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Trailer Treasure: Lulu B's

Mike Sutter

2113 S. Lamar Blvd. 921-4828, www.myspace.com/lulubssandwiches. Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Trailers come and go, but Lulu B's has staked a hardier claim than most to its patch of ground next to a tire shop on South Lamar Boulevard. You've passed this spot before and probably missed it, the one thing catching your eye being a red square with elegant lowercase script. In small type underneath that Lulu B's logo block are the words 'Vietnamese sandwiches,' and that's where the adventure starts.

At $4.50, a banh mi sandwich here starts with a robust, chewy baguette and a shower of crunch and color: carrot, daikon, cucumber, green pepper, cilantro. It ends with grilled, barbecued or lemongrass-style pork or chicken, with avocado and tofu vegetarian options. Chinese barbecued pork is slightly sweet with a crisp char. Lemongrass chicken is tender white meat with a subtle herb flavor. Both are filling and satisfying in a way no $5 footlong can match, especially under shade trees on a dappled fall afternoon.

Along with sandwiches, the menu at Lulu B's includes vermicelli bowls ($6), summer rolls ($3.50 for two), smoothies ($4) and Vietnamese coffee ($2.50), hot or cold with dark-roast coffee and the silky richness of sweetened condensed milk, a kick-start for the rest of the day.

The vermicelli bowls feature herbs, raw cucumber and the same protein choices as the sandwiches, layered generously over soft, cold vermicelli noodles, with a side of tangy-sweet fish sauce. Arranged like a salad in a square plastic box, the 'bowls' work best tossed together to get the same layered effect you'd get in a restaurant. My guests ordered well-seared grilled pork but declined the crushed peanuts on top. I'd suggest keeping them in place for a deeper flavor profile.

Service at Lulu B's is limited to your time at the window: ordering and picking up. The wait between those two transactions can feel like a stretch, but there's a convivial, al fresco joy to the journey, if you have the time, a book or like several of our fellow trailer travelers that day, a dog.