Primo first class, inexpensive Banh Mi in Alhambra.
Is it just me? Am I just blind? Did I just not know that the greatest food trend in town (if it really can be called a trend this late in the game) is going into a Vietnamese Convenience Store, ordering up a handmade Bahn-Mi, and plunking down a whopping two to three dollars for the experience.
Ba Le French Sandwich & Bakery is no different. Walking through the doors, the first impulse that’s going to trigger in your head is 7-Eleven. Clean, comfortable, familiar. Then you get a closer look at what’s on sale: boiled peanuts, Southeast Asian Desserts. It’s even big enough to house a table and two chairs. Granted they’re plastic, but that only adds to the ambiance.
No, I’m not being sarcastic. Cheap plastic furniture means they’re thinking more about what they’re serving than atmosphere. Atmosphere can come later.
And like I said, it’s all about what they’re serving: those sandwiches those beautiful, delicious, God-you-want-this, Bahn Mi sandwiches that I search High and Low for. And getting one is oh-so-cheap, and oh-so-easy. Just pick a meat and enjoy.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, a Banh Mi to be sure. But what kind? I always err on the side of pork. And once again, for just a few dollars out of your pocket, you are treated to one of the best lunch or dinner treats you can ask for. My memories of Bahn Mi My Tho’s sandwiches are a hair bit better, but not enough of a difference to skip this more-than-worthy competitor.
Again, pick a meat and enjoy yourself.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Language wasn’t so much an issue here as it was at Bahn Mi Ty Tho, but who knows. With a different counter staff, you may encounter a different result. But you need a Bahn Mi, and these people are going to sell you one, and a good one. That’s all that matters.
PARKING: Plentiful, but not as easy as it looks. Ba Le has a plentiful lot, but the mall is pretty active, so count on it being full a lot of the time. There is a Starbucks just next door, and I’m pretty sure (check that 100% sure) that the spaces near them belong to them. I took a chance and parked there, but know going in that that may not be a good idea.
Ba Le French Sandwich and Bakery
1426 S. Atlantic Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
Tel: (626) 308-3003
Monday – Sunday: 7:30 am – 8:00 pm