Is It Any Good?

Yet another in a good chain of Banh Mi Places in Pasadena.

Banh Mi Che Cali on Urbanspoon
Banh Mi Che Cali on Foodio54

If you live in the 626 Area Code, or at least visit it a lot, you know one of the side benefits is being immersed in an Chinese Food wonderland.

That’s still great, and that’s still true…but there are side benefits as well. Like being in the middle of a Southeast Asian Food wonderland as well.

Ever since my game-changing, life-altering experience at Banh Mi My Tho (okay, that was a little strong.  It was just a really good sam’mich), I’ve been looking to replicate that hit, that moment, that escasty at…well…virtually every other Banh Mi Place I’ve tried.

And granted, I haven’t been able to match the price…at least not exactly. But for the most part, I’ve been able to match the joy of that first sandwich, or at least come close.

This has of course lead to a new Banh Mi quest. A quest…for seating.

Ba Le came close, in that, they were a little roomier than Banh Mi Ty Tho in that they had two whole chairs inside the Store.

Which leads me to Banh Mi & Che Cali (no website).

Moving a Banh Mi & Che Cali to Pasadena makes a lot of sense, especially where they put it.  It’s sitting right across the street from Pasadena City College.  Banh Mi are by their very nature decently cheap eats.  Put that in front of a bunch of College Kids, and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of sales.

Now, I’ve been driving down Colorado for years, and…there was something here before, probably in the Diner/Coffee Shop Variety. I cannot for the life of me, remember what it was.  It was a restaurant.  It was inexpensive.  It was someplace I did not want to go, much less review.

Now, the place is serving Banh Mi.  Now, I want to go.

Again, for a really cheap price, you can get yourself a tasty “football of love” as Bourdain would put it. And unlike Bahn Mi My Tho and Ba Le, there are actually places to sit.

This iteration of Banh Mi & Che Cali has got a mess of chairs and tables.

Yeah, that crowded. Must say something about the quality of the meal, if that many people are here to get at it.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, you should get yourself a Banh Mi, preferably of the Grilled Pork Variety. You can also try one that had egg in it.  Can’t remember the name.  The one’s where don’t stand out like the one I had at Banh Mi My Tho. I mean, it wasn’t like I was biting into sunshine for the first time, but it wasn’t far off. It’s a nice, inexpensive burst of Comfort food joy. Grab a Sandwich and a Coke, and you can walk out of there for five or six bucks.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Parking’s the most important thing.  This one takes Credit Cards, so you can indulge without hitting an ATM first.


PARKING: Here’s the thing.  Banh Mi & Che Cali has a Parking Lot attached to it, but it’s not theirs…so don’t park there.  My guess is if you find parking, it’ll be along Colorado.

My guess also is a majority of the traffic will be student from across the street.


Banh Mi & Che Cali (again, no website link)
1525 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, California 91106

Tel: (626) 356-0404

Daily: 8:00am – 9:30pm.