OH, what an article. By now I know that New Yorkers don't know much about CA-----even though they like to write as if they do. Yes, BT----when I'm in a rush I stop by for a quickie at one of the Lee's Sandwiches too-----they are decent and found in some areas where I would not found a banh mi otherwise. The Nom Nom Truck as the best in LA? C'mon, give me a break. They are good at making it a trendy sandwich for 20 somethings who would not go in a Vietnamese area, but the best? And at the price they charge (upwards of $6.00 each) most people who have had banh mi (which generally run around $3 or less here) laugh at the price.
Of course, not mentioned in the article at all is a section of Orange County here, officially named Little Saigon. It has the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. I've had many banh mi in and around the area over the years, and some real standouts are here.
For years I've gone to Banh Mi Che Cali Bakery. It's in a somewhat rundown shopping center with a huge Vietnamese market. But the line is usually out the door around lunchtime. The sandwiches are big, tasty and they've got some interesting other items besides the spring rolls to go. Last time I was there they were around $2.45 with a buy 2, get one free special. Banh Mi Chou Cu is also a good choice.
For many years, I worked in Long Beach. Anaheim Street there is filled with Vietnamese places, but usually twice a week I'd go to Lily Bakery for their Bahn Mi. I was not happy when they raised their prices from $1.25 to $1.50, but that happens. They have the most delicious BBQ Pork Banh Mi, and I'd usually get an order of spring rolls to go with it.Sometimes even a fried banana!
I could go on and on, but my point is this-----how could the author of that article write it and totally ignore the largest Vietnamese community in the US? Doesn't he think that there might just be a good banh mi there?
Well, this has made me hungry now. I'm off--------and the choice is-----should I go to Top Baguette or just grab a quickie close by at Lee's?
<message edited by EdSails on Mon, 02/7/11 2:43 PM>