Pork bahn mi from Seattle Deli. Yum.
Whenever you read one of those 'This city is known for this food' articles in whatever stuffy newspaper or rich people culture rag, Seattle always gets the ubiquitous salmon reference. We are known for salmon. That is all. Writers don't even need to visit to know what we're about. Salmon, Tom Douglas, Pike Place Market, Ride the Ducks. The end, consider my research finished. I say screw that noise. Okay, yeah. We are proud of our salmon. It's a nice fish and can be very delicious but we are so much more than that.
People like lists. Hell, I'm a virgo. I fucking love lists. What I don't like is the American obsession of always having to be number one. We're #1, we're #1 we're #1! We're the best and you suck it! I hate that kind of bragging and boasting. I like food lists that say "You are all very nice and delicious in your own different ways." That's more my cup of tea. If I don't like a place I'm just not going to waste my time writing about it. There's enough negativity in the world. Plus, food is so subjective. Your favorite cup of tea may taste like piss to me.
So anyways, I've decided to do my best to delve deeper into the delicious and sometimes seedy underworld of snacks here in this city of salmon and grunge. After 15+ years of living here I still have a lot to discover. In the words of the famously charming delinquent Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
Me and K are ready for some bahn mi action. Taking pictures of sandwiches is serious business.
The Bahn Mi expedition. Part 1
K and I got all death-dolled up and headed to the International District (or the ID if you're hip) for some Vietnamese sandwich (bahn mi) action. Never heard of a bahn mi? Wiki that shit. Anywho, it was a hotter than Hades kind of day but we had work to do. These sandwiches weren't going to eat themselves.
I'm like a shiny, sandwich eating ninja. That guy wants his bubble tea stat!
The first stop was the infamous Seattle Deli. Seattle deli was packed with sandwich eaters. Lots of customers. They have tons of sandwiches and other options for snacks and even have a hot food buffet. So much to choose from.
Sandwich #1. The Classic Pork. It was Unctuous with juicy, smokey pork and had the perfect balance of picked daikon and carrot, jalapenos, cilantro, and a tiny bit of mayo. The French bread used at Seattle deli is perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Sandwich #2. The Xanxiu. This sandwich was equally delicious with a mix of Chinese BBQ pork and Vietnamese cold cuts. Lots of jalapenos which I love. Salty, spicy, and slightly sweet it gave the classic a run for it's money. Yum.
I used my Bebe fashion club card to cut the sandwiches in half because I'm classy like that. K takes notes.
The second stop on our adventure was Saigon Deli. Right across the street from Seattle Deli. Saigon deli was slightly less packed but full of delicious treats. Fresh Vietnamese shrimp rolls, big green and blue jello-y looking things. I wanted it all. The ladies behind the counter eyed us with suspicion until we ordered our sandwiches. Nothing brings people closer together than a sandwich.
Saigon Deli tofu bahn mi. Yum. My big hair almost ruined the nice Saigon Deli sign photo. Damn you tease comb!
Sandwich #3. The Tofu. Saigon deli's bread is was little bit more dense but still pretty perfect. Crunchy and soft. The tofu bahn mi had big chunks of fried tofu smothered in a spicy sweet tomato sauce kind of like banana ketchup. Plus the pickled daikon and carrot. Super yummy.
Sandwich #4. The Meatball. I love me some Vietnamese meatballs. I always get them in my pho. The balls were juicy and porky tastiness. They were doused in the same yummy red sauce that the tofu was. They almost tasted like Swedish meatballs (which I also love). Two thumbs up.
The last stop on our sandwich hunt was The New Saigon Deli. Right around the corner from Saigon Deli. They have nothing to do with each other except for sharing the name (mostly). By the time we arrived at New Saigon the lunch swarms had pretty much disappeared. Greeted by two with frowns by two little Vietnamese girls we ordered a few sandwiches and some Pineapple bubble tea minus the bubbles. Once again, after sandwiches were ordered everyone was all smiles. A bit less frills and ambiance at New Saigon but delicious all the same.
New Saigon Deli! "What's this green sticky stuff?" K wonders.
Sandwich #5. The Ham Combination with Paté. The bread at New Saigon is a little bit harder and crispier than the other two but I liked it a lot. The cold cuts were salty and tasty. Not very spicy but super flavorful. I love Vietnamese paté. Yummy porky spread. So good.
Sandwich #6. The Chicken. The shredded chicken was a little dry but super tasty. By the time we got to this sandwich we were just about to explode. This was a super tasty sandwich but we had run out of something to drink and at the brink of bahn mi overkill.
Once we nabbed all of our sandwiches we went over to Kobe Terrace park. As we ate our sandwiches we also realized that it was crack corner and hooker central. We witnessed many drug deals and blow jobs behind the bushes. So much free entertainment. Dinner and a show.
K and and probably a crackhead lurking in the bushes. Bubble tea! Tastier than crack!
So there you go. Bahn Mi Fest 2012. We had a great time eating way too many sandwiches and wished it would never end. At least until the crack whore started to yell creepy things. Oh ID, I love you. xoxo