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Obsessed: Sharon Ardiana of Gialina on Banh Mi Sandwiches

Photography by Aubrie Pick

I’m obsessed with banh mi sandwiches, especially the ones at Saigon Sandwich. It’s so ramshackle, and there is always a line. It’s always crazy. It’s neither hip nor trendy. But this is a place for people who want a good sandwich. The roll is perfect—not too soft, not too hard. It’s like the Goldilocks of sandwich bread. And the balance of ingredients is just right. Meat, lightly pickled shredded daikon and carrot, fresh cilantro, and raw, honkin’ slices of jalapeño that bring it all home. Also, the counter at Saigon Sandwich is always filled with interesting things, like sticky rice in banana leaves. Plus, it’s less than $4 for a sandwich, so I usually order a half-dozen of them and give them to my staff, who are also kind of obsessed.

I think they have a nice one at Out the Door on Bush Street. I know they make their own rolls. It has a little more mayonnaise, and, of course, the pork is of good pedigree. And then I like the one at Pal’s Takeaway. They rock it out. They do it right, and it’s pretty righteous. I’d go more if they had it all the time, but it’s in their rotation. If it’s on the menu, I’m heading over there.”

Saigon Sandwich, 560 Larkin St., 415-474-5698
Out the Door, 2232 Bush St., 415-923-9575, outthedoors.com
Pal’s Takeaway, 2751 24th St., 415-203-4911, palstakeaway.com

Check out other Obsessed picks here.