Saigon Sandwich: Tenderline Part II

by janet on October 18th, 2009

After our epic waiting-in-line experience at Dottie’s, Sharisa decided that she had not had enough danger for the day and so we walked from one end of the Tenderloin to the other, past probably three dozen pulse-quickeningly shady-looking gangs of loitering crackheads.

The prize at the end of this journey (between the Dottie’s line and now this potential need for sprinting away – shouldn’t have worn heels) was better than any pot of gold, biscuit-encased mini-burger, or peace in Greece. It was Saigon Sandwich, home of SF’s best banh mi, according to Sharisa and an astonishingly high number of people on Yelp.

Saigon Sandwich is a tiny, tiny, disheveled speck of a joint on Larkin.  We stood in line (again?) and waited.  I couldn’t really figure out the correct ordering procedure but Sharisa was all over it.  Apparently “HI!” means “What do you want?” so when lady #1 says “HI!” you respond: “2 roast pork” while holding up a peace sign.  She’ll say “HI!” to about eight people at a time, and then there’s silence while you wait for lady #2 to assemble your sandwich.

While we waited, the grizzly old geezer to my left said, “Harrumph.  I remember when the sandwiches used to be a buck fifty.”  I replied, “Well, they’re still only three dollars…?” and he said, “Growl.”

100% inflation or not, it is quite a fucking sammy.  Perfect, just PERFECT french bread roll, heated of course.  Then a thin slathering of mayo, slaw, juicy roast pork, fiery pickled jalapeno, and aggressive mound of cilantro.  Sharisa took one for her plane ride back to Pittsburgh, and this is why she is my culinary hero.

Saigon Sandwich
560 Larkin St
(between Eddy St & Turk St)
San Francisco, CA 94102

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