Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banh Mi: Saigon Sandwiches & Deli

Saigon Sandwhiches & Deli
4133 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 284-3034

I love love LOVE the banh mi. There's just no other perfect sandwich for me. I could eat one every single day. There's just something about the combination of pickles, jalapeno peppers, cucumber and cilantro in a crusty, airy baguette. The only kind of banh mi I order is the dac biet (special). I've never been interested in the grilled chicken or the bbq pork. And I've never encountered a meatball banh mi that I've liked.

I have not tried every banh mi shop in San Diego, but I have worked my way up and down University Ave. and El Cajon Blvd. Most of them I have never returned to. Out of all these shops, my favorite is Saigon.
Here is their menu. I ALWAYS get the #3. Today we got that and the bbq pork. I love the dac biet banh mi here. I have to admit that it's the pate that won me over. It's the best I've had in San Diego so far. Other places the pate either has a wax taste or fermented fish taste. That's too funky for me (at least in my sandwiches).

They offer boba drinks as well. I've never personally tried any of them yet. I prefer bottled water to sugary drinks.

Packaged homemade foods line the counters here. I think these are desserts. I've never tried any. I don't know what they are, but they look yummy. I've never been a dessert person.

Under the heat lamps, there were eggrolls (yummy), pate chaud, banh bao, baked bbq buns, and (I think) nem nuong.

More prepared foods on the counter. I usually see a lady from the back of the kitchen come out and replenish them as they sell down. I love their goi cuon (summer rolls with hoison sauce). I haven't tried any of the other items but they look delicious.

Nem chua and Chinese sausage.

Various chips.

My sandwich, the dac biet. It's about 8"long. The bread was nice and crunchy on the outside. Inside, is pate, headcheese, cha lua, pickled daikon and carrots, onions, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, cucumber, and 'butter'. I loved it as usual. I take my first bite and can never stop until it's all gone. You can have them make your sandwich anyway you like. Sometimes I like to omit the 'butter', which is some kind of mayo.
Here is the bbq pork. My partner said that the meat was sweet and salty and went with the pickled veggies. I'll take his word on it.

If you go to Saigon, they are closed on Mondays. Try the dac biet, eggrolls, and goi cuon. Although there is a parking lot, I always have a hard time finding a parking space. I usually park on the street since customers like to park anyplace and block other cars in.