I've been to a local Vietnamese quick service restaurant by my office a few times, but somehow I've never managed to write about it. Saigon Baguette has some really good banh mi sandwiches, and I'm glad that they're in the area. Today I decided to go back just so I could write about them. I opted for their "The Classic" banh mi. It's loaded with Vietnamese ham, BBQ ground pork, and pate along with the standard banh mi toppings of mayo, cilantro, and pickled crunchy vegetables.
First things first, with banh mi one of my biggest testing points is the bread. Every banh mi is served on a toasted baguette. Some places over-toast the bread to the point that it cuts up your mouth when you bite into it, and it leaves crusty crumbs all over your eating area. This bread wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. There just a touch too much toasting on this, but it was still soft enough to not cut everything up.
The filling was tasty, but it was also a little different from "classic" banh mi that I'm used to. Most of the time it's some combination of cold cuts to go with the pate, but this BBQ ground pork added some nice sweetness to the sandwich. The pickled daikon and carrots also were paired with sliced cucumber to add a lot more freshness and crunch. The pate was barely noticeable, but every so often you got that nice rich, mineral flavor. Overall this was a very tasty sandwich. They didn't add any sliced jalapenos or Sriracha sauce, though, so luckily we had some Sriracha in the office. I like that Saigon Baguette is so close to my office. It's a fairly quick and delicious option that's not priced too horribly for the area.