for the tip!

                                1. re: wanderlust21
                                  s
                                  sfbing RE: wanderlust21 Apr 1, 2011 11:34 AM

                                  I'm not sure--but I think Windy might mean Irving Cafe on 23rd Ave.

                                  1. re: sfbing
                                    Windy RE: sfbing Apr 1, 2011 11:55 AM

                                    Yes, it's on Irving close to 23rd Ave, across the street from Yum Yum Fish.

                                    I'm stuck on the meatball bahn mi and haven't tried much else. The summer rolls are pretty good too.

                                    1. re: Windy
                                      w
                                      wanderlust21 RE: Windy Apr 1, 2011 12:13 PM

                                      I have been to that one, but it was a long time ago. I don't remember it too well, I'll try again. Thanks.

                          2. re: poser
                            f
                            frontzNskrontz RE: poser Feb 7, 2011 09:18 PM

                            ditto everything said above

                          3. Robert Lauriston RE: soupçon Feb 7, 2011 05:15 PM

                            Do they have chicken liver there?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              p
                              poser RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 7, 2011 05:20 PM

                              No

                              1. re: poser
                                Robert Lauriston RE: poser Feb 7, 2011 05:26 PM

                                That's what I was thinking. They translate the pate as "liverwurst." Combo is all pork.

                                1. re: poser
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: poser Feb 8, 2011 08:04 AM

                                  I don't think they use aioli, either.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    drewskiSF RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2011 07:35 AM

                                    i've gotten a mayo-ey spread on the roast pork & bbq chicken. i think it depends on which sandwich.

                                    1. re: drewskiSF
                                      Melanie Wong RE: drewskiSF Feb 11, 2011 10:55 AM

                                      Yes, mayo is used. But since it doesn't have garlic in it, "aioli" is wrong. Likewise the references to chicken liver pate, when the pate is made of pork.

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        f
                                        FueledByGnocchi RE: Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2011 09:42 AM

                                        I would suggest not cancelling the mayo on the shredded chicken from HL. It was my first attempt with shredded chicken there: still very good but slightly dry. I realize this was my fault though (current weight loss regimen). I intend to try with soon. Over.

                              2. otis RE: soupçon Feb 8, 2011 07:58 AM

                                back to the NYT article, it's full of factual errors as well as bad recommendations.... a poor piece of work. Be sure to read the comments in which the readers ream the reporter unmercifully...

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: otis
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: otis Feb 8, 2011 08:03 AM

                                  It's not really a NYT article, it's a post on one of their blogs, as is clear from the URL:

                                  http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/20...

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    bbulkow RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 8, 2011 07:37 PM

                                    The Lee's I've been to are nearly inedible, they call it out as tasty. Yeech.

                                    1. re: bbulkow
                                      ...tm... RE: bbulkow Feb 10, 2011 11:32 PM

                                      Yes, it is quite unfortunate. I feel Lee's deserves a mention, because they are one of the few (only that I know of as an American) true chains that has franchised the banh mi, but only to point out how a chain restaurant can blandize even the most tasty of sandwiches. And it is a pity Lee's was listed as the best of San Jose, one of the most Vietnamese-heavy populations of the cities listed. Unlike other posters, I have no problem with Saigon Sandwich listed for San Francisco. I guess I tend to go at times where there is no line and I haven't met a better meatball or bbq chicken/pork in SF proper. My favorite in the US (that I have tried, so far) is Ba Xuyen in Brooklyn. They have both delicious combo sandwiches and avocado shakes, but the list seems to be only a good representative per city. (And makes me think the representatives of other cities are likely not so relieable).

                                      -----
                                      Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                      560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                  2. re: otis
                                    Melanie Wong RE: otis Feb 12, 2011 12:35 AM

                                    http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/02/ra...

                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                      drewskiSF RE: Melanie Wong Feb 12, 2011 10:10 AM

                                      nice link. the SF Weekly guy didn't seem nearly as worked up as the Seattle & OC folks, but i guess the NYT didn't nominate a Nom Nom Truck equivalent for SF.

                                      1. re: drewskiSF
                                        Ruth Lafler RE: drewskiSF Feb 12, 2011 10:46 AM

                                        Yeah, at least Saigon Sandwich is not a ridiculous choice, even if many might disagree with it. Nice of Serious Eats to give a shoutout to Chowhound, though! And I learned something: I had no idea banh mi baguettes were made with rice flour.

                                        -----
                                        Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                        560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                          Melanie Wong RE: Ruth Lafler Feb 12, 2011 10:58 AM

                                          The very light ones with the shattering crust are made with some rice flour blended with the wheat flour. But many shops around here do not use this type of bread, so they're chewier and denser.

                                  3. j
                                    jessijessi RE: soupçon Feb 11, 2011 07:49 AM

                                    The meats are great here. The pickled stuff I've had better. The bread is good. I'm a huge fan of Saigon. I think it's better than banh mi i I've had in Orange County and San Diego and banh mi is a favorite of mine. I think Saigon deserves it, but I guess I'll have to try out the other places that were discussed.

                                    1. b
                                      boris_qd RE: soupçon Feb 13, 2011 09:57 AM

                                      When I've been down on Clement shopping at New May Wah stopping in at Little Vietnam for a sandwich or two has become my routine. The bbq pork is fantastic. I might like it better then Saigon Cafe but would really have to do a side-by-side tasting.

                                      That could be fun. Everyone picks up their favorite banh mi and meets in a park to split, share and compare.

                                      -----
                                      Little Vietnam Cafe
                                      309 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: boris_qd
                                        Robert Lauriston RE: boris_qd Feb 13, 2011 10:41 AM

                                        The only problem with that is that banh mi are best eaten immediately. The ones that are the best 15 minutes or a half hour later probably aren't the ones that are best right on the spot. Some places, the bread gets kind of weird as soon as it cools down.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          b
                                          boris_qd RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 14, 2011 02:54 PM

                                          After I posted I thought the same thing. A side by side comparison will be almost impossible for places in disjoint neighborhoods.

                                        2. re: boris_qd
                                          v
                                          vulber RE: boris_qd Feb 13, 2011 10:27 PM

                                          have you been to Y&Y for comparison?

                                          1. re: vulber
                                            b
                                            boris_qd RE: vulber Feb 14, 2011 02:57 PM

                                            I was at Y&Y several years ago (before I discovered Little Vietnam). I remember liking it but then again - I've never _not_ liked a banh mi sandwich. I don't remember craving it like i do the one from Little Vietnam.

                                            1. re: boris_qd
                                              v
                                              vulber RE: boris_qd Feb 14, 2011 09:18 PM

                                              seems like it could work if two people were to simultaneously order and receive it at the same time, and then drive and meet each other at one of those parks right around the fillmore....

                                          2. re: boris_qd
                                            w
                                            walker RE: boris_qd Jul 13, 2011 10:48 PM

                                            Today I went in to try Little Vietnam; got one of chicken (they said it was breast meat but looked a bit dark, maybe it was the marinade) and one of roast pork -- pretty good, $4.50 each. They close at 6:30 pm. The owner's daughter was very personable and spoke perfect English .. this made it easy to choose. It's on 6th Ave, close to Clement.

                                            -----
                                            Little Vietnam Cafe
                                            309 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                            1. re: walker
                                              b
                                              boris_qd RE: walker Jul 14, 2011 07:42 AM

                                              I'm glad you liked it. This was my goto place until recently - to me something has been lost in the the sandwiches. I wish i could put my finger on it but they're just not as good as they used to be (even recently)

                                          3. otis RE: soupçon Mar 29, 2011 07:54 AM

                                            I have been doing a bit of a national Bahn Mi Tour since this article appeared. A month ago I ate at Ba Xuyen and Brooklyn and two nights ago at Bahn Mi Che Cali in Westminister (Brookhurst at McFadden location). While both places were perfectly fine I am now much more inclined to hand the "best" trophy (pending trips to Houston and Seattle, at some future date) to the Bay Area in general and Saigon Sandwich in particular.

                                            What makes the Bay the best is first of all the bread which has that wonderful explode-in-your-mouth crust from the rice flour, and secondly the excellent ratio of filling to bread. Bay area bahn mi tend to be more lavishly filled while the others are more like a standard sandwich, bread predominating, and the bread is more like a standard baguett. The bright flavors of Saigon Sandwich really nail it for me, though I also like Wrap Delight (go there when Saigon is too crowded) and Cam Luong in Oakland.

                                            If you happen to be down OC-way, though, Bahn Me Che Cali is definitely worth a stop if only for the value. Buy 2 for $5 and get another, free! This location is also open 24 hours so I am thinking about loading up for the plane on my way to LAX in the wee wee hours tonight.

                                            -----
                                            Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                            560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                            Wrap Delight
                                            426 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: otis
                                              Robert Lauriston RE: otis Mar 29, 2011 08:34 AM

                                              You mean Cam Huong?

                                              -----
                                              Cam Huong Cafe
                                              920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                              Cam Huong Cafe
                                              702 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                otis RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 31, 2011 06:54 PM

                                                I did mean Cam Huong but I thought it was on Webster, in the heart of OAK Chinatown... has it moved?

                                                -----
                                                Cam Huong Cafe
                                                920 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                                1. re: otis
                                                  wolfe RE: otis Mar 31, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                  There are 2, same family. See place link upper right hand corner.

                                                  1. re: otis
                                                    Robert Lauriston RE: otis Apr 1, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                    Two branches of the same place. They also have a bakery and I guess a third branch in Union City?

                                                    -----
                                                    Cam Huong
                                                    32124 Alvarado Blvd, Union City, CA 94587

                                                    Cam Huong Bakery
                                                    1088 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                      drewskiSF RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 1, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                      yes, i was at the Union City branch last month and the cashier confirmed same owner as Oakland spots.

                                                2. re: otis
                                                  w
                                                  wanderlust21 RE: otis Mar 29, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                  Otis, I second your preference for Saigon Sandwich over Banh Mi Che Cali. On a tour of Westminster, I went to the BMCC (on Bolsa) with a few other SF eaters. We all preferred Saigon Sandwich b/c of the quality of the filling and the ratio of filling to bread, though as noted earlier, BMCC's bread is lighter.

                                                  1. re: wanderlust21
                                                    d
                                                    dordogne RE: wanderlust21 Mar 29, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                    Before you race over to Saigon Sandwich for your fix, please note that they are closed for remodeling until Friday April 1. Just three more days . . .

                                                    -----
                                                    Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                                    560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                    1. re: dordogne
                                                      v
                                                      vulber RE: dordogne Mar 29, 2011 01:06 PM

                                                      hopefully things don't change too much when they re-open, if the price gets higher than $3.50, i'll be upset. i did try to peer in a little bit lats night through the gates and it definitely looks a lot cleaner/less cramped

                                                      1. re: vulber
                                                        w
                                                        wanderlust21 RE: vulber Mar 29, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                        I think it would be completely fair for them to raise their prices. Those sandwiches are worth more than what they are charging, particularly given the prices at food trucks where you also stand and eat on the street. I understand that banh mi are generally inexpensive, however the deal needs to be fair for both the customer and the people working there.

                                                        1. re: wanderlust21
                                                          Robert Lauriston RE: wanderlust21 Mar 29, 2011 02:09 PM

                                                          Saigon Sandwich can't charge much more than the six or seven other places that sell banh mi within a couple of bocks.

                                                          -----
                                                          Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                                          560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                      2. re: dordogne
                                                        c
                                                        chocolatetartguy RE: dordogne Mar 31, 2011 07:10 PM

                                                        That's why they were closed on the day of St. Paddy's Day parade.

                                                        I first went to Saigon Sandwich many years ago after reading about them in Patty Unterman's book. Like her I love the meatball version. I have never had reason to make much of a search for any others and the few I have tried (Cam Huong in Oakland, etc) have not measured up.

                                                        -----
                                                        Saigon Sandwich Shop
                                                        560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                        1. re: dordogne
                                                          Robert Lauriston RE: dordogne Apr 3, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                          They're still closed today.

                                                    2. wolfe RE: soupçon Apr 5, 2011 03:19 PM

                                                      I just got a misdirected Blackboard Eats with a write on a place in LA that has what must be one of the most outrageous fusion dishes ever, banh mi poutine

                                                      "it’s poutine topped with all the fixings you’d find in a banh mi. So slow-roasted pork, pickled veggies, jalepenos."
                                                      I'm not sure about gravy from the picture I saw.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: wolfe
                                                        Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe Apr 5, 2011 04:01 PM

                                                        I don't see gravy or curds. Looks like pork, fries, and banh mi veg.

                                                        http://theminty.com/2010/10/29/dining...

                                                        1. re: wolfe
                                                          c
                                                          chocolatetartguy RE: wolfe Apr 5, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                          I saw on the web, that one baseball park in the U.S. has a banh mi dog.

                                                          1. re: wolfe
                                                            wolfe RE: wolfe Apr 5, 2011 04:45 PM

                                                            Found a description
                                                            "The $12 plate subs firm-but-not-dry French fries for baguette. Instead of mozzarella curds and gravy, the kitchen crew piles the fries with fresh mozzarella and pulled pork that coats the fries with porcine runoff. Up top, expect a trio of traditional banh mi accoutrements: cilantro, crunchy pickled carrots and spicy jalapenos, along with julienne cucumbers."

                                                          2. mariacarmen RE: soupçon Apr 7, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                            I tried the new Bun Mee on Fillmore yesterday, being in the neighborhood. I ordered the pork belly, forgot to ask for the egg (it's extra.) The pork was meltingly good, rich tasting, plenty of veggies, good toasted crispy bread. The only thing i didn't like was the addition of shaved raw white onions. Sometimes banh mi's have them, sometimes they don't. i don't like them, but i missed that they come automatically on these, so i just picked them out. I'm so rarely in that nabe, but I would try the turmeric catfish if i did go back - i've never had a fish banh mi, and it sound great. I didn't get any of the sides - rolls, sweet potato fries, papaya salad, etc. The sandwich was $6.25 - they all range from $5.95 to 7.95, so they're pricey for banh mi's, but i get that it's a boutique-y kind of place, and where it's located. i wouldn't go out of my way to get a banh here, but if i were nearby and hungry, absolutely. They have rice bowls too ($11.95) and fish and chips with a red curry aioli ($12.95), and gilled chicken/shrimp salads ($9.75/11.95.) Cute place, order at the counter and they bring you your food. It looks like they're applying for a beer/wine license, and have some fruit juices available.

                                                            They make a big deal out of serving every sandwich "hot" - as in spicy, as in WITH jalapenos unless you ask for yours without, but they must have defanged these - removed the seeds and ribs - because they weren't hot at all. Luckily they had sriracha to add.

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                                                            Bun Mee
                                                            2015 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

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