Friday, July 13, 2012

The Early Bird: Banh Mi Trung @ Paris Bakery

Dropped by Paris Bakery off El Cajon Blvd this morning to pickup a couple Banh Mi sandwiches, one to have there in my car and other later for lunch. I've been meaning to check them out ever since reading one of Kirk of Mmm-Yoso's posts back in 2008. Stuck with me after all this time and I finally made the visit...

Being out ~7:30AM this rather brisk morning felt early enough for me but it's nice to know they start operating from as early as 5AM. I don't think I've seen them open past 2PM and can't remember how many times I passed by the place (usually en route to Pho Hoa, A-Chau, Kim Chan, Com Tam Thuan Kieu, Hoai Hue, etc., etc.) to see them shuttered.

From what I've read Paris Bakery is responsible in producing the baguettes (those distinctively light-crusty Vietnamese style) for many most shops in San Diego that serve Banh Mi.

Even the short time I was there, there was an SUV that swung by that was loaded with baguettes by the boxful... Walk-in customer wise it was just me and another lady that seemed like a regular.

Although Rice Flour is often called for ones that are extra airy, confirmed that Wheat Flour is used here according to the kind gentleman that was eager to answer any question I had. "Each bakery has their own recipe... And we use a special Wheat Flour imported from Canada."

I noticed the Banh Mi Trung (BM with Egg) that I had my heart set on wasn't on the menu but they seemed happy to make one for me anyway. Super sweet.

I did feel I was pushing my luck a little when I also wanted to make sure that the egg was over-easy. Cali Baguette Express does theirs scrambled. Cafe Dore and Saigon Sandwiches & Deli with the lovely runny yolkage.

A little cross cultural doodling with pen paper and these guys were awesomely on it. Had the first egg sandwich in my car. Tons of the pickled veggies that were very crunchy and not too sweet. Also were stuffed with fresh Cilantro (and I LOVE Cilantro, stems and all). Eggs were all that I hoped for with maybe only a dash of Maggi missing to help out in the sodium flavor department.

I noticed the razor thin slices of gelatinous Head Cheese that contrasted with the light smear of squishy Pate only later in the second half of the sandwich. From experience Mayo usually isn't present in Egg Banh Mi's and wasn't the exception here. It was a nice lighter breakfast sandwich that I definitely wouldn't mind having again.

Tha Jambon & Pate later had for lunch was good as well. This with a little Mayo and I enjoyed how they slice the hot peppers very thin as it evens out the heat through the meal. Both sandwiches using the longer and narrow baguette measured 12" with ends cut off. While both at $3.50~$3.25 is certainly not a bad deal, I plan next time to take full advantage of the Buy 3, Get One Free to check out the rest of the menu in the near future...

Paris Bakery, 4481 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115


K and S said...

great deal and they look wonderful!

Cathy Doe said...

Thanks for this reminder. The fresh bread makes the sandwiches inch toward perfection. Last time, I bought rolls to take home, but they don't age well at all; there must be some secret to getting them to come back to life.

Carol said...

It's been so long since I've had a banh mi. I need to get one for lunch soon. (or breakfast, I'm not picky)

Dennis K. said...

Thanks Cathy! It probably would be the good old toaster oven for me. The crusty/flaky outer is definitely important, at least in a banh mi. I'm looking forward to coming back and trying others.

Hi Carol! Hope you're doing well. Yes banh mi is great any time of day.. :)