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An Xuyen


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#21 TastyTidbits1

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 08:56 AM

I like her. She's a very smart little girl trying to occupy herself in a boring situation. She can push things a bit, but ask her non-bakery related questions and she lights up.

#22 vj

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:08 AM

I think Tasty has it right there. I'm fond of her - but then we don't talk about bakery things. And for whatever reason, she hasn't played keep away with my food. All things in time, I guess.

#23 reduxredux

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 12:01 AM

I don't want to seem like a total misanthrope for starting the downpour of negativity about An Xuyen's adolescent counter girl. I have had some really nice interactions with her, but sometimes I just want good service. She is awesome in the same way that your friend who always starts interesting conversations is awesome, but terrible in the way that sometimes you just want to eat a sandwich.

#24 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 10:35 PM

http://www.portlandm...ent?oid=3719850

Tucked away in a stripmall-ish parking lot on SE 54th and Foster, An Xuyen looks, from the outside, more utilitarian than artful (maybe it's the addition of "Inc." to the end of their name). A maroon awning overhangs two patio tables when the weather's nice, but that's the only seating to be found. Inside, the shelves are lined with cookies, Hawaiian sweet breads, and pastries. Behind a glass display case of decorated cakes and fruit tarts, there's an impressive selection of Hello Kitty ephemera. Ignore all that for now, and direct your attention to the fast-food style menu displayed behind the cash register.

There are about a dozen sandwich variations to choose from, but all follow the same basic formula: a protein, pickled carrots, daikon radish, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeño. My favorite—and now I know how Sophie felt—is probably the lemongrass pork. The meat is succulent, and the lemongrass brings out a subtle citrus and ginger flavor that pairs nicely with the accoutrements. As far as cold options, I like the ham and pâté combination (though, when I ordered the pâté bahn mi alone, it was a little bit lacking).


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#25 JayinPortland

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:36 PM

Well, it took the better part of a decade living in Portland, and almost four years living in this apartment, just like 18 blocks away from the place, to finally hit An Xuyen for a sandwich, but am I sure glad I did!

Things finally settled down here after a roller coaster two weeks when I thought - "I have six weeks left in Portland, no wait I have three weeks, no I have four weeks... no now I maybe have just five days! Oh wait, okay, now..."

I have 28 days after today, things are finally figured out and set in stone. One load off my mind, so now I can get back to eating and stuff. :)

Had the 'combination.' Just my second banh mi ever. The first was not at all memorable (not bad either, though), from a cart downtown on a random Saturday late last summer. This one sure hit the spot, though. And for $2.50, I mean how on earth can you go wrong? I will have to try the lemongrass pork ($2.99) one very soon. Speaking again as a total n00b on these items, I enjoyed every single thing about the sandwich. The bread, the ingredients and the interplay of flavors, etc. Although it could have used more heat / spice. My only complaint, I guess. I was asked if I wanted it spicy, I said "hell yeah!" I've had water that was spicier than that sandwich, but again maybe that's just me...

Those pork buns look good, too. Must try one soon.

Since I'm no longer in possession of a TriMet pass and since the next transit pass I buy will be from SEPTA in about five weeks, whenever I do eat out this last month here it will be cheap-ish places within walking distance around the way. The taco truck up on Powell, maybe Gladstone Pizza one last time, perhaps Foster Burger. And definitely An Xuyen. Maybe three more times? I can work my way through most of the sandwich menu, I think. I'd like that.

Also. Just found out Philadelphia actually has one of the largest Vietnamese populations in the US, and although per capita it's a little bit smaller than Portland's, its Vietnamese restaurant scene is apparently pretty decent, particularly along Washington Avenue around 12th in South Philly; and there's also a rather generic but pretty well thought-of pho joint near where I'll be living in Kensington. So I will get to build on my pho and banh mi experience back there, after all. Whoo!

#26 polloelastico

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:42 PM

For the price, a sandwich at this place is the best money you'll spend dollar for dollar for food anywhere in Portland, I would have to say. They are actually larger and filled more generously than Binh Minh (but I'd rather have a sandwich -- or two -- from there).

Jay, I think you'll be set in Philly. I have never been, but I follow a popular political blogger who lives in Philly who posts about Vietnamese food on occasion and went to college back in the early nineties (I am old!) with a girl from Philly that even back then talked about the great Vietnamese food back in her old home town.
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#27 Nacho_B

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:48 PM

...The bread, the ingredients and the interplay of flavors, etc. Although it could have used more heat / spice. My only complaint, I guess. I was asked if I wanted it spicy, I said "hell yeah!" I've had water that was spicier than that sandwich, but again maybe that's just me...


Hola,

I'm a fan of An Xuyen as well. I like their food, I like that family, and I like that scene. As to their level of spicy lately, though, I have to agree with you. I think there are two factors at play:

1. They have a new (or sort of new) guy making the sandwiches. I noticed him about a month or so ago. The woman that used to make them has been there for the last few years, but every time I've been in recently it's a younger guy making them.

2. I haven't had a truly spicy hot jalapeño in Portland for some time. I think it's just this time of year. We're about as far from the summer pepper harvest as we can get right now. Has anyone had some fresh, hot jalapeños in town lately? Once summer rolls back around I suspect there will be some blisteringly, satisfyingly spicy bahn mi locally. That won't do you much good, since you'll be gone by then...but will be appreciated locally none the less.

¡Bienvendios a la chifladura!

#28 JayinPortland

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:48 PM

For the price, a sandwich at this place is the best money you'll spend dollar for dollar for food anywhere in Portland, I would have to say. They are actually larger and filled more generously than Binh Minh (but I'd rather have a sandwich -- or two -- from there).

Jay, I think you'll be set in Philly. I have never been, but I follow a popular political blogger who lives in Philly who posts about Vietnamese food on occasion and went to college back in the early nineties (I am old!) with a girl from Philly that even back then talked about the great Vietnamese food back in her old home town.


Yeah, the prices... I just have to say wow. That one sandwich filled me for lunch, and I can eat a lot. Heh. No complaints at all about the size or value per dollar, in fact I have to admit I was stunned. I went there expecting a snack, and found a full lunch in one sandwich instead. Although I can sure fit in a pork bun, or three halves of three sandwiches, to make it an even fuller lunch next time, I believe.

The nineties were so long ago, weren't they? Damn! You're not too old, though. I'm from the mid-to-late-90's college mini-generation, myself. ;)

#29 JayinPortland

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

Hola,

I'm a fan of An Xuyen as well. I like their food, I like that family, and I like that scene. As to their level of spicy lately, though, I have to agree with you. I think there are two factors at play:

1. They have a new (or sort of new) guy making the sandwiches. I noticed him about a month or so ago. The woman that used to make them has been there for the last few years, but every time I've been in recently it's a younger guy making them.

2. I haven't had a truly spicy hot jalapeño in Portland for some time. I think it's just this time of year. We're about as far from the summer pepper harvest as we can get right now. Has anyone had some fresh, hot jalapeños in town lately? Once summer rolls back around I suspect there will be some blisteringly, satisfyingly spicy bahn mi locally. That won't do you much good, since you'll be gone by then...but will be appreciated locally none the less.

¡Bienvendios a la chifladura!


Ah, very good point. I should have thought of that...

That won't do you much good, since you'll be gone by then...


Yeah, make me all sad and whatnot why don'tcha?!?! :lol: ;)

I'm gonna build an awesome Philly thread for youze all soon though, btw!

#30 ExtraMSG

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:48 PM

I think that Best Baguette is a better value. The bread is slightly less enjoyable, but the fillings overall are a bit of a wash. Binh Minh clearly has the best fillings overall and the best bread, though it seems like it's lost some of its crustiness in the last couple years.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#31 JayinPortland

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:15 PM

I want to try both of these too, actually, and I sure wouldn't mind the walk this weekend when I think about it...

#32 Jill-O

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:09 AM

My order of fave is Binh MInh, An Xuyen, Best Baguette.

I like that I can get extra meat on my sandwich at Binh Minh and usually do. The pate chaud at both An Xuyen and Binh MInh are worth trying - yum!
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#33 John DePaula

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:44 AM

By the way, I noticed today that Beaverton Uwajimaya has a large selection of baked goods from An Xuyen. So if you're on the West side, you're in luck!
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#34 ExtraMSG

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

Food4Less does too.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#35 EvaB

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

I got their bahn mi rolls at the Hong Phat market I posted about earlier (99th x Prescott NE)
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#36 mymil

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

I was surprised to see so much negativity about An Xuyen in this thread! I haven't had any of their refrigerated pastries, but I really really like their lemongrass pork sandwich. I've been much less impressed by their others, but if you haven't had that one... I recommend it.

#37 vj

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 10:10 AM

I got lucky enough to have a cold An Xuyen meatball bánh mì yesterday. Soooooo good! That bread is so crunchy and messy - oh!

 

The pickled veg includes cucumbers. I don't know if that's traditional, but I liked it.