Cali Baguette Express is another Vietnamese sandwich shop that popped up in Mira Mesa in the last couple of months. They’re across the street from Bale French Sandwiches, setting up a little competition for the other small Vietnamese shop. There are some differences between the two stores though, including the variety of foods served and the type of sandwiches they offer. Let’s explore!
I entered into the little shop, noticing right away that they have a larger menu. They offer American type sandwiches in addition to their banh mi’s (such as Turkey with Pesto, Black Forest Ham and Tuna). They also have a different selection of sandwiches and they also offer vermicelle noodle and noodle soups, porridge, rice platters, and appetizers. Their selection of smoothies is also a much smaller menu that Bale’s and again you can get boba added to any smoothie.
Since the other shop didn’t have it, I decided to go with the Spicy Cajun Shrimp sandwich ($4.50). I inquired as to whether or not this sandwich was really spicy and was told that it wasn’t, so I went for it. I didn’t order anything else because I only had about $5 on me and this place only accepts cash (sad face). No sandwich is more than $5, so this is a great place if you’re on a budget (like me!).
This sandwich has the same stuff that any banh mi has – I took out the jalpenos and reduced the amount of stem on the cilantro before eating. I liked that the carrots were smaller pieces and therefore weren’t totally overwhelming. The cucumber is also a little smaller sized in this sandwich. The shrimps were good until I was 3/4 of the way done with the sandwich. It seemed the spices on the shrimp weren’t really evenly distributed across the shrimps/sandwich, so there was too much spice going on for me near the end of the sandwich. It wasn’t spicy hot, it was just too overspiced for my tastes. The bread is always one of my favorite parts and these french breads never disappoint. While I was waiting for my sandwich to be made, an Asian woman came in and bought just a loaf of bread. I didn’t know you could do that! It’s not listed on the menu, but it makes sense.
If you’re looking to try more Vietnamese dishes, than Cali Baguette Express is yet another option in Mira Mesa to satisfy your daily lunch yearnings.
Cali Baguette Express
9225 Mira Mesa Blvd #106
(between Rickert Rd & Black Mountain Rd – near Santana’s)
San Diego, CA 92126