LEE’S Banh Mi – Poetically Bad

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Let’s get one thing straight: ELV loves Vietnam. He loves the Vietnamese. He likes their culture and he enjoys their food. He loves Vietnam and the Vietnamese people so much he went to great lengths in 1970-1971 to avoid going over there and killing any of them.

For these facts alone he should be a hero to the Vietnamese people. (Although, given the kind of soldier ELV would’ve made, his tour of duty/life in Southeast Asia would’ve been mercifully short.)

Perhaps, if he had had bánh mì sandwiches over there he would’ve fallen in love with them too.

But he doubts it.

He doubts it because he thinks, by now, he’s eaten bánh mì sandwiches everyplace but Vietnam and always found them to be the same, sorry, strange assemblage of shitty stuff on sub-standard bread.

But, like the Light Brigade of decades past, ELV has charged into the breach, entered the jaws of the valley of sandwich death, again and again, half a league, half a league,  half a league onward, hoping against hope to vanquish this dastardly demon of despicable dining.

ELV has it figured out: Bánh mì are Vietnam’s revenge for what we did to them from 1965-1975. Quite frankly, we deserve it, but that doesn’t make their sad pickles and cheap meats taste any better.

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

Half a Lee’s, half a Lee’s,
Half a Lee’s onward,
All in the valley of sandwich Death
Rode the six hundred hungry souls.
“Forward, the Lee’s Brigade!
“Charge for the condiments” he said:
Into the valley of sandwich Death
Rode the six hundred hungry souls.

“Forward, the Lee’s Brigade!”
Was there a gourmet dismay’d?
Not tho’ the eater knew
Someone had blunder’d:
His was not to make reply,
His was not to reason why (it tastes so lame),
His was but to do and die trying to like the damn thing:
Into the valley of sandwich Death
Rode the six hundred hungry souls.

Condiments to right of them, Condiments to left of them,
Condiments in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with pork skin and mystery loaf,
Boldly we tried to eat well, but,
Into the jaws of sandwich Death,
Into the mouth of sandwich Hell
Rode the six hundred hungry souls .

Flash’d all their appetites bare,
Flash’d as they salivated at the air bread,
Sabring the baguette,
Charging the cucumbers, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the banh mi dac biet
Right thro’ the banh mi xiu mai;
Unsuspecting Americans
Reel’d from the cheap meats
Shatter’d and sunder’d by their meal’s mediocrity

They that had fought hunger so well
Came thro’ the jaws of sandwich Death
Back from the mouth of sammie Hell,
All that was left of a half-eaten loaf,
Left by six hundred hungry souls.

When can their appetites fade?
O the wild attempts they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the eating they made,
Honor their attempts to slay such sandwich sadness,
Noble six hundred still-hungry souls.

Our meal for one came to $8, including a buck-fifty tip, which explains all you need to know about these joints.


3989 Spring Mountain Road

Las Vegas, NV 89102



4 thoughts on “LEE’S Banh Mi – Poetically Bad

  1. Atta Boy ELV. Fantastic effort!

    Kinda ironic that some 150 years later the bravery of the 600 men who made the suicidal charge into those Russian cannons ends up as a metaphor for yet another unpleasant experience with a truly horrific sandwich.

    When can their glory fade?

    Foward the Light Brigade!

  2. Yep bad stuff I went to the one in LA horrible. BUT Saigon Sandwich in San Francisco I believe will change your mind. Maybe you need another road trip

  3. That’s why I didn’t want to go there the other day Cuz. When I went a month ago, the lines were long and slow, the bread stale, and the fixin’s mediocre. I can make a better deli sandwich at home.

    There is a better Bánh mì place down the street, whos name escapes me.
    Hue Thai I think?? Better than Lee’s at least.

  4. I was disappointed with Lee’s as well.

    Hue Thai, Mr. Sandwich and the Vietnamese joint in the same plaza as Ichiza (all three located on Spring Mtn.) are all run by the same people. Excellent sandwiches.

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