Irving Cafe & Deli

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More banh mi!  A friend commented that I always review Vietnamese food and banh mis.  Well, I still have a little hope that there is a good banh mi spot in the city that is a suitable replacement for my #1 favorite banh mi spot in Oakland - Banh Mi Ba Le (see post HERE).

The one thing that did catch my eye is they sell fresh sugar cane juice.  I made a mental note to come back and try it when the weather gets warmer. 

These fried aren't your standard cha gio seen in most Vietnamese spots.  Instead of the normal egg roll wrappers, these are made with rice paper, which give it its transparent, white color.  Also, it gives it a different type of crunch.  I'm not sure what they use for filling here, but its softer with a mild taste so I'm thinking maybe rice or some type of rice ingredient.  A nice addition to my repertoire of all things fried.

Banh mi at Irving Cafe & Deli-  2013 7x7 SF's Top 100 Eats
The banh mis at Irving Cafe & Deli don't resemble a banh mi to me.  The bread is too thick and dense.  It actually made my mouth a little tired from chewing.  The bread to meat ratio is way off and the mayo is pretty nonexistent.  The bbq pork banh mi had huge chunks of pork, but the flavor was bland and the meat was tough.

The combo #1 (dac biet) banh mi had really thick slices of meat.  It reminded me of a regular sandwich than a banh mi.  Also, I didn't realize until afterwards that it didn't include the pate and that cost fifty cents extra! 

Address:                   Irving Cafe & Deli
                                  2146 Irving St.
                                  San Francisco, CA
Type:                        Vietnamese/sandwich

Popular chomps:       banh mi
                                  fried egg rolls
                                  sugar cane juice

Chomp worthy:          fried egg rolls      

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