Review: Baguette Deli Vietnamese Sandwiches
Oh my oh my have I ever discovered a little piece of Heaven in Boise. This place is now in the top ten eateries to visit in Boise, Idaho. It is small. It is full of people. It is out of this world delicious! It is called Baguette Deli Vietnamese Sandwiches and is equally tasty to Vietnamese Cuisine newbies and long-timers alike.
They offer a variety of wonderful baguette sandwiches, smoothies, spring rolls, and even a bowl of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) to choose from. The concept is a hybrid of Vietnamese and French foods. What genius. Let me recommend a few guaranteed taste bud pleasers on their menu.
During your first visit, I don’t recommend choosing any of the “American” sandwich offerings (like pesto turkey – though very delicious). Instead, go straight to the BBQ Pork sandwich.
This pork is fantastic. It is marinated in Chinese BBQ sauce, lemongrass, and some other tasty things, and is then grilled to utter perfection. You get a slight occasional crunch from the grilling, and sweet spicy flavors from the marinade. The salty pungent flavors balance perfectly with the rest of the ingredients on the sandwich, which are all served on an exceptionally crunchy and soft baguette. The baguettes are sourced, and freshly baked hourly, across the street at Orient Market.
In addition to the pork, the sandwich is filled with a sweet mayo spread, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeños, and pickled carrots, cucumbers, and daikon radish. It is perfect, just simply perfect!
Don’t worry about the jalapeños, they really aren’t that hot at all. But if you do feel some burn, just take another bite of sandwich. The bread and mayo spread do an amazing job of stopping the burn instantly.
The BBQ Pork is the best on the menu, and is only $3.25. But the grilled beef isn’t bad either. It is marinated in a dark soy sauce with some added flavors that make it taste oddly similar to beef jerky, but with a soft texture and grilled flavor that is very pleasing.
The spring rolls are equally delicious. They are perfectly wrapped in a rice wrapper (a feat I’ve yet to master in my kitchen), and filled with pork, rice noodles, lettuce, cilantro, and succulent steamed shrimp. They are served with a tasty sweet soy/ginger/peanut sauce for dipping, and are well worth the extra couple bucks.
To top the experience of salivating glory off, make sure you order an Avocado Smoothie. It’s freaking awesome! Bright green avocados blended with ice and sweetened condensed milk. It’s fantastic, unless of course you don’t like avocados. I’ve had avocado smoothies in other cities, and this is as good as any I’ve ever tried. I know a lot of people think that avocados only belong in guacamole, but there is something truly magical about the creamy, nutty flavor of avocados mixed with sugar. Delish!
I ordered mine with boba for $0.50 more. Boba is Pearl Tapioca, and provides a very fun chewy texture to your smoothie and/or tea. It is very traditional in many Asian cultures and is well worth trying. However, I found that it introduced a dark caramel flavor to my avocado smoothie that just didn’t seem to pair well together. It would be great in the strawberry or mango smoothie however, so definitely add it if ordering one of those. Word of warning though, Boba will bring out the kid in you. It’s just so fun sucking these chewy little nuggets of delight up through your over-sized straw!
So if you find yourself anywhere near Franklin and Curtis, stop into Baguette Deli Vietnamese Sandwiches in the Fred Meyer complex. You’ll be very glad that you did.