Cheap Eats

$10 Lunch: L.E. Tapioca & Sandwich

The deal: This Vietnamese lunch counter serves spicy banh mi sandwiches and the requisite boba teas to cool your mouth off afterward.

What you get: Each of the exotic sandwiches larded with rustic

deli meats and crisp vegetables costs under $6. The smoothies and teas

made with chewy tapioca pearls (boba) cost $3.75 and come in dozens of


We tried: A mixed pork banh mi ($4.39) came with an assortment

of fatty, home-style pork and spongy ham. Its nicely toasted French

roll was outfitted with jalapeños, cilantro, cucumber, daikon slices,

and spicy sambal. A vegetarian version ($5.69) came with faux ham made

from soy. Unfortunately, the vegetables didn't taste as fresh as they could have. We also got a made-to-order taro smoothie that tasted rich

and creamy, but the tapioca pearls inside were a little tough and

oddly slimy.

Bonus Points: Tapioca uses a pretty complex-looking machine to

put a colorful wrapper on the lid of its boba smoothies. It's kind of

neat to watch it work.

L.E. Tapioca & Sandwich

136 State Road 7, Hollywood 33023


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