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a perfect lunch

By 11:12 PM ,

A bánh mì, a limonata and a park bench on a sunny day. This is the perfect lunch.

A good bánh mì is hard to find. Little Paris on Clement St. used to be the best, but they closed a couple of years back. Since then, I've tried many places and have been sadly disappointed. It's a simple sandwich to make, but an easy one to screw up. I call this the "kiss factor". The mission is straightforward, like a kiss, two sets of lips coming together. But there are a million ways that it could go awry. But when done right, there's nothing quite like it.

As far as sandwiches go, a good bánh mì is perfection in your palm. It's got all of the flavors, sweet, salty, sour, hot, creamy and zesty. Then, it's got all of the textures, crispy, crunchy, soft and chewy. Then, it's got the hot and cold thing. I mean, really, its perfection almost (and I stress, almost), justifies French colonization of Vietnam. It is the L'arc de Triomphe of sandwiches. The merging of all that is good and holy in handheld food.

So, where did I find this mythical beast?

At the Double K Cafe in San Francisco. Dogpatch neighborhood to be exact. It's a nothing looking diner in the outskirts of town. One morning after I dropped off Bootsie at the doggie daycare, I was catching the train right across from the Double K. As I stood on the platform watching the regulars come in and come out, I wondered to myself, there's nothing in the area, how do they stay in business. Well, I looked it up on my phone and apparently, they have a mean Vietnamese Sandwich! So, the next time I took the day off of work, I went straight to the DK and ordered a sandwich at the counter.

It's a sweet family joint that has no pretense whatsoever. And the prices are insane. Not tenderloin, two dollar insane, because when food becomes that cheap, it gets me thinking about bad things...but this sandwich has freshly grilled chicken, various lunch meat, paté, pickled veg and various bells and whistles on a crispy french roll @ only $5.50. I think I'll try the tofu version next time I call in sick, or leave work early, because they're closed on the weekends.
This is not the lunch I had today, but a faint memory from earlier this month. In fact, today was a long and tiresome day. But I write this post in hopes of being able to look back at the day that I sat in the park and had my perfect lunch under the sun.


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  1. "...almost (and I stress, almost), justifies French colonization of Vietnam."


  2. How does the zesty and soft bánh mi taste like? That's my intuitive choice. Pa