Is it possible that there is a better place in Seattle that serves better bành mì than either Saigon Deli or Seattle Deli? A provocative question here in the Seattle area where the sheer number of places that serve the sandwich means everyone has his or her own favorite. I can say this though. I might’ve found the best place for the Vietnamese baguette. Tucked away in the far corner of a strip mall in Rainier Beach right off MLK Jr Way that also has a Viet Wah supermarket and several Vietnamese-Chinese restaurants, Q Bakery sells bành mì rolls second to none. If there is a lighter, crispier bread—some might argue the most important part of the sandwich—I have yet to find it. With ample parking, it’s a sight easier to pick up a sandwich there than in Little Saigon.
Customers most certainly do come here to buy the bread, many in bulk. Baskets and trays of various kinds of bread greet you at the entrance.
Toward the back is the food service area where prepared hot foods can be ordered and sandwiches made. A few tables inside let customers eat there instead of do take-out. A quick glance at the menu shows kinds of bành mì not readily found in other Vietnamese delis and bakeries. Some of the fillings include head cheese, shredded pork skin and, yes, teriyaki chicken.
Rather than requesting the usual grilled pork, my wife and I decided to try the liver paté and meatball (xíu mại) fillings. Both of them were good (☆☆☆), the meatball mashed and spread rather than left whole or sliced. The pickled vegetables were not as vinegary as we would’ve liked. But, oh, that bread—so airy, light enough that it compressed with ease around the fillings, crackly enough on the outside to send shards of crust raining down on our clothes with every bite. Messy, but ethereal.
If I find my perfect filling at Q Bakery, the bành mì there would supplant Saigon Deli and Seattle Deli as my favorite.
3818 S Graham St
Seattle, WA 98118