What's in Store

With Duc Loi's new deli, the grocery store experience gets better

A great grocery store just got better.

We've been fond of Duc Loi since it opened, stocking a glorious mishmash of Mexican, American and Asian products, from masa to fresh curry leaves.

And now that the deli counter is making banh mi, there's even more of Duc Loi to love. The sandwiches ($5) are stuffed variously with grilled lemongrass pork or chicken, or a pile-up of ham, pork belly, head cheese and chicken-liver pâté, and further freighted with pickled carrots, cilantro, cucumber, mayonnaise and a sprinkling of Maggi.

The banh mi alone are worth a trip, but the deli counter yields other gems, including fresh shrimp spring rolls with pliant rice paper, generous on the herbs ($5), and an assortment of Viet-style salads ($5), including green papaya and a shredded chicken salad crowned with perky leaves of rau ram.

And for dessert or a snack, the store makes two–yes, two–different kinds of sticky rice ($3 each), unceremoniously piled on the deli case. One is a syrupy, mango-studded patty steamed inside a banana leaf; the other is a log topped with shavings of coconut and chopped salted peanuts.

Duc Loi Market, 2200 Mission St. (at 18th St.); 415-551-1772 or ducloimarket.com