If you asked my where I picked up my passion for sandwiches I would tell you to mind your damn business. Just kidding, I really don’t know. No doubt somewhere tucked away in my subconscious a sandwich saved me from being kidnapped or something and I’ve felt undying allegiance ever since. My earliest memory of sandwiches come from my parents, who immigrated here from Vietnam, so it’s fitting that banh mi is one of my favorites. It’s always a good option but slightly boring to be honest. That is until recently, where we’ve seen Vietnamese fusion begin to take hold here in Orange County. Pickle banh Mi Co. in Garden Grove in my opinion, has been doing some great work in modernizing the banh mi for other palates.
You can find a lot of the old favorites at Pickle Banh Mi Co. but what really drew me to the restaurant were their unique signature sandwiches. Most of these I haven’t seen at any Vietnamese take away let alone any fusion restaurant. It should also be noted that they make their own pickles (I mean, it is in their name) so grab some extra if you like that stuff.
The Pickle Banh Mi Co. Filet Lomo Saltado Sandwich
It should go without saying, but any place that has “banh mi” in it’s name better have a good baguette. It’s the foundation in which Viet fusion has built it’s popularity with American eaters. The word literally translates to “bread” also, so that’s obviously important. Vietnamese baguettes are different from their French counterparts, they tend to have a lighter and more delicate structure. I love a good Viet baguette, but I never eat them in the car because the crust breaks apart so easily. It’s a marvelous texture but can get messy when fresh.
Steak and bread is a combination that truly stands the test of time. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where the combination of the two have been bad. Pickle has added some upgrades to their sandwich by adding red peppers, fried potato, and jalapenos. It has the ingredients that you would see in a Peruvian Lomo Saltado, but I don’t quite get the vibes from this sandwich. Either way, the beef tenderloin mixed with the sauteed veg and crispy baguette are worth your time. The addition of fries also made this sandwich heartier than expected, it’s not a lot, but it’s noticable.
According to their menu, the Filet Mignon Lomo Saltado has two sauces: garlic aioli and spicy cilantro lime cream, which I feel like is kina of putting a hat on a hat. Texture wise they are about the same and the cilantro cream really masks any flavor you get from the garlic sauce. It’s good nonetheless and not so overpowering that it takes away from the other ingredients. It’s not a sauce, but I find that juices from the meat and vegetables mix well with everything as well. It brings it all together very nicely.
I love Vietnamese sandwich shops because they usually have the best bread and very reasonable prices. Pickle Banh Mi Co. is slightly more expensive compared to it’s counterparts. You still get value for money when you consider what you’re getting though. I don’t think I’ve ever had a filet mignon anything for less than $10 (this sandwich is like $8). If you’re looking for more traditional Banh Mi, Pickle is good but you can find comparable stuff for cheaper around Little Saigon. What separates them from the rest of the pack is their Premium Banh Mi menu and the pickles they make in house; and it’s still pretty cheap compared to a lot of sandwich places.
Their Crispy Pork belly sandwich is also REALLY good.
Pickle banh Mi Co.
12372 Brookhurst St
Garden Grove, CA 92840