What do you usually have for breakfast when you eat out? Omelettes? Breakfast burritos? Pancakes? French Toast? How about Vietnamese sandwiches
No, huh? Well, why not? Lynda Sandwich in Westminster located just outside the shadow of the grocery giant Siêu-thị Thuận-phát , serves up a fried egg and cured sausage bánh mì, which, as far as I’m concerned, should become as integral a part of the Orange County quick-breakfast palette as an overstuffed burrito from the Rooster Cafe or a bagel piled high from the Bagel Shack.
Cured Chinese sausage, or lạp xưởng, is a sausage whose red skin, lightly porous flesh, sweet-iron taste, and impossibly high grease content is tailor-made for the kind of artery-clogging breakfast that Americans love so much. The interaction of that, the fried egg, house-made mayo and pickled vegetables with the soft, fresh-baked French bread is goopy, overstuffed, dripping flavor perfection. You can use the vegetables to convince your modern, diet-conscious self that you are having a nice healthy meal, and meanwhile the mayo, sausage, and egg will satisfy your ancestral, impulsive self, who wants to intake as much excess fat as possible so that it can survive famines. Both of your selves win here.
Some Vietnamese dishes are an acquired taste; they take a long time for you to move from ‘hmm, this could be interesting...’ to ‘wow, I am craving this!!’. Shredded dry-spiced pork skins, for example, or preserved lime soda, or soup featuring cubes of congealed pigs’ blood. This sandwich, however, is not one of those things. Your tastebuds already know they like sausages, eggs, and dairy spreads on soft-baked bread, and will accept this sandwich with open arms. Plus, the cashiers and servers here speak perfect English, so if you’re leery of the guess-and-point strategy of menu-ordering, this is your place.
Don’t forget to also order the only non-tooth-freezingly-sweet fruity iced tea you’re likely to find in Little Saigon. They offer passion fruit and lychee, both of which are equally refreshing. There will even be frozen fruit in your ice cubes! Wait for them to melt for a surprise breakfast dessert.
(originally published over at Examiner)