Way back in July, I posted on the impending opening of K Sandwiches. On August 25th, this shop on the corner of Mesa College and Linda Vista road finally opened. Driving by, I could not believe the amount of people standing in line for Banh Mi. My Buddy Jack, mentioned something like a 30 minute wait, for Banh Mi!?! So we waited a week, and finally made our way there during the first week of September.
With it's bright facade, and menu offerings, 'K' seems to have alot in common with the Lee's Sandwiches chain that is slowly making it's way all across the Western United States. Hmmm....
On this day, the front of the restaurant was packed. But even though there were many customers, there seemed to be even more Employees! Most of which were standing(leaning), giggling, and generally loafing teenagers. I even saw one of the Girls write down a telephone number on a napkin, and hand it to a Young Man buying a sandwich, with the words "Call Me" scrawled along the top. What was even more surprising, was that she immediately turned around, and without putting on gloves, started to make sandwiches.....
I placed our order, and we had time to check out everything while we waited. Along with the sandwich menu; K serves up Boba-type drinks/tea, bakes their own baquettes and croissants, and also has hot table dishes for purchase.
We ordered 3 sandwiches in total. The first we tried was the BBQ Chicken ($1.99):
The chicken in the sandwich was very tasty, though the rest of the sandwich disappointed me. The crust of the bread was slightly crusty, but not crusty enough for me. There was a very small amount of Ca-rot(pickled veggies), that consisted only of radish, and no carrots? The cilantro was mostly stems, which can be annoying when you eat it. The thin julienned slices of green chilies were nice and hot, though all crowded to the middle of the sandwich.
The Deluxe (Dac Biet-$2.45)
consisted of 3 meats; basically what looked like a sausage, ham, and the Viet "pate". Again the same monotonic "garnishes"(but there was one piece of carrot in there), but this time the cilantro was piled on one side of the sandwich. Ditto for the bread.
The third sandwich we ordered was the BBQ Pork ($1.99):
The pork was very tasty, both slightly sweet, salty, and teriyaki-ish in taste, though there were too many pieces of tough connective tissue, that were really inedible. Again, the "one-note" pickled vegetables. In the end, it seemed that though the sandwiches were a bargain; the result was mediocre. It didn't help that both the Missus and I got somewhat ill after eating here. I attribute that to the lack of hygenic supervision, and inexperienced Teens putting together the sandwiches. If Lee's/K are trying to be the McDonalds of Vietnamese Food, they sure are on their way....
One really great thing about 'K', is that they open at 6am in the morning. Banh Mi, for breakfast anyone? So this past week, I decided to drop by 'K', and grab a sandwich. Things were alot calmer then on my previous visit, and the cashier and the person making the sandwich were quite professional and competent.
I ordered the Vegetarian ($1.99):
The bread was nice and crusty, much better then on my previous visit. And look, you can make out some carrots, even! The shreds of fried tofu were fairly tasty, though everything was piled to one side of the sandwich. The cilantro was mostly leaves, and the peppers were nice and hot. Not bad for 2 bucks.
In fact, I visited 'K' again this week, and picked up "breakfast" for a couple of people, and again got the Dac Biet:
There seemed to be alot more meat then before, as well as alot more pickles. It was pretty good, though I enjoy, Bale and Cafe Dore' more. But for the price, you can't complain. Also, I just found out that extra "pickles" can be requested at no charge. I also measured the sandwich, and it came in at almost exactly 10 inches. That's a pretty long sandwich! The service and food were much better during these last two visits. Two months sure can make a big difference!
7604 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92111