Bahn Mi Baby! – Lee’s Sandwich
What got into me I don’t know. Curiosity I guess (and we all know how that turned out for the cat). As a general rule, I try to shun chain food when I can and it’s very easy in SGV to find a perfectly wonderful Mom and Pop Bahn Mi joint but I just had to know…. Does franchise also spell doom for my beloved sandwich?
Enter the big shiny machine known as Lee’s Sandwiches. Started out of a food truck in San Jose by a Mr. Chieu Le in 1980, Lee’s Sandwiches has morphed into a global franchise with 100’s of locations. Lee’s makes their own baguette and has an extensive menu of sandwiches both Vietnamese style and European. Lee’s also sells packaged frozen egg rolls and Ice coffee concentrate. Some Lee’s even offer drive-thru service just like the big boys.
So was I wrong to prejudge Lee’s? Is it possible that quality is not lost in a mass produced homogeneous environment? What do you think? NOT! I see no reason to come back to Lee’s when less then a mile down the street you can get your bahn mi made with real mom and pop love at Saigon’s Sandwiches and Bakery.
Let’s start with the baguette; the crust is not roof of your mouth friendly. Too crunchy on the outside with little depth of flavor or texture from the inside. The filling, eh OK, the pork while pretty good was meager. The iced coffee and Thai ice tea were all ice; three sips and they’re gone. The egg rolls however were pretty good. I guess I would consider buying a box if I was entertaining….maybe.
Big Shiny Machine
Eh, not all that
Too much Ice