Exploring Banh Mi - The Vietnamese Sandwich Interpreted, Overkilled and Sublime - Gjusta, Little Sister, Baguette City, Saigon Bakery & Ba Le Sandwiches (Westminster)

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excellent report.

In the BMFWP category, I’m fairly fond of Coffee Commissary and Mandolin Grill. I would actually go to Coffee Comm. for their pork belly banh mi, for MG it’s good enough when you can’t drive to SGV . Of course, Mandolin Grill also charges some $7.50 and change, so you’re definitely paying a convenience factor.

It seemed daunting at first, but I ate every bite of the one I got. I rearranged the contents a bit so that each bite got a balanced mix of the ingredients, with enough veg to balance the fat. I could eat another one right now.

The little bowl of what they said was pho (tasted like underseasoned consomme) made no sense to me.

Thanh Tam Dac Biet aka SPAM, BBQ pork and egg is the biz and buy 3 get 1 free. That means 4 Banh Mi for $10.

Saigon Banh Mi Trung as @Chowseeker1999 stated is absolutely delicious. The jalapeño egg combo is just #winning.

Got the BBQ pork Banh Mi and thought the pork was too sweet. Stick with the Banh Mi Trung.

More Saigon food porn

OC Poultry and Rotiserrie Mart Banh Mi Ga w/ egg is the biz. Pricey but significant at $6.

But avoid their SPAM Banh Mi, they add pineapple and it was not palatable at all.

Sawleaf @ Anaheim Packing House BMFWP Flank Steak Banh Mi is exactly what I avoid in these types of Banh Mi. Fuckin 3 times the price and can’t hold a candle to Little Saigon. Ugghhhh

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No Mr. Baguette?

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Thanks @Ns1. :slight_smile:

The Mandoline Grill… is that a food truck? Just making sure.

@robert that’s a good idea. :slight_smile: (rearranging the veggies / fatty pork to balance it out more.)

How did you accomplish this? Do you speak Vietnamese? I couldn’t convince them to add it no matter what I said.

When I was there, literally yesterday, it was $3.90 for the longer sandwiches in your pictures…is that just a stated price, but not really charged?

The egg is money though.

Great list @A5KOBE. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Is Thanh Tam this one? 14095 N Euclid St, Garden Grove, CA 92843?

@Sgee I went to Mr. Baguette once I think a couple years ago? I liked the bread (different), but didn’t like their veggies (or lack thereof). What do you like there?

Hi @Aesthete,

I wish! LOL. :slight_smile: No, I just asked one person working there in English and she spoke English as well. It was fine.

Oh the price was $3.50 + tax,so I guess 3.82?

Yes, Mandolin Grill the food truck. Like I said not a destination but if it’s parked near your work and your work is 30 mins from Chinatown and 45 minutes from SGV…

I mean, on the board, there are two versions of sandwich, 1 on smaller puffier baguettes, and 1 on longer, thinner baguettes (the ones you clearly got). The ones on longer thinner baguettes were stated as $3.90 and the smaller ones $3.50. But with the smaller ones you can buy 2 get 1 free…

I guess you lucked out with someone that could speak English. It’s a miracle I managed to order anything.

The egg banh mi is truly incredible though regardless. Fortunately orderable just by saying “egg” over and over lol

a largely SGV representation within the last 12 months:

the Banh Mi My Tho BBQ pork. I can remember when it an even better deal at $2,75 tax included.

it is now $3.80 plus tax. a mere pittance compared to renditions elsewhere, but still…

their pulled pork banh mi. for those who complain of the abrasive texture of the BMMT baguette (probably because you took it to go), the moisture in the pulled pork softens the baguette if you let it sit.

The BBQ pork and the cold cut special

Golden Lake Eatery in chinatown. $3, and thoroughly unmemorable.

Buu Dien also in chinatown at 2 for $5, they are among the least expensive nowadays, but in this case, you get what you pay for. i think the place has changed hands twice since jonathan gold’s review.


Baguette City

i know some people like the place, but i find the rolls to be a bit on the beggared side when it comes to crunch.

having said that, the fillings, while tasty, were matched to that texture, and would have been overwhelmed in a crustier baguette.

if you think uppers are dentures, then these banh mi would appeal to you.




just because… a homemade grilled chicken banh mi. with homemade pickled carrot & daikon, cilantro, cucumber and slivers of red jalapeno peppers.

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@Chowseeker1999 fortunately they got rid of the silly no veg. policy a few years ago; makes a world of difference.

My go-to is the special #1 (head cheese, pate, pork roll/Chả lụa, mayo) with a healthy layering of DIY jalapeño.

It’s not overstuffed, > bread to filling ratio; reminiscent of simple French cured meat sandwiches (or Roma market’s ‘sandwich’) and accompanied by the wonderful crusty baguette. Only downside, does not travel well, best to eat ASAP.

I’ve tried most of the other popular spots, however for me, Mr. Baguette is still tops.

That’s it. It’s the place on the very south end of the shopping center with the crowd of smokers outside. :joy: Not to be confused with the Thanh Tam billiards in the same center.

Great report! Saigon bakery (both the oc and sgv) locations have the best baguettes I’ve tasted this side of the pacific and comes closest to the airy almost crumbless (we have a term for it Không ruột) baguettes you get in Vietnam. The crust is crackly and shatters with the first bite. In fact, I’ve seen them make it and their technique is exactly the same as what I saw in Vietnam–slap fold technique.

See this video of interested:Thit Xa Xiu Chinese Barbecue Pork recipe

Its our favorite bánh mi shop and an absolute bargain.

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Where is the OC location?

@A5KOBE thanks for the tip on OC Poultry. I just googled it and very cool! I had no idea there was a bastion of great Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches near Angels Stadium, LOL. I always figured most great Banh Mi in OC would be in Little Saigon. I will have to try it next time I’m in the area. :slight_smile:

Hi @secretasianman BarryC,

Great group of thoughts on a bunch of places! Have you tried the Banh Mi Trung (Egg Banh Mi) at Saigon Bakery yet? If not, definitely give it a try. :slight_smile:

What’s your favorite Banh Mi shop these days?

i have though it was over a year ago so i didn’t mention it. it’s very good. but i’m a meat eater.

my favorite remains banh mi my tho. some complain about the bread, but i think those are the folks who take them to go and let them sit. my only lament is that they kicked up prices a few times in the last few years. what was once a $2.75 banh mi including tax is now something like $3.80 plus tax. that’s a 50% increase from $2.75 to $4.14.

saigon is probably #2 after that.