FiDi banh mi stands [San Francisco]
I noticed a small banh mi stand on Main, just off Market. Pretty simple: banh mi (four of five different fillings), spring rolls and drinks. Bahn mi were $3.50. I'd just had lunch or I would have tried one. Woman said they are there M-F 9:30-2 and that she also has a stand on California St a couple of days a week.
Any experience with these? (Tried search -- terms too common!).
The business is called "The Sandwich Stand", here's the Yelp link: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-sandwich-stand-san-francisco
Food is good. The woman's name is Sophia.
Here's the California street Yelp link (but wrong business name): http://www.yelp.com/biz/vietnamese-sa...
An Indian wrap cart has applied for a spot next to her on Main street, but that city permit has not been approved yet.
These sandwiches will work in a pinch: they're a pretty decent option in a banh mi wasteland. I like their sandwiches much more than those of their nearby competitors, Muffins Muffins and Les Croissants (which both have bland, unbalanced offerings to my taste).
The ingredients are quite good - the aioli pleasantly mixes in with the rest of the juices in the bbq pork and chicken sandwiches, and the meat is well prepared: not at all dry - the sandwich verges on drippy without being overwhelmingly heavy or sauced.
The big problem is that the sandwiches are all pre-made, and the banh mi half-life is very short. They compensate for this by keeping them warm, but this really upsets the composition of the sandwich. The bread ends up chewy rather than toasted, and there is no temperature contrast between the ingredients to speak of. The Vietnamese ham combo sandwich, my usual standby, really suffers in particular from this treatment. The ham ends up losing all of its springiness, and while the pate and the steamed pork are both serviceable, the bbq sandwiches are the way to go.
On our most recent trip, we noticed that they have a small oven - we'll ask them to toast our sandwiches next time - this might help the cause!