BEST VIETNAMESE SANDWICH Phoenix 2006 - Lee's Sandwiches
The sammies this San Jose-based chain trades in are banh mi, the culinary intersection of Vietnamese and French influences. The Frogs contributed the thin, très crusty French bread, along with mayo and butter. And the Vietnamese added cilantro, pickled daikon and carrots. They split the difference, however, on the meats used, with Gallic-styled ham and pork liver p?t? getting equal billing with Chinese barbecued pig and crushed Vietnamese pork meatballs, in addition to headcheese and sliced pork roll. Lee's is a huge, gleaming place, with big flat-screen TVs, a bakery, a computer area for customers, and a station where little cream-filled cakes called Delimanjoo are pumped out nonstop. You can wash these down with exotic smoothies, such as durian, jack fruit, red bean, lychee, taro root, etc., or iced teas with pearl tapioca at the bottom. If Lee's sounds like the most magical place on Earth, well, it is to us. You take Disneyland. Leonard Cohen will take Manhattan. And we'll take Lee's any day of the week.