I wrote a little on Cafe Dore in my first Three Not So Ordinary Breakfasts post. Weird how that feels like ages ago but it was only summer of last year.. So very weird. Anyhow I needed some strong coffee this morning and I guess I was in the mood for something different again. A different meal but also a different experience? Along with second hand smoke there is definitely a lot of male testosterone in the air here, ha. I've seen at least two unsuspecting female would be patrons walk in... and then do an awkward slow walk out. May explain how a lot of the sandwiches were being called ahead and picked up. If you're still curious a much more comprehensive coverage of meals along with a great description of the "vibe" at Cafe Dore can be read about here from a revisit post by Kirk of mmm-yoso.
I've definitely enjoyed the ham & egg banh mi (Banh Mi Cha Trung Chien) the last time but I wanted to try something new so I ended up asking for the Banh Mi Xa Xiu that is filled with Chinese BBQ Pork ($2.75). Rather hastily I should add, but for next time I finally took pics of their menu. I can now look through it at my leisure without having to break into a light sweat when ordering at the register, haha.
I also had a bowl of the Meatball Soup (Soup Bo Vien, $5) again. I'll have to try the stews another time when I have a larger appetite. The soup's broth almost reminds me of what is used for Pho but maybe not quite as herby and with a louder garlic and crushed black pepper flavor. With sliced onions and cilantro, and of course the meatballs, again did a great job hitting the spot for me. The beef meatballs btw are what you find in Pho Bo Vien. If you never had these, it has a well kneaded bouncy texture not too different from some sausages. I especially like these because they are minced with nice crunchy pieces of tendon (and maybe cartilage) that remind me of Japanese Tsukune.
The sandwich was nice but next time I'll try the Banh Mi Thit Nuong - with grilled bbq pork (which I think was my actual intention). The dressing was very light today and compared with grilled pork you can imagine Xa Xiu being on the dry side which it was, but the bread was warm with that nice flaky outer. All fresh and all good..
I'm still trying to decide which is more exciting.. Unwrapping a Christmas gift or un-rubber banding a banh mi sandwich! :)
Cafe Dore, 4135 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92105