Duc Loi Kitchen's Excellent $5 Vietnamese Sandwiches
|BBQ chicken sandwich|
The dac biet (cold cuts combo with pickled daikon, carrots, cucumbers, jalapenos, cilantro and mayo) in particular is a step above all other Bay Area versions. The majority of competitors use a trio of factory-made Vietnamese cold cuts: headcheese, pork belly ham, and cha lua (aka Vietnamese pork roll, similar to bologna), plus a chicken or pork liver paté.
Duc Loi's combo is superior, because all the meats and condiments are made in-house. The only thing they don't make is the bread, a La Brea baguette. From the silky headcheese to the robust liverwurst, you can taste the difference. It's also significantly meatier, because it contains a fourth item, a thick slab of pork pot roast.
The sandwich meats are also available for sale at $6.99 to $9.99 per pound. Friendly owner Amanda Ngo explained that customers often ask for the headcheese and liverwurst, but those aren't included in the list, because she barely has enough for the sandwiches.
|Packaged salads (left) and housemade cold cuts slices used for sandwiches (right)|
Usually the display case features additional items like salads, rice rolls, and sweet-paste-filled mochi, for $5 or less each. All packaged items placed on the top counter are vegetarian. The supermarket is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the food counter is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Amanda added that if she's in the store, she'll gladly make you a sandwich any time.
Duc Loi Kitchen
2200 Mission (at 18th St.), 551-1772
Hours: daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.