Sunday, November 11, 2007

Zon Baguettes

I remember when there was just an empty lot where Zon Baguettes now stands. Strata Tustin Center, where Zon Baguettes is located, is so close to our apartment, that Devin and I chose to ride our bicycles. It was a green and healthy way to grab our equally healthy meal.

Zon Baguettes opened in July 2006 and it's a a convenient place for us to pick up a couple of sandwiches (banh mi) for under $10.

There are tables both indoors and outdoors and while we waited for our sandwiches, I noticed some customers picking up orders that they had phoned in. In addition to the banh mi, Zon Baguettes sells pho, fried rice, egg rolls, summer rolls (goi cuon), boba, pastries, salads, popsicles, and a stand filled with bags of chips, Yan Yan, and tins of pate.

While they had goi cuon already made and packaged, I ordered mine without pork, so I had to wait a little longer for them to make it especially for me. I was willing to wait because I'm glad they were able to accommodate my pescetarian needs so I could enjoy one of the foods that I love. One order of goi cuon came with two medium-sized summer rolls and a small tub of Hoisin and peanut sauce.

As you can see in this slice of the goi cuon, at Zon Baguettes, it is filled with shrimp, rice vermicelli, iceberg lettuce, and cilantro. Without the mint that I am used to tasting in goi cuon, this ended up being pretty bland goi cuon, and the shrimp didn't help. Although I counted four shrimp through the opaque wrapper, there only ended up being two full-sized shrimp that were cut in half to make four pieces. The shrimp were tough and flavorless, so I was pretty much eating wrapped up vermicelli noodles.

But, as you can see in the above photo, my #14 Viet Veggies banh mi was packed with an array of vegetables.

The #14 Viet Veggies banh mi contains jalepenos, cucumbers, carrots, vermicelli, cilantro, and a sweet and tangy mayonnaise that really brought the flavors together. The vegetables were crunchy and fresh and they certainly didn't skimp on the portions. My only very minor complaint is that the jalepenos didn't pack very much heat.

And the bread. You don't come to Zon Baguettes expecting Lee's Sandwiches. The bread at Zon Baguettes is always fresh, with a crispy exterior and a soft and fluffy interior that doesn't leave the inside of your mouth raw.

Devin had a Turkey and Swiss Cheese sandwich from Zon Baguettes, and while I thought it looked pretty mediocre (I obviously didn't try it), he really enjoyed it.

Even though Devin's Turkey and Swiss Cheese sandwich wasn't as packed as my Viet Veggies banh mi, I would say the ratio of bread to filling is still pretty good for a sandwich. He agrees that the bread at Zon Baguettes is great, so having a sandwich from here that is half bread, half filling is a win-win situation.

Our sandwiches took a little longer than usual to make because there were several orders ahead of ours and because of my special order of goi cuon. Our view while we waited was of the stand of chips, Yan Yan, Snow Pea Crisps, and tins of pate, so I couldn't resist picking up two bags of chips after oogling them as I hungrily awaited our order. These were a nice addition to round out our meal.

Whenever I have visited Zon Baguettes, there has always been a stack of menus to take home. It figures that the one time I actually have a use for the take-home menu, they don't have any. I will snag and post a menu the next chance I get.

Zon Baguettes
14081 Newport Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780


Liz Losh said...

Nice work on another mouth-watering posting with excellent photographs to illustrate your reviews. Maybe you could start to take it a bit further to think about possible arguments about food, diet, neighborhoods, local businesses, etc. that you might want to put forward. Food criticism can be more than restaurant reviews, but given the quality of your posting, this is certainly an excellent place to start.

Heina said...

Just an overall comment: I like how you're able to include non-pescetarian foods in your reviews. It adds a little something to already well-done reviewing work.

Alyssa said...

Heina: I want my blog to appeal to non-vegetarians/non-pescetarians as well because I think there tends to be a stigma concerning vegetarianism, especially veganism. We are normal people who have no trouble finding things to eat wherever we go and can live in harmony with carnivores, at least in my experience.

Professor Losh: I have been doing some research into sustainable fishing, but I think that Heina's comment also provides me with concerns about alternative diets and the stigma surrounding them.