Nicer weather has gotten the Banh Mi Bug out of hibernation. Here are a few revisits.
Baguette Bros created some buzz when they first opened back in December of 2015. I hadn't heard much about them recently, so I decided to head back for a revisit.
Arriving a few minutes after opening; things were pretty quiet.
I really hadn't been overly impressed by the sandwiches in the past and really didn't know what to order....so I went with the interesting sounding Pho Banh Mi, which came with a hefty $9 price tag. Even during a slow time like this, I waiting almost 20 minutes for my sandwich.
I thought the bread was standard issue....a bit too much bread for a banh mi in my opinion. It also didn't hold up well and turned quickly into mush. The brisket had a great texture; not too tough, not too soft, but was really salty. For some reason, I really enjoyed the bean sprouts....the crunch and flavor added a nice "freshness" to the dish. That hoisin based sauce wasn't a favorite of mine......too much going on.
Overall, I still don't quite get this place. It seems more like concept over execution/taste. But for a lot of folks, that's enough.
4698 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
Banh Mi Bakery & Café:
I'd wanted to go back to Banh Mi Bakery & Café a couple of times for lunch...but man; that parking lot can rival anything on Convoy during lunch hours! With Kaiser coming up, it's going to be really busy around these parts. Early one weekend morning, I needed to go into the office. I remembered that Banh Mi Bakery opens at 7am and also that "Calvin" had enjoyed the Meatball (xiu mai) Banh Mi. So that's what I got. Back at the office, I opened it up.
I'm kind of leary when it comes to Banh Mi Xiu Mai. I've had some terrible versions, but this was pretty good. The bread was nice and warm; I'd have enjoyed a bit more flakey/crustiness, but that's getting a bit too nit-picky. I still think the pickled vegetables here are a bit weak; just not sour enough. And in the case of a soft, rich tasting xiu mai, it just didn't hold up. Still, this was a nice sandwich.
A few weeks later, Calvin and I were finishing up a meeting. It was raining, but both of us were starved. We both thought about the Banh Mi Op La (easy over egg)......which would be nice for a rainy day breakfast. So we headed over to the strip mall and ran into the shop. We left with two sandwiches; being careful not to break the yolks until we ate them.
They hadn't cut these sandwiches in half; so when we started eating it became an oozy mess. After taking a bite we looked at each other....there was something different about the bread. It seemed kind of doughy and definitely not crusty, nor yeasty enough. Perhaps the weather had messed up the process on this day? But you need some quality controls in place to take care of that. Or maybe they changed their bread recipe? Bummer, because this was a nice sandwich in spite of the short comings of the pickled vegetables. The eggs were a bit over done, though we both enjoyed the crisp edges. The yolks were very soft, but not super runny; like I'd had previously. Man, the jalapeno on this day was spicy.
Not sure what to think. Was the bread just a case of an "off day". Or is this how it's going to be from now on? I'm hoping it was just a bad day.
Banh Mi Bakery & Cafe
9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite H1
San Diego, CA 92123