Saigon Gourmet

It's time to saddle up your sandwich horse and ride. This pint-sized restaurant on the edge of the International District/Chinatown sells some of the best Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches in town for just $2 apiece, tax included. From the open kitchen, scattered with bowls of chopped carrots and cilantro, just-fried eggs and sliced barbecued pork, emerge masterful mixtures of protein, marinated vegetables, and spicy sauce (with optional ham spread for the fancypants in you) stuffed into sog-proof French baguettes. The roast beef and barbecue pork sandwiches are packed with a truly astounding amount of meat, considering the price, and the spiciness never overwhelms the main attraction. Vegetarians, too, have something to rejoice about: Saigon Gourmet's amazing tofu-and-fried-egg sandwich. Still warm from the pan, the fluffy egg joins tender tofu and crunchy carrots and cucumbers in a textural triptych, while fresh cilantro and sriracha (a sweet-hot garlic-chili sauce popular in Vietnamese cooking) provide ample seasoning. 502 S. King St., 206-624-2611. INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT/CHINATOWN

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