Kinda tired of French cuisine at the moment so I was looking for a spicy jolt out of the doldrums. I'd read some nice things about this banh mi spot in Belleville called Saigon Sandwich (not to be confused with Paris Sandwich in NY's Chinatown) and went to try it for lunch. Belleville's not exactly around the corner from where I work, but thanks to my employer's generous two hour lunch rule (ok, I actually made up the rule) I had plenty of time to jump two trains to check it out.
It's my kind of place - a tiny one-man shop that churns out only three types of banh mi very quickly. I opted for the chicken and while it was being crafted, took a quick look around. This is definitely a take out joint. It's about as big as a minivan and while it has three small chairs against the wall, those look to be for the owner and his buddies to shoot the shit between customers.
I ate a few bites of the sandwich before jumping back on the metro. It was just what the doctor ordered: spicy, fresh, delicious. It's Paris so of course the bread is good but it's not the most jam-packed banh mi I've ever had - the proportion of bread to filling is a bit off. However, in a city where I've paid 5 Euros for a glass of Coke, I'm amazed that these banh mi only cost 3 Euros each. 3 Euros! If you have ever spent time in Paris, you know why I am so amazed. I will be going back here for sure.