Banh mi are hella good. They’re Vietnamese sandwiches made with some sort of protein – roasted chicken, pork, tofu, or mixed combo of meats – lightly pickled daikon and carrot strips, fresh jalapenos and cilantro and slathers of mayo on a small French baguette.
A high school girlfriend was visiting from D.C. today and said she’s been dreaming of banh mi for the last month. We had to go to Saigon Sandwich. The little shop is at Eddy and Larkin, and usually full of people because it’s known for being amazing. Probably one of the best, if not the best banh mi place in S.F. And that’s really saying something because there are tons of Vietnamese sandwich places around. At Saigon, slow times equal maybe a wait of about 10 minutes due to the five or six people ahead of you, but at peak hours, the line is 20 to 30 deep and out the door. I think it’s because the sandwiches are craveable and addictive since all the ingredients are fresh, and also because the prices are rock bottom cheap. Like $3.25 for a sandwich cheap. That’s really unheard-of in San Francisco.
If you want to try a sandwich, you should go early or you run the risk of the store running out of ingredients. Cash only. We went to five different ATMs before we found a working machine that actually dispensed money. Come on Tenderloin, what’s the deal!?>>” src=”http://jenniferkoman.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/20110827-011.jpg” alt=”" width=”584″ height=”389″ />Galina and I both got tofu banh mi since we’re vegetarians and ate over on The Beach at Hastings as we caught up for a few hours. I also got a bazillion other things because I can’t resist a weird food. Grass jelly honey drink = very good, lightly sweet, and not weird at all. Tapioca ball dessert thing = very bad, banana-tasting, and just sick. Seaweed snacks = quite snackeable, but I didn’t realize there is MSG in it until I opened it up and studied the ingredients.
On my walk home, I luckily was able to score a ride from Sean and Michael as they were coming back from their sailing lesson today and decided to buy them roasted chicken sandwiches so they could also share the sandwich glory. I briefly considered buying another tofu one for myself, but the woman working at Saigon Sandwich already was like, “Oh you’re back! You can eat a lot huh?”
So I didn’t. A decision I regretted mightily as soon as M opened up his awesome chicken banh mi and drool-worthy smells started pouring out. There’s a good chance I may go back and get another sandwich tomorrow. I think this is the start of an obsession since it’s only a couple blocks from school.