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« Shaka Hawaiian BBQ - A Rice-aholic Relapse | Main | Saturday Snack - Ono's Cafe »

Thursday, 04 May 2006



Holy geeez! Kirk, I bow to you! You've outdone yourself! Bravo!

I never realized there were so many places for banh mi in SD. Who knew!


::sigh:: Nope, no banh mi here. Kirk, can you believe there isn't even a BAKERY in this town? NObody appreciates decent bread enough to support one! That's the worst thing, you have to go a couple towns away for good bread?!?!


Well done as usual. I still like Kim Chan (perhaps partly because I was lucky enough to happen upon it). I recently had the bbq beef and it, like the bbq pork, was just a thick (by banh mi standards) slice cut off of what looked like a formed chunk of bbq flavored meat. Not my favorite, but interesting sweet flavor notes. They also have a fancier combo with milder, fattier meat. There is a picture of it on the wall that I point to if I want it. I am still fascinated that they always steer me away from the choices listed only in Vietnamese. It makes me wonder if they are intestines or dog or some other things "you no like." I wish I knew someone who spoke or read Vietnamese.

I suspect that there are other banh mi spots in that neighborhood that are as good as Kim Chan - I've never seen a long line of customers wanting banh mi's there - but I am happy enough with Kim Chan (or too lazy perhaps) to keep searching the area.

Joseph E

Kirk, if 10 different Bahn Mi places isn't enough for you, I don't know what to say. Thank you for the excellent overview of all these different sandwich shops! I've now tried out four of these places (I ask for the Dac Biet most every time) and I've liked K Sandwiches and Kim Chan best. Perhaps your next project could be a huge Pho comparison!

You're right, ed; there must be quite a few good Banh Mi joints along El Cajon. Kim Chan doesn't have the best location, but there must be some other place people are heading for lunch in the area. A vietnamese friend gave us a couple of recommendations recently about that area; I'll let you know if they are worth a look.



this is just such an oh-so-useful post...someone must set the standards and so,I've saved it all and will use as a reference for all those banh-mi to come as I discover Asian food.

you are indeed a "ressource inépuisable" and I gotta say milles mercis encore et encore....


Incredible post!! I was just talking to a co-worker about where the best sandwiches in town are, and it looks like Kirk has a ready made "try" list for us. Thanks for all the great postings!


Now we know who's had their share of banh mi! - excellent job :)

Passionate Eater

I hope you don't mind, but I just sent this link to all my friends and family! I love this "compare and contrast" style of post. And are those bean sprouts in some of the Banh Mi? Interesting if so. Or are they just white onions?


Hi Elmo - It's just a rehash, no biggie - the biggest problem was finding all those CD's.
I think there are At Least a good dozen more places to get Banh Mi in San Diego.

Hi Jo - I'm sure you'll find "something".

Hi Ed - Kim Chan is good, though I wish they were a bit more consistent. I think there are 4 Banh Mi "joints" within a 4 block radius of Kim Chan; it's just a matter of getting there.

Hi JosephE - Let us know what you find. So many little time.

Hi Emily - Well I know you're going on a "big trip" soon - so I look forward to what you find.

Hi Jason - Not to say these are the best; they are just the places I've visited.

Hi Kathy - And it's settling around my waistline.....

Hi PE - I think you're talking about the pickled radish (daikon)? The julienned carrot and radish called something like Ca' Rot......


I'm not so sure about Vietnamese... Heck, "Rainbow" is the best Chinese we got going and they are a hybrid Hawaiian/Chinese. Their chicken katsu and loco moco is pretty darn good by my standards at least. But even there, when it comes to dumplings and noodles... well... let me just tell you that our first visit included an order of saimin. I heard some wild discussion between the cook and the waitress about it... I know the saimin was the topic only because that was the only word I understood and it was used several times. Then, what we got was broth (that I didn't even bother to taste) with spaghetti noodles! What does THAT tell you?!?! Well, soon and very soon I'll need some rice paper wrappers to make my own spring rolls and you'll have to figure out how to make Vietnamese style grilled pork so you can pass it on to me and I can make 'em here. The grilled pork is our favorite... I already know how to make the baguettes. ::wink::


Hi Jo - I remember getting Chinese Food - made with spaghetti in Georgia - so nothing surprises me.


Kirk, this is all your fault. I have been to 5+ Vietnamese resturants in the past month. I've been on a Banh Mi and Pho kick specifically becuase of your blog. Yum. My addiction actually led me to a recipe (I made a few modifications on it) I found on another blog to make a steak banh mi sandwtich that is not at all authentic but satisfies my craving if I can't drive down to Linda Vista. :) But I still can't make a bowl of pho myself. Luckily summer is coming and I won't crave it as much?


Hi Kirk,

I can't believe that there are so many bahn mi places in SD. I'm sure there are a number of places that serve bahn mi here as well, but I can only bring myself to eat at Ba-Le.


Hi Caroline - Sorry for having fueled an obsession. But it sounds like your having a fun time with it. Kady does have some really nice recipes on Her site.

Hi Reid - There are quite a few more Banh Mi places that I haven't gotten to yet. So it's been a fun little project.

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