Thursday, January 5, 2012
Bahn Mi - a first foray
So when said cafe owner mentioned vietnamese sandwiches, I suddenly felt at a loss. I mean, I've heard of these wonders: layered meats with pate and some sort of greenery on a traditional sandwich roll, and read some great reviews of some places off of Clement in the City, but felt sort of ashamed that I hadn't yet partaken of one, being the self proclaimed eater that i am. However, since moving (way up) to Petaluma almost 2 years ago, my culinary experiences have taken a bit of a nose dive, often even giving way to late night snacks at Applebees. Yes, Applebees (and only because the sidewalks roll up around her at 9pm).
Wanting to try a Bahn Mi from the City instead of busting my cherry on a potential lesser version from the only Vietnamese restaurant in town, I popped down there a few weeks ago to get a firsthand taste of this eponymous sando.
A chef friend suggested I try Saigon Sandwich on Larkin Street near Turk. As I was en route to a catering gig and didn't want to risk the line, I called ahead. That proved sort of ridiculous. They asked me what kind and I said, "the most popular." She gave me the Vietamese version of "do not understand" - and so because I had no idea what was on their menu, and was scrolling through yelp reviews while driving on Lombard to try to make a quick decision, I settled on the pork. I wanted to make sure it had the pate, cuz' please understand, I have never ordered one of these buggahs and wanted to be sure to get the whole shebang. Unfortunately though, my non-english speaking phone companion "computed" my request as "no pate?" Then I said "yes, pate" and then another "discourse" ensued on mayonnaise vs. no mayonnaise. I said "yes, mayonnaise" and she responded "no mayo?"... By the time I got off the phone, I had no idea what the hell I would be getting but was okay with that.
Wrapped up in a tight paper wrapper with a red rubber band to hold it all together, I was out of there and on my way for a quick last minute Christmas shopping jaunt in Japantown.