OKLAHOMA CITY – Rarely is there a day that I drive through OKC’s Asian District and not see a ton of cars in the parking lot of the ever-popular restaurant Lee’s Sandwiches.
Sure, there are other sandwich places within view (one that is the biggest chain in the world and features a formerly fat man named Jared as their spokesman) of Lee’s, but their parking lots aren’t nearly as full.
To me, that’s always a good sign. Clearly Lee’s Sandwiches – a Vietnamese fast-food chain - has a good reputation. I’d been once before and found it to be pretty good. And since I was in the neighborhood doing a story on the Chinese New Year (Year of the Goat) celebrations, Lee’s seemed like a quick place to grab a banh mi sandwich, a sort of Franco-Vietnamese sandwich feaured on a baguette.
For me, having given up meat for Lent, I went for the “Number 12” vegetarian sandwich. Complete with fried tofu, vermicelli, bean curd, yam, carrot, house pickle, jalapeno, cilantro, salt & pepper, and soy sauce, I took one bite and smiled. By the time I was dune, crunching through the lightly-toasted baguette and all the goodness inside, I thought it was the best vegetarian sandwich I’d ever had. And while I had a special brothy soup (with other vegetable ingredients to add as needed), it was the sandwich that was the focus of my delicious Lee's meal. I should add that Lee's is very generous with their portions. You definitely get what you pay for.
The interior is well-lit and clean. The staff is friendly and helpful and there is plenty of seating and even a few seats outside.
The San Jose, California-based chain, with shops in California, of course, along with Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Arizona, has proven very successful here in OKC, with its sizable Asian population and non-Asians who have happily discovered the tasty fare that Lee’s has to offer.
In line, you pass by packaged goodies from foreign and domestic sources – candy and cookies, etc. – and coolers full of healthy and less-healthy beverages and soft drinks. Essentially, the options are many.
And despite being an out-of-state chain, Lee’s takes community – and the idea of “think globally, act locally” - very seriously. They regularly raise funds for victims of hurricanes and typhoons, either in North America or in Asia.
For more information go to www.leesandwiches.com or visit the Oklahoma City location at 3300 N. Classen Blvd.