Needing a place to hang out before an appointment nearby, Cafe Sorriso in San Leandro was a welcome find. A home-like atmosphere with comfy couches, lots of outlets, free wifi, and a selection of snacks including Vietnamese food, plus its own parking lot. The banner -- “Now serving Vietnamese sandwiches” -- is what caught my attention.
On a warm day in July, the veggie banh mi, $4.50, sounded good to me. Especially when I heard the filling includes ripe avocado. Other choices included chicken, pork and ham, but don’t hold me to that as my memory’s fuzzy on this. For a $2 upcharge, a sandwich combo lunch comes with coffee and bag of chips. I ordered and paid at the counter, then the food was brought to my table and I had a chance to talk to one of the owners. The family that owns the café is Vietnamese. She said they’d wanted to serve banh mi but had a hard time finding the right bread and just introduced them a few days earlier.
The bread’s a bit on the chewy side but once heated, the crust crisped up. Fresh and nicely balanced pickled veggies, jalapeño slices, bright cilantro, cukes, and the blessed avocado enriched with voluptuous Vietnamese “butter”, this was a fully packed sandwich.
Can’t recommend the coffee here, but the sandwich beats out most internet café fare.
1501 Washington Ave, San Leandro, CA 94577