A couple months back FOY (Friend of Yoso) Pheth mentioned a new Banh Mi shop opening in the same strip mall as Vinh Hung Market, Luong Hai Ky, et al in Mira Mesa..... I had to chuckle when she mentioned that the name of the place was Baguette Up. How.... umm, well cute isn't the right word, neither is quaint.... witty perhaps? About a week later "Melanie" mentioned this shop in her email about Song Huong. So it was only a matter of time it was "batter up" for Baguette Up (I guess I can almost be as pun-ny).
Baguette Up has its' own doorway, but seems to share space with the Boba shop named Bobalicious (of course...). Actually, the space for the Boba (sorry, I have a limit on how many times I'm willing to type out out Boba-licious) is twice as large.
For some reason I'm reminded of an ice cream shop whenever I walk in. Even though the menu says, "deliciously different"..... funny, but I don't see anything really different about the fourteen Banh Mi, several of which are "gringo specials" from other Banh Mi shops.
As for the prices; well they're pretty much in line with the other Banh Mi shops in the area as well.
So of course I went with the #1, the "special" (aka Banh Mi Dac Biet - $3.50) just to see what their Dac Biet consisted of. There's nary a word in Vietnamese as far as I could see; so it just seemed that this place was trying to distance itself. The sandwich itself seemed pretty small when I got it.
The bread itself was very fresh on this visit.... it had that light flakiness of a decent Vietnamese Baguette. Opening up the sandwich I was also pleasantly surprised to see pate, albeit a very mild pate, but I was glad to see that this little shop was actually trying to make a proper Banh Mi.
The overall portions of meat in the sandwich was on the small side; think Express Deli with lower quality protein. Also the pickled carrot, there was hardly any daikon, was not pickled enough, and hardly had any flavor.
The one interesting thing was the jalapenos. The jalapenos in this sandwich had some kick, which just about killed off everything in the sandwich. On the good side, it was just cilantro leaves, and not all the tough stems, which was nice for a change.
In the end, I thought this sandwich was not a very good value. And usually that would be it for me. Except for two things; first, the young lady manning the counter has got to be one of the nicest, friendliest, and attentive persons I've had the pleasure of coming across in a while.
Second, before walking out to the car to consume my sandwich, I noticed something which I could perhaps call "deliciously different".... it was lucky #8:
After all, I always say "everything tastes better ina Banh Mi" right? (And I do mean everything.) So I returned for a SPAM® and Egg Sandwich ($3). There was a different young lady this time; but with the same sunny disposition:
I mean really, there are few things in my world better than SPAM® and eggs, and those would be SPAM® musubis, and perhaps Spam® Katsu Curry? This time, the bread wasn't so fresh, but there were two eggs in my Banh Mi, and with two slices of SPAM® this was fairly filling.
And if I wanted to get nit-picky, the eggs were cooked a bit more than I'd prefer, the pickled vegetables were still terrible, and all Banh Mi Trung (egg Banh Mi) should always have a sprinkling of Maggi. Still, this was a decent sandwich. But don't think it was a huge sandwich......
Because it was not..... but it would be a good breakfast. Which gets me to my next point; there are three egg sandwiches on the menu, but the place doesn't open until 11am.
So what can I say? That SPAM® and Egg was okay, the special less so. Service was great, prices are in line, not sure if I'll return, but it's always fun checking out a new place!
8155 Mia Mesa Blvd. Suite #3
San Diego, CA 92126
Thanks for pointing this place out to me Pheth and Melanie, I'd have never found it otherwise!