Here's a neat
breakdown of your typical banh mi dac biet or combination banh
mi, created by the NY Times staff:
Baguette City is
housed in a utilitarian commercial building along with a laundromat.
Inside, the dining area is tiny: there are maybe three or four two-tops
along the wall. In addition to banh mi, there are the typical
beverages on the menu like coffee with condensed milk and thai tea,
snacks such as coconut-flavored peanuts and packaged spring rolls, and
a few entrees like pork curry and ca ri ga - Vietnamese Chicken
Curry. Baguette City is most definitely a mom-and-pop operation.
What I ate: No. 1
Charbroiled Pork Banh Mi (2.5 USD); No. 3 BBQ Chicken Banh
Mi (2.5 USD); No. 7 Combination Banh Mi - headcheese, pork
terrine, pork liver pâté, avocado, cucumber, coriander,
jalapeño (2.25 USD); and No. 10 Sardine in Tomato Sauce Banh
Mi (2.25 USD).
Of all the sandwiches I
tasted at Baguette City, I liked the Combination Banh Mi the
best. In fact, it's now my favorite combination banh mi among
all the ones I've had in the past. The Charbroiled Pork and BBQ Chicken
have a herbal essence I can't readily define - lemongrass?
The sandwich baguettes
are a bit shorter than I'm used to and for me, the longer the better. I
think they're at least two inches shy of the baguettes I'm accustomed
The entrance to the
parking lot is off Lashbrook Avenue. If you're driving east on Garvey,
Lashbrook is the first street on the left after you pass Rosemead.
The Bill: On my first
visit, 5.01 USD for two sandwiches and on my second visit, 7.26 USD for
My Rating: out of four stars (good to very good -
9505 East Garvey Avenue Unit A, South El Monte; (626) 350-7099. CASH
Last Word: Banh mi.
The best cheap meal you can get.