Thursday, October 23, 2008

As most people who live in SF knows that the Civic/Tenderloin area is one of the most dangerous places. It was confirmed when I was stuck outside waiting for the EVIL Olympic Runner because I asked the cops. They must think I am a strange person and probably dangerous, but oh well! O=) For the sake of food I am willing to put my life on the line, but it better be worth it! After reading on the internet reviews about Saigon Sandwiches in the Tenderloin, I had to come by and give it a try. Of course this was in the day time and it's actually not in the worst part of the Tenderloin so I lived! Ms. Lin stayed in the car and sent me out on a mission. Hmmm, am I the sacrificial lamb? lol

It's a small shop filled with snacks, some Vietnamese desserts, and sandwiches to choose from. There were 2 ladies working there when I went and they were friendly. Be sure to practice your "Engrish" (no it's not a typo) so that you may convey what it is exactly that you would like. Or if all else fails, just point! ^_- Being as greedy as I am, I had to order 4 Special Combination Sandwiches and I asked for extra pate. She said it would be 50 cent extra and I told her that it would not be a problem. The sandwiches range from $3.50 to $4.25. So they were $4.75 each with the extra. Inside they put their Grilled Pork, slices of Vietnamese Sausage/Meat, Pate, Jalapeño, Cilantro, and Pickled Onions & Carrots. I know this will gross people out, but for those of you who have had many Vietnamese sandwiches know that they most likely put some Chicken Fat and Soy Sauce inside for extra flavor. Personally I love it! Makes it that much tastier by clogging my heart! ^_-
The sandwich is lightly toasted and filled to the brim with ingredients. At first bite I noticed that it was awfully sweet. I wondered if it was the pate, the meat, or the pickled veggies. Still I kept on eating my way through trying to pinpoint the cause. The pork has a nice texture but I don't feel that it's really "grilled" but it's definitely different from the combination Vietnamese sandwiches I have had in the past. At least you can tell this came from one animal? lol The flavor was not bad and after much research, this was not the cause of the sweetness. Then I thought maybe the pate, which would be really bad since I bought a can of pate for home. It was a good price and I am always looking to add more to my collection! At first I thought I should stop my destructive behavior of overbuying when I have not tried the product, but the pate was not the cause either. It turns out that it's the pickled vegetables. They were a little TOO sweet for my taste because the sandwich became extremely sweet, but of course still good.
This shot is to show those of you out there who loves pate like me. Be sure to ask for extra pate because it's worth the 50 cents! ^_^
After I ordered I ran out again trying to find out what Ms. Lin would like... but I just ran back in later and decided to get two more sandwiches. Luckily I decided to try the Grilled Chicken and Grilled Pork Sandwiches. A lot of people who came in ordered the chicken. I actually like the chicken because it's a big marinated piece stuck between the baguette. The flavor was not bad and the meat was tender. I think the chicken complimented the sweet pickled vegetables better. As for the pork, it's the exact same pork used in the Special Combination. I think the meat itself has some sweetness but just the right amount and not overpowering like the pickled veggies.
All in all the sandwiches were reasonably priced for SF and a decent size. The pork they used was definitely different from what I am use to down in SoCal, but still good. I saw her use tongs picking up many pieces of meat from the tray it was soaked in. They were very generous with the pate and that is always a plus! I think they import the pate from Canada. I way over ordered and ate them as left overs. The sandwich survived 3 days in the fridge and still tasted good. I baked it then let it cool off so the bread can become crisp again. If I am up in SF and I have a craving for some Vietnamese sandwiches then I would definitely come back to satisfy the craving and maybe pick up some more pate? O=P
Saigon Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

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