YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....WITH BANH MI!

YOUR WEEKLY DIGESTION OF FOOD NEWS TO CONSUME....WITH BANH MI!

Banh mi's have been the go to sandwich around town for awhile now and it seems I'm unintentionally making it my mission to try them are, or as near close to doing that as I can. On a recent lunch time walk-a-bout near Embarcadero, I sauntered by Saigon Deli Express, a tiny place round the corner from that space age Marriott by the Ferry Building. I've walked by it many times, sort of casually looked it over and just continued on, not impressed enough to give it a try. On this particular day, time and laziness caught up with me as my lunch time was slowly evaporating and I needed to eat something. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what they got. They offer a handful of banh mi versions (pork, chicken, veggie, etc) all for just $6, which in the grand scheme of $10 SF sandwiches seems like a bargain. When getting a banh mi I'm always gonna go traditional and get pork, so I ordered it up and said "yes, I do want the jalapenos," when queried.

Things I liked about this particular version

: the bread was nice and crispy outside, soft inside; you get a fair amount of veggies piled; the pickled carrot was nicely sweet

and

tart; the pork was tender with only touches of fat around the edges; there was plenty of the mayo/pate spread to go around.

Things I didn't like about this version

: even at $6 it was the smallest in size of the banh mi's I've had around town which makes it only marginally a bargain; the cilantro that was piled on was mostly the stems without the leaves (as you can see in the pic)--I mean what's up with that?; also, where was the daikon? the menu had it in the description but there was none to be found here; this was mostly veggie and the serving of meat was also the least amount I've been given compared to other versions, it was just a few thin slices-bummer. So what does this all mean? While not a bad attempt at a banh mi, it's also not the best. A few changes here and there and this could be upgraded but based on some other reviews I've seen of the place, they don't seem willing to make any adjustments. It's one of those places that you've seen around forever and then after noshing there, you wonder, how do they survive? Especially when you consider the fact that literally just around the corner from them is

Les Croissant

, which serves a cheaper, bigger and much better banh mi. Added bonus, you can get a donut for dessert there too!

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