Federal Boulevard is a great adventure if you love ethnic food -- but it's not always easy to tell what's vegetarian-friendly. And if you're a vegan, you'll have an even more difficult time separating the fish cakes from tofu. At New Saigon Bakery & Deli, though, you can enjoy a vegan banh mi. And if you'll consume dairy and eggs, the pie's the limit: You'll find some truly phenomenal desserts here.
No matter what time of day you show up, you'll find a few other people waiting to place an order or to pick one up -- but that's okay, because you can use the time to peruse unusual deli items, everything from spicy fish strips to dessert cookies. The fruit tart (pictured above) was an impulse purchase, with assorted fruits arranged on top of a custard tart. Although it was difficult to eat without a fork, it was well worth the money we shelled out for a delicious end to ourmeal.
Before you indulge in dessert, remember to order a banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich with pickled vegetables and fresh cilantro on a crusty baguette for just $3.50 -- for an almost foot-long sandwich. This vegan version also comes with a few kinds of meat substitutes (so don't freak out if you bite into it and discover a pork-style cutlet or lunchmeat-like turkey replacement), but the veggies and bread are the real stars. In fact, you might ask the kitchen to skip the meat replacements -- the sandwich is just as tasty without them.
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New Saigon Bakery & Deli is open daily (except for Monday) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; call 303-935-7859.