Fast Food Features Hit-Or-Miss

Meet The Vietnamese Immigrants Who Created A Multi-Million Dollar Banh Mi Sandwich Empire


Lee’s Sandwiches, the multi-million dollar Vietnamese banh mi sandwich empire, began as a modest food truck run by a family that arrived in America with little to nothing.

Chieu Le, the founder of Lee’s Sandwiches and the eldest of nine children, was in his second year of law school before the fall of Saigon. In 1975, the Vietcong shut down the law school and took over the family’s property and sugar plant business.

Hot baguette, pate, and iced coffee! #breakfastofchamps #leessandwiches

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The Les were forced to flee on a small fishing boat filled with 98 others, one of the first waves of people to escape Vietnam by boat. Fortunately, their boat avoided disasters like pirate raids and storms that countless others faced.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Le and his wife arrived safely at a refugee camp in Malaysia where they stayed for 13 months. A month after welcoming their first born son, Minh, Le and his wife were on a plane to America.

When Le, his parents, four brothers and four sisters finally made it to the U.S., they settled down in San Jose, California. Le began taking night classes to learn English at San Jose High and bought food from a food truck that parked nearby the school.

Soon after Le stopped his English classes and began working for the Vietnamese owner of the food truck in order to support his younger brothers and sisters. Within a year, Le had saved enough money to buy a truck of his own and began a family operated food truck business in 1981.

He and his brother, Henry Le, the second oldest of the siblings, started Lee Bros. Foodservices after noticing that other immigrant trucks had trouble stocking food and ice. The brothers decided to add an extra letter “e” behind their name to help others pronounce it.

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Lee Bros. Foodservices would grow to become the largest industrial catering company in northern California. In 1983, their parents Le Van Ba and Nguyen Thi Hanh asked to sell their traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches on the weekend to students and residents near San Jose State University. The rest was history.

台北上班族的越南晚餐 🇻🇳 #leessandwiches #taipei #vietnamesefood

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They opened their first Lee’s Sandwiches location on Santa Clara street. In 2001, Le’s eldest son, Minh, proposed the idea of adding euro-style sandwiches, fresh baked baguettes, desserts, drinks and the famous Vietnamese iced coffee or “ca phe sua da” to the menu.

My cravings! #DeLi #Manjoo #creamcake #LeeSandwiches

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Thanks to Minh, the family also adopted principles of American fast-food companies and transformed Lee’s into what it is today. Unfortunately, Minh wasn’t able to see the fruition of his ideas as he was involved in a tragic traffic accident a few months before Lee’s opened up shop.

My health lunch #delicious #grilled #chicken #sandwiches

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The family went on to establish their first store in Southern California on Bolsa Avenue in Westminster. Today, Lee’s Sandwiches is the world’s biggest chain of banh mi sandwiches with 60 shops throughout the U.S. and plans of expansion to Taiwan.

Write by Laura Dang | NextShark

Fast Food

Asian Sandwich Chain Forced To Recall More Than 200,000 Pounds Of Meat


Lee’s Sandwiches is recalling 213,000 pounds of meat items that weren’t properly inspected, reports the Los Angeles Times. According to a news release, products that were produced without inspection were susceptible to increased human health risk.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture stated that the products Lee’s was serving had been produced in a facility that wasn’t marked by the USDA seal. These included both pork and chicken pates, salami, steamed meat buns, cooked turkey breast and beef jerky which had been produced between May 18, 2014 and May 18, 2015.

Lee’s Sandwiches supplied meats to locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

As of publication, there hasn’t been any reports of illnesses from the meat. However, better safe than sorry.

Photo: Lee’s Sandwiches



These are the Worst Foods to Eat While Driving

As a lifelong commuter, here’s a situation I’ve found myself in more times than I’d like to admit:

It’s 6 p.m. and I’ve just gotten out of work (or class or internship or whatever) and I. Am. Starving. With a capital “Sta.” I don’t want to wait for dinner and chances are when I get home, I’ll just have to bury myself in more work anyway, so I do the only logical thing and head to the nearest watering hole to pick myself up a little something-something—you know, just to keep me and my fat ass company for the next 45 minutes.

And after doing this for a while now, I can proudly say I’ve learned a few things. Here’s a brief (by no means inclusive) list of foods I’ve learned it sucks to eat on a long drive home:


Now I’m not talking about all burritos. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that Taco Bell has absolutely perfected car food. Their tacos and burritos are more tortilla than meat and their Crunchwrap Supreme is definitive proof that God loves everybody, even the chronically one-handed. No, no, I’m talking about you, Chipotle. And you, quasi-authentic Mexican place I still get embarrassed trying to pronounce the name of. Your food is amazing, but when I’m fiending for some Carne Asada on the way home and everything just falls out everywhere after the first bite, ain’t nobody happy. Especially not my seat covers.

Lee’s Sandwiches

Could you make a messier sandwich? I mean, I know all breads slough crumbs, but these baguettes do not leave behind crumbs. They leave behind bread shrapnel. Lots of it. Without fail, each and every bite I take sets off hundreds of invisible mines, sending piece after piece of French-Ameri-Viet fusion hurtling toward my carpets, where they remain buried for weeks until I find the time to pick them out with my bare hands. Plus there’s the smell. Jesus.


I know you’re trying baby, and I appreciate that, I do. It literally warms my heart every time I’m pulling through the drive-thru and the cute little In-N-Out girl with her silly hat smiles at me and asks whether or not I’ll be eating in the car, but let’s be real. Them wrappers is difficult. This is not a burger you can eat with one hand. Instead you’re caught pinky and palm on the wheel, all spare fingers barely holding onto that Double-Double-y goodness, while your free hand tries gently to peel back layer after layer of wax wrapping so your next bite isn’t just a mouthful of paper. Which, if you haven’t tried it, is actually pretty damn difficult to do. The only saving grace here are the fries, which are easy, and are probably the only reason I haven’t stopped doing this yet, in spite of all the car safety laws I know I’m breaking. YO-freaking-LO.


Just kidding. Foodbeast does not suggest or recommend drinking and driving. That would be dumb.

Any saucy/greasy or otherwise obnoxiously messy handheld thing

This is probably the saddest one on this list. This is what I eat when I hate the world and I hate myself and I really really really just need something battered and bathed in pig fat. In all seriousness though, eating this stuff while driving sucks. If you’re anything like me, chances are the guilt from buying the two dozen garlic parmesan wings is enough to convince you to try and be neat and hold the things with a napkin—which would, of course, ultimately fail, leaving you with dozens if not hundreds of little greasy finger prints all over your steering wheel, door handle and stick shift. Yeah, not pretty. And yeah, I’m driving stick.

Now, there are definitely foods that don’t suck to eat as a commuter. There are french fries and Taco Bell, as we’ve said. There are KFC chicken wraps, if you’re into that. In my perfect world, every rush hour craving would be for Panda Express.

First of all, the two-item entree comes in a huge box that can sit comfortably on my lap. Second of all, as long as you get the right things, you can stick it all with a fork—it’s amazing. So thank you Panda, for being the most commuter-friendly food I can think of (at least for the moment). Thank you Orange Chicken. Thank you steamed rice. Thank you, most of the things on the Panda Express menu. Except you, fried rice, you and your oily, slippery, un-forkable bullsh*t. You can go suck a fat one.

Think we missed one? What do you think are the worst foods to eat with driving?