Ba Le has been my 'go to" bahn mi spot since "O" Sandwiches closed - but I recently went to Cafe Nhuy for the first time and really liked it - perhaps better than Ba Le, but the hours are tougher for me to get to (sill not exactly sure what they are) and I have only gone once, and since one of my issues with Ba Le is consistency (mostly related to the balance of the ingredients) I feel as though I can't endorse them whole-heartedly yet. (I suppose that has done nothing to help clarify the situation for you, sorry !)
We always liked O Sandwiches too and were sad when they closed.
Anyway, we were going to try Cafe Nhuy but when we walked up they were closed (and this was at noon today, so that doesn't help with figuring out what their hours are either).
We were then going to go to Ba Le, but as we were walking back to our car, we saw Cafe Cuong on 8th just north of Christian, so we stopped in.
They seemed a bit surprised to see us as we walked in, but we ordered a shredded pork and a chicken banh mi. The rolls looked like Italian bread (not baguettes), but for only $4.25 each, the sandwiches were serviceable.
The funny note was that a guy was sitting at a table with a dog on his lap and while we were waiting, he eventually got up and he and the dog walked behind the counter into the back room. So, if you have hangups about animals co-mingling with your food, this is probably not the place for you.
We plan on trying Ba Le next.
re: Philly Ray
O had the best bread. Neither Ba Le or Cafe Nhuy has bread as good but it isn't a standard hoagie roll either. (the place on 10th just below Arch gets lots of good press but I don't like them because they use standard italian) Thanks for the info on Cafe Cuong - I can't picture where it is, but there is also a place on 8th just above Washington that I've wanted to try but haven't gotten around to.