Man, it been a couple of years since I've been here and even longer since I last posted on the place.
Not much has really changed here. Older gentlemen gather, have coffee, chat....and do guys gossip? For lack of a better word, let's just call it that. It's the coffee culture of Vietnam translated here....mostly men, each with his group. Hey, it's almost like high school huh? I'm thinking that it is....only the topics of conversation have probably changed, or perhaps not?
What really motivated me to visit on this bright Sunday morning was a conversation I had with FOY("Friend of Yoso") YummyYummy. Her dad is a regular here so she really has a inside track on the food. She told me that the pork belly banh mi...Ba Chi had really improved over the last year or so. Pork Belly? I'm so there.....
As I walked from my car to Cafe Dore, guess who I see? It's YY's Dad! It was nice seeing him. it had been a while. I told him that the reason I was here.....his daughter's recommendation. He invited me to have coffee with his "group"....very nice, but I had errands to run and food to prep on this morning. He also told me the Ba Chi here is "famous"....
I couldn't wait to have at it. So I opened it eagerly upon arriving home. It's pretty interesting, even though the bread for the banh mi here are from the same source as every other place that doesn't make their own, it's usually pretty fresh and flakey.
The pork was rather thickly cut, not a bad thing, and very moist. The flavor was pretty good, mildly sweet, with a slight swiney flavor. YY had told me that's it's getting better and I'll agree with that.
The pickles are a lot sweeter here than what I remembered and there was some major "jalapeno roulette" going on, with some slices being very mild, but a couple of slices were just explosive. All in all, a nice sandwich, one that I'll return for.
The service was very typical Cafe Dore, guys still play on those "machines" in the back....middle aged guys....hmmmm. It was a nice sandwich for a sunny Sunday....I'd like to tell you the price, but YY's Dad somehow paid for it without me even knowing...... Sneaky, but very nice, it made my day. Make sure to thank your dad for me YY!
4135 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105