It seems there's a real flurry of posts these days about banh me sandwiches - either in SGV or Little Saigon, so I decided to finally give one (?!?) a try on my way home today. I've been a fan of pho for some time, but hadn't yet ventured into banh mi territory. Posts from the board here really piqued my interest.
Stopped at Ba Le in Alhambra (atlantic blvd.) and was not disappointed. Ordered the bbq pork sandwich, and since it was so cheap ($1.75!) i ordered a second - meatball sandwich. Both were incredible. Not oily or over-mayo'd at all, vegitables were spiced and very tasty, and the meat was overall very good. (I actually preferred the meatball banh mi sandwich, which is basically sliced sausage). But I think what initially lured me to Ba Le was previous posts about the bread quality. The bread was superb, warm, fresh and crunchy... even at 2:00 p.m. The place was doing brisk business, but still managed to be timely. I even like the idea of it being a take-out only sort of place, but some may prefer a table.
So i may perhaps be one of the last 'hounds' to finally sample one of these treats, but it was worth the wait. Now i'm hooked. Darn!
I plan on making forays in the near future to Lee's, Mr. Baguette, Baguette express, et al.... if only for the comparison. However, I think that Ba Le would be tough to beat. Lunch under $4.50 and what a lunch.
Thanks to all who've posted on this in recent months. The legwork (stomach work?) was appreciated.