This is probably the only Banh Mi place in the area I haven't posted on. Mostly because I'm not the biggest fan of the place. But recently, I decided to just go ahead and give it a try again. For those that don't know Sau Voi Deli; it's the little shop inside the 99 Ranch Market structure.
The place is starting to look even more worn recently and the folks who run the place seemed to have aged a bit as well. Things don't go too quickly here, you just order and kick back and wait for your sandwich.
I ordered the Dac Biet just to get some feel of how they're making banh mi nowadays.
To be fair, the sandwiches are pretty hefty for the price ($3.75), the bread seemed pretty fresh and it was perfectly toasted....not toasted to bits where it shreds your palate.
There's a ton of pickled veggies as well, though I didn't care for the flavor.
I think you can tell the problem I had with this sandwich......man, it was so D-R-Y....really. The proteins had the texture of rousong, which I guess is ok if you like the stuff. And you may well like it that way, since I've been told by Kirbie that I'm the only person she knows of who doesn't like the stuff! It's also pretty flavorless. Look, I'm the first to say when there's too much mayo or spread on my banh mi, but this was just too dry. What mayo the sandwich had was spread over one thin line near the edge of the bread. Even the cilantro looked wilted....
Of course, being the glutton for punishment I am, in the spirit of fairness, I returned to try something else. This time the pork (cha lua) and shrimp (cha tom)cake banh mi ($4).
This time along with the bread, everything else seemed a bit fresher, but the cha lua, which has almost a light smokey flavor to my palate was like rubber and the cha tom, while decent, having a mild shrimpy flavor, this still didn't satisfy me.
I'm looking for a certain proportion of ingredients and flavors....I don't want a super-stuffed sandwich, just one that fulfills my sense of balance and this really didn't do it for me. I mean, they'll do a decent job of filling you up, but to me not much more. Kind of sad actually......
Sau Voi Deli
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste 109
San Diego, CA 92111