While driving down Market Street in Concord yesterday, I spotted those words that almost gave me whiplash as I craned for a second look. "Banh Mi" was painted on the store front glass. Next to it was "Pho". My day was improving rapidly!
The Saigon Cafe apparently opened up only two weeks ago. There is fresh paint everywhere and the frescoes on the wall provide a pleasant atmosphere to grab some lunch. The young lady behind the counter admitted that she was there only on weekends to help her aunt and uncle who ran the place. The aunt is the cook, the uncle takes orders, serves meals, and run the cash register.
There is an American menu and a Vietnamese menu all one sheet of paper. The American menu consists of two salads (garden and caesar) and six sandwiches (BBQ beef, roast beef, pastrami, turkey & avocado, ham & cheese and vegetarian). These are probably geared to the many car dealership salesmen and mechanics which constitute most of their clientele during the week. They take orders by phone and fax if you want to order ahead.
The Vietamese menu has three types of banh mi (special combination, grilled chicken and grilled pork) -- each $3.00 -- and four types of pho:
* rare steak, tendon, brisket, beef balls and trip
* beef balls
* rare filet mignon
* brisket and "skirt flank"
The Saigon Cafe also offers a number of larger rice plates (BBQ chicken and various pork or shrimp combinations with "egg foo young"). They also serve goi cuon -- the shrimp and bean sprouts in rice dough rolls, the classic charbroiled pork and shrimp over rice vermicelli with nuoc mam sauce as well as spring rolls.
They are very proud of their French coffe machine and make at least nine type of coffee concoctions, including cafe sua da.
The drive home was torture because the warm banh mi were perfuming my ride. As soon as I got home, I made short shrift of a BBQ chicken sandwich. Mmmmm, good! A special combination was today's breakfast and it was great, so I'm letting the secret out:
1950 Market Street
Concord, CA 94520
Mon - Fri 9 am to 8 pm
Sun 10 am to 6 pm