Battlin' Banh Mi

There's a little smackdown going on in the lunch scene on Clement Street. Little Vietnam Cafe has been my go to lunch spot for a couple of years now. With a fine selection of those afforadble little Vietnamese sandwiches, along with grab and go cold rolls, it is a great place to nab a tasty lunch for under $5. They were even named Best Banh Mi by SFWeekly a few weeks ago, a category with no small amount of competition here in San Francisco. Here is what the Weekly had to say:

All the banh mi ... excel in the basic competencies: A warm, airy French roll so crisp that crumbs fly off its surface when you press down. A faint coating of sweetened mayonnaise. Enough cilantro to perfume each bite, and enough jalapeƱos to keep you pausing after every few mouthfuls.

But now there's a new kid on the block, and they got game. Cafe Bunn Mi opened a couple of weeks ago in the space left vacant when Java closed down. Aside from the more upscale interior, they've got a broader selection of banh mi, from crispy duck to smokey vegetable. Toss in possible sides like sweet potato fries and dungeness crab puffs, and game on.

I'm going to split my lunch dollar between the two of them, as I do love those cold rolls at Little Vietnam as a quick lunch option, but I do hear that crispy duck calling....