This post originally appeared on the Taste and Savor blog on June 6, 2012
How could I not be intrigued by a bakery bearing my name? Of course we will overlook the fact that their spelling of “Lea” is incorrect. All jokes aside, I had been looking forward to trying Lee’s Bakery for several weeks. Lee’s is a Vietnamese bakery specializing in the noodle soup, pho as well as traditional ban mi sandwiches.
A plastic tray filled with an array of spicy condiments certainly peaked my interest as we sat down at our table to order. I ordered a lunch special which included a grilled pork banh min and a copious bowl of beef noodle pho. The banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, which translated, means “bread”. The bread they are referring to is a small baguette. The sandwiches can be filled with tofu, fried eggs, chicken or more typically, pork. The sandwiches are garnished with fresh cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber slices, jalapenos and Vietnamese mayonnaise. The condiments were so delicious that I could have eaten them as a sandwich on their own, no meat necessary. I am somewhat remiss to admit that this was my first ever banh mi sandwich. Not quite sure how I have gone all these years with out tasting one of these, but rest assured, I will be trying my best to make up for lost time.
The second item in my lunch combo was a piping hot bowl of beef noodle soup called pho. This may have been hands down, one of the best soups I have ever had. The depth of flavor in the broth was amazing. The soup had the effect of a warm elixer going down. I immediately felt better after having a few spoonfuls, and mind you, I did not even feel bad prior.
I left Lee’s this afternoon with the warmth of hot chilis still tingling on my lips, and feeling exited about the new flavors I had discovered. The next time a make a sandwich for lunch, I will be skipping my usual pickles, lettuce and tomato, and adding a little Vietnamese flair with sliced cucumbers, pickled veggies, fresh jalapeno and cilantro.
Lee’s Bakery is located at 4500 Buford Highway NE, Altanta, GA 30345.