In what may be the best bargain in all of town. Sandwiches Vietnamese style in Alhambra, CA…
Truth be told, I love me some Banh-Mi.
One way to look at it, is as the Vietnamese equivalent of a Dagwood, a sandwich upon which, and in which, everything can be thrown, so long as its delicious.
But a Banh Mi is sublet than that. It is a good French Baguette, stuffed with Cucumbers, Cilantro, Carrots, Daikon Radish and the meat of your choice. Every now and again, like at Mama Hong’s, you can get it with the addition of a gratuitous fried egg, always a good thing.
But then there’s Banh Mi My Tho.
I’ve heard a little bit about Banh Mi My Tho from surfing various sites like Urbanspoon. It was really highly rated. I mean everybody seemed to love this place. So with a little time on my hands, I figured I’d check it out.
Turns out Banh Mi My Tho is a Vietnamese Convenience Store, for lack of a better term. It sells comfort items targeted at the Vietnamese community of Los Angeles, like Boiled Peanuts, Vietnamese Coffee and other small dishes and pastries I couldn’t identity in a million years. You can get a Lotto Ticket there, as well as couple of Vietnamese Newspapers. Again, all the comforts of home.
But if you’ve heard of the place (and after reading this, you have), you can also step up to that same counter, and get yourself a really good Sandwich. I won’t say Football sized, but a decent two handfuls. More than enough, on its own to constitute a lunch.
But the magic really happens after you’re presented with the bill, after you’re asked to pay for what is easily one of the best Sandwiches in Los Angeles, and are charged all of…
No, that was not a misprint.
Granted, it’s not the most…shall we say atmospheric of restaurants, and there’s no place to sit other than a pair of chairs outside.
But three freakin’ bucks, for a damn good, damn fine Banh Mi?
This is one of the best value meals in Los Angeles, if not THE best.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Haven’t I made it obvious already?
Now, as you’ll see in the Safety Tips, the Menus can be a little hard to navigate, but think in terms of meat, and you’ll be fine. I went with the Charbroiled Beef, little realizing there was a Charbroiled Pork as well. I dove in was very very happy.
Now, these sandwiches come with some kind of spread. I thought it was Peanut at first, but I didn’t have a reaction to them, so I’m assuming some kind of mayonnaise/black pepper variant. Either way, if you have food allergies like I do, this sandwich should not pose a problem. Just a happy go lucky assault on your taste buds.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: First things first, it is, like a I said, a convenience store. You ain’t sitting down with your sandwich. Second it is Cash Only, so hit the ATM before rolling in. Third, it is crowded as all get out. Maybe…and I mean just maybe eight people can fit in the store, that includes the lovely couple who own the joint behind the counter. But it’s worth it, believe you me. And fourth, the Main Menu…appeared to be in Vietnamese, but if you look off to your left or your right, you will see a couple of smaller menus in English.
These are the risks you take. You want the authentic good stuff, occasionally that means having to point at what you want.
PARKING: Good. Banh Mi My Tho is in a strip mall, with it’s own lot, so on a normal day, expect lots and lots of available spaces. But the lot isn’t huge, so I wouldn’t be surprised on a busy day if it’s packed to the gills. You can try to park on Valley Blvd., but I’d expect that to be a distant last resort.
Banh Mi My Tho
304 West Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
Tel: (626) 289-4160