Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese sandwiches’

The Tip Top Point

January 16, 2010


In the banh mi diaspora of Little Saigon, opinions on where to find the best baguette are as authoritative and polarized as HuffPost and the Heritage Foundation’s combative takes on global warming. And it’s not just the bread. At a local salon, I’ve seen trash talking sessions about sandwich fillings get as hot as a Conair Infiniti dryer.

 A teeming social hub well-respected in the cult of the Vietnamese sandwich, Tip Top’s is crammed with loyal congregants gossiping and reading Nguoi Viet. Bread comes out of the massive ovens hourly creating a market so competitive that attempting to sell a cooled baguette in this neighborhood is as dismal a prospect as trying to trade mom’s Weight Watchers protein bar for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at the grade school lunch tables. 

A Tip Top baguette has a scored and slightly bubbled outer crust that shatters on contact like a pane of sugar on crème brûlée leaving shards of flakiness in its wake. The core, still warm from the oven, soaks up the juicy, fat marbled savory pork  tangled with cool, sweet pickled daikon, shaggy carrot slivers, fresh cilantro sprigs and jalapeño spheres. The experience is at once crispy, spicy, warm and crunchy. And at $3.45, the price is as sweet as the cafe sua da.

A shrill bell channeling an elementary school’s fire alarm sounds before your order number is read. Forget the uninspired American-style sandwiches and leave the Patisserie to Pierre’s Boulangerie down the street, but hustle to the take-out counter: that baguette won’t be warm forever. Tip Top’s Sandwiches 14094 Brookhurst St. Garden Grove. 714.530.9239. Lunch for two, $8.00,  food only.