This morning I made a quick stop at the Marina Super in San Mateo (Los Prados Shopping Center) to pick up a few things and made a discovery - a banh mi counter located next to the prepared Chinese food counter (it's inside the market).
The operation is called Linh's Sandwich. The address is 2992 South Norfolk, San Mateo 94403. Phone: 650-921-1598. Hours: Mon-Sun 8:00 am - 7:00 pm.
This counter used to be a sushi take out. A nice young man and woman plus a young boy were running the operation this morning. They've been open for 10 days. They don't have a huge menu, perhaps 6 varieties of banh mi, plus other snacks and noodles (their business card says Pho, Bun Bo Hue, etc.) They have a "special" - any sandwich and a drink (I had cafe sua da) for $4.50. I was impressed at the care that the young man took making my sandwich - nice slices of cucumber, daikon and carrot, cilantro and jalapeno plus the meats and a squirt of what I thought was fish sauce but I was told it was soy. The young woman made my cafe and told me that if it wasn't the way I wanted it, she would re-make it for me. It was fine, if perhaps a bit too sweet but I liked it (like a coffee candy). They also make smoothies.
I'm certainly no authority on banh mi or cafe sua da, but I enjoyed my lunch very much and am happy that we have a place closer than Cupertino or San Jose!