After reading Joanie's post about Pho Mai, I stopped by yesterday for a pork bahn mi ($2). For the sake of research, I stopped inside Saigon Sandwich around the corner and picked up a terriyaki beef bahn mi ($2.50).
The bread from Pho Mai was probably great when it was first made, but tasted a bit stale when I ate the sandwich. Being Sunday with no one else in either establishment, maybe making new bread isn't priority #1. The meat itself and the sandwich in general, were still good, but with fresher bread the combo would have likely been much better. Little, if any, spicy, even though I asked for spicy.
I really liked the terriyaki one from SS. Lots of meat, lots of fresh ingredients, and the bread was somewhat better. The young guy making the sandwiches asked if I wanted spicy and so I said yes. He proceeded to put on a couple slices of fresh jalapenos until I told him I wanted the little peppers (they look like tiny jalapenos but much hotter, same ones used at Mix). He asked me if I was sure, I told him to bring it on. He explained that they don't use those with most of the sandwiches prepared for the caucasion business people who get sandwiches there in the week b/c too many had complained they were too hot. I smiled and said I liked them and wouldn't complain.
With that said, I figured out my one major complaint with bahn mi. I don't like that homemade mayo they use. It's too sweet. From now on, I'll skip the mayo. I like my sandwiches a little dry.