Any self-proclaimed banh mi aficionado (guilty as charged) knows that the secret to a great banh mi is in the bread. The bread should have the perfect balance of crispy crust yet tender on the inside. Sounds simple yet many restaurants that serve banh mi fail in this minor yet very important detail.
Dinosaurs definitely got the French baguette down for their Vietnamese sandwiches. Dino could almost rival Saigon Sandwich in the TL which is touted as the best banh mi in SF as far as perfect bread is concerned.
Dinosaurs is more on the creative side than the traditional when it comes to their sandwich fillings. There were the usual suspects: Shaking Beef, Combo Roast Pork, Lemongrass Pork or Chicken but I steered towards the vegetarian offerings to accomodate my weekday vegetarian diet.
The first two times I tried the CRISPY TOFU BANH MI $4.75. My mouth watered just thinking about the crispy tofu steak but what I got instead was shredded fried tofu, rice noodles, and taro with Vegenaise. I have never had tofu served to me like this before. Eating this sandwich was like eating dried ants or those Piknik Shoestring Potatoes that I used to eat when I was a kid. I really think that this sammich had potential but it was on the dry side. Next time I will ask for an extra douse of Vegenaise.
On my third visit I tried the SPICY TUNA $4.75. So simple yet it was divine! The savory tuna in spicy mayo in between crusty French baguette was just really delicious!
Dinosaurs is a little box with friendly staff but the streetside tables are perfect for al fresco dining – just like on a gorgeous warm day in the Castro yesterday.
(Dinosaurs also sell decent Shrimp or Chicken Papaya Salad. They were good yet pretty standard.)