Best Baguette is the splashy entrant into the PDX bánh mì universe, the hair-sprayed cousin with manicured nails, knock-off couture, and shiny new car. Modeled after some of the trendy sandwich emporiums indigenous to Southern California (i.e. Lee’s Sandwiches), Best Baguette instantly sets itself apart from mom-n-pop bánh mì shops with its conspicious ambition. For one thing, it has a drive-thru. A drive-thru!
They got signage and everything, and somebody is shelling out serious coin at the local reprographics shop, as these promotional banners attest. The main promo banner tells me if I order like 13 sandwiches I will score an iced coffee.
Their menu wall is in color. They feature many flavors of boba. I have no interest in boba, as I am not a communist.
Notice how the photo for the Chicken Salad sandwich is absent. Maybe it was sick on yearbook photo day.
Here’s some thumbnails of the menu. In addition to a full range of Vietnamese specialties, including a sardine option, many Americanized/Euro versions are offered. Again, I know not what these sandwiches are like, as, alas, I am not a fascist. Though I am strangely intrigued by the “savory shrimp in a new form of sandwich”. Who wouldn’t be?
One thing that bugs me about Best Baguette is that they pack their garnishes in a seperate, plastic bag. For one thing, it’s a needless waste. Secondly, it affects the material composition of the sandwich. Ask them to pack that shit in there.
How’s the sandwich? Very good. It is one of the longer Vietnamese sandwiches you’ll find, though the baguette itself is much more narrow than others. Their bread has improved since their opening days.
You’ll also find frozen iced treats of some sort. I haven’t ordered any, probably for the same reason I wouldn’t order a sardine sandwich at Mio Gelato.
Best Baguette is also a bakery, selling various breads…
…including these monstrous yeast amalgamations that look like they’re swiped from the set of Pan’s Labrynth.
The baguettes themselves are great when you want to indulge in a childhood treat, in this case the french bread pizza, which got me through many a lonely night during puberty.
Summary: Best Baguette makes a decent sandwich. With Binh Minh just a quarter-mile away, it’s hard to opt over that if you’re talking pure quality, but Best Baguette has a wider selection, it has a drive-through, and its glossy, Westernized modernity sometimes is a nice change of pace. Also, Best Baguette keeps good hours, serving sandwiches into the evening.
8308 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97266