As much as every loves Banh Mi My Tho, my fave for the last few years has been Baguette City.

Baguette City Rau Ma

Baguette City has nearly the same vibe as My Tho — a certain controlled madness possesses the entire mom & pop eatery. There are only 2 tables of 2 tops to sit, there are random cooked dishes for counter selection, there is a fluorescent powered menu sign and menu hand drawn posters of “specials”.

Unlike My Tho, Baguette City bakes their own baguette and it is a near perfect vessel to carry whatever Vietnamese prepared meat of your choice. Softer & fluffier than majority of the bread specimen in the Western SGV, Baguette City’s bread has the unique tendency to not ever cut the roof of the mouth and shed layers of microscope slide-ready single layer cells. The crust carries more a chew that crunch, but there is just a slight hint of crispness upon first contact with your teeth.

The BBQ chicken & beef fillings are aromatic due to scallion oil, and the nem nuong is made fresh on site. No accoutrement is skimped and every sandwiches comes with cucumber, pickled white radish/carrot, cilantro & jalapeno. While pate is not spread on the innards, at $2.25 for most sandwiches no one should complain. Due to the homely operations sans POS ala Mr. Baguette or Lee’s, additions and creative protein combos aren’t costly. In the mornings, a fried egg can be affordably added to cha lua (Vietnamese pork roll/Vietnamese ham) for the perfect breakfast sandwich.

Baguette City Banh Mi

To compliment the 8″ (measured) sandwiches, skip the prosaic cafe sua da and go straight for the nicely blended rau ma pennywort drink. The hippies might have their wheatgrass, but I’d like to think the Vietnamese hippies will always take rau ma instead. Baguette City has one of the grassiest rau ma in San Gabriel Valley. The blending dissolves the sugar completely, and the rau ma concentrate (pureed & filtered in-house) is nearly devoid of grit while still carrying all the flavors of chlorophyll. Understandably, it’s an acquired tastes, but if you ever want to get a taste of the pasture, get it at Baguette City.

I’m also happy to note ladies here are nice & don’t make you feel like sardines in a can ala Che Cali.

Baguette City
9505 Garvey Ave # A
South El Monte, CA 91733-1099
(626) 350-7099

Baguette City on Urbanspoon



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  • Anonymous

    I am going to be logging some serious hours in El monte again this fall. Baguette City, Che Cali & My Tho, I’m coming for you. Nice drink/sign snap. You arty fucker.

  • love your description of the bread. makes me intrigued.

  • Anonymous

    Okay. Bookmarked. I have like 50+ restaurants in my “to try” list. I either need more money, or a bigger stomach. Well, both.

  • Anonymous

    Welp Burpy, Baguette City’s goods are all < $3, so it's a lot cheaper (and healthier) than eating all the ghetto burgers near SC campus?

  • Anonymous

    There are NO good burgers around my damn campus. I have my eyes set on this particular place though:

    I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

  • Anonymous

    Burpy, Cabrons is a-ok, but pricier (and serves alcohol) than a the typical cemita/torta we’re all eating off the streets trucks. There are plenty of good burgers “around” your Campus. There’s Master Burger (only 1) and the Burger Stand. Then again, this IS LA, and anything / everything is a 20 min drive.

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