Squid Ink Challenge: Banh Mi ID

Banh mi ID: the baguettes
Banh mi ID: the baguettes
Ben Calderwood

It is not, generally speaking, good politics to wax fondly about colonialism, especially in a metropolis as prismatic as Los Angeles. That said, we will always have banh mi, the French-Vietnamese cross-platform construction of squishy baguette, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, meat and--depending on which sandwich you order where--enough raw chile to season the filling with all the subtlety of an acetylene torch.

The challenge: Match the pictured banh mi to the San Gabriel Valley sub house that made it, either Banh Mi & Che Cali, Banh Mi My Tho or Saigon's Bakery and Sandwiches. All three are thit nuong, grilled pork. A few hints. Sandwich A is the mildest of the bunch, with only a token helping of chile. Served on a medium baguette, sliced in half. Sandwich B is served warm with a wedge of cucumber and nubs of peanut on the loftiest baguette, also sliced in half. Sandwich C omits the cilantro but compensates with jalapeno. Very spicy. Served on a compact, un-sliced baguette.

Venture your guesses in the comments, where the answers will be posted this Friday morning at 9am. More photos after the jump. Remember to click the images for a full-size view.

Banh mi ID: exploded view
Banh mi ID: exploded view
Ben Calderwood
Banh mi ID: in profile
Banh mi ID: in profile
Ben Calderwood

Banh Mi & Che Cali: 647 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803; (626) 293-8396.

Banh Mi My Tho: 304 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803; (626) 289-4160.

Saigon's Bakery & Sandwiches: 718 E. Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776; (626) 288-6475.

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Banh Mi Che Cali

647 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91803


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