Y & Y Vietnamese Deli is a hole in the wall that’s worth your while, says mariacarmen. The goi cuong thit nuong, otherwise known as barbecue pork rolls, have nothing to do with barbecue. They aren’t even grilled. Instead, they’re pan-fried to order, which gives them a delicious smoky flavor that bodes well for the barbecue pork banh mi.
The bread that Y & Y uses is exceptionally good in a different way than other Vietnamese delis here or in Southern California’s Little Saigon. “It was toasted and served hot, roughly crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside,” mariacarmen says. Meatball (xiu mai) banh mi is good, but could use a bit more seasoning. There are maybe nine other kinds of banh mi on the menu, plus pho, bun, rice dishes, snacks, and desserts.
Speaking of unusual Vietnamese meals with bread, if you’ve ever wondered what a Vietnamese curry sandwich might taste like, BT Sandwich Deli is a great place to try it, says rworange. OK, it’s not really a sandwich—just a soupy curry with fall-off-the-bone tender chicken leg, served with a couple of fresh French rolls. With carrots, fresh basil, lime, and spicy red chile paste, “I can’t begin to tell you how good that is,” rworange says.
Y & Y Vietnamese Deli [Richmond District]
661 Clement Street, San Francisco
BT Sandwich Deli [East Bay]
1279 San Pablo Ave, Pinole