I'd been waiting a while for Cali Baguette Express to open on Convoy. I figured that by the time we returned from vacation CBE would be open.... and we were kinda close; they opened the Saturday after we returned.
Banh Mi has been conspicuously absent from this part of Kearny Mesa for years. I know we have Sau Voi Deli in the 99 Ranch Market shopping area.... but I've never been a fan. The Missus enjoys the Banh Mi from Cali Baguette, and the Mira Mesa location tied for first on our MM Banh Mi sampling. The Missus was happy that we wouldn't need to drive down to the El Cajon Boulevard location when She craved a Banh Mi. The shop is bright and sunny; stack of canned Pate stacked up nicely, Cha Gio and Banh Pate Chaud in bright metal pans under the heat lamps.
On my first visit I went with, well good ol' #1, the Dac Biet (special - $3).
The bread didn't hold up well on my trip home, but otherwise this was pretty much the same as I've always had on my visits to the other locations, save one thing. There was muc more pate on it then usual, which was a mixed blessing....good for flavor, bad for bread.
I'm not sure what time this location opens, and keep on forgetting to ask. I do know when I pass on my way to work they aren't open yet. Too bad, because I enjoy the Banh Mi Trung (Egg - $2.75), which seriously beats out any other "Mc-whatevers" in my book.
At the ECB location, I've actually watch the women there crack the egg into the deep fryer! I don't think they do it that way at this location, but the combination of crunchy pickled daikon and carrots, the Maggi (which tastes good on everything), light a flakey Banh Mi really does it for me. This time the bread was very good!
I've never been a big fan of the Banh Mi Xiu Mai (meatball) at Cali Express.... I prefer the version at Saigon Sandwiches and Deli, but I thought I'd give it another shot.
Overall, I'm happy to see Cali Baguette Express..... when the weather gets a bit warmer, I'll probably be stopping by quite often on the way home. All I can really say is..... it's about time!
I nearly forgot a question I had..... has anyone ever tried the soup or rice dishes at CBE? There's a menu of stuff like Bun Bo Hue, Bun Rieu, and even Bo Kho, but I've never seen anyone (other then the owner, or the owner's kids) eating the stuff.
Cali Baguette Express
4425 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111