After you graduate from Lee's Sandwiches' rudimentary course in Vietnamese sandwiches, come to Banh Mi Che Cali for your advanced training. Even with inflation, the price for one of the best banh mi sandwiches in OC will be lower than the cheapest fast-food footlong you see advertised on TV and by sign-twirlers. The Buy-Two-Get-One-Free deal--the way everyone buys sandwiches--is always offered, working out to $5 for three sandwiches. These overstuffed, two-fisted hoagie begin with rice-flour-imbued breads that bite with an assertive crunch and a crumb as light as a cloud. Start with the dac biet, the house special, in which such cold cuts as headcheese, Vietnamese ham and cha lua are layered on thick, tucked among a schmear of liver paté, cilantro, cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon. For the thit nuong, you get ruddy strips of well-marinated grilled pork. Order the chicken, and you'll find the meat shredded into a hash prone to absorbing the squirts of Maggi sauce and the slathering of the creamy house mayo. Complete your visit with a few tubs of che, a catch-all phrase to describe Vietnamese desserts ranging from warm to cold.
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