I’d like to give a shout out to my favorite Vietnamese sandwich joint, Saigon Vietnamese Deli. And if you’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich, I’d like to call your attention to the concept. First off, a Vietnamese sandwich is a delicious byproduct of the former occupation of Vietnam by France.
For their new colony, The French brought over fresh baked rolls and mayonnaise. The Vietnamese added pork or chicken, carrots, cucumber, peppers and cilantro. And thus, a sumptious sandwich was born.
Over the years, I’ve ordered sandwiches at numerous delis in and around the ID. But for now, I always return to my go-to sandwich place, Saigon Vietnamese Deli for their grilled pork version.
I’ve found their rolls to be generous in size and always fresh. The pork is not deli sliced, but grilled on a skewer. And the veggies are always crisp—which perfectly compliments the warm, chewy bun and hot pork meat.
There is also a multitude of other lunch offerings of the chicken/pork/tofu stir fried with vegetables variety served alongside rice or noodles. They all look excellent if not a bit mysterious. And if the sandwiches weren’t so good, I would probably sample more of these dishes.
Saigon Vietnamese Deli is located in a well-worn strip mall at 12th and Jackson. Parking can be difficult and there’s no place to sit—just enough room to order standing up with the other lunch regulars. Surprisingly, the space has grown by a third since I first started visiting. Every entree is very reasonably priced which has attracted a faithful homeless following.
So if you find yourself near the ID with a cheap lunch craving, don’t let the rough edges deter you. An excursion to Saigon Vietnamese Deli for a Vietnamese sandwich is definitely worth your lunch hour.