Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Porchetta me horny

Price: $7 Porchetta on roll with wild parsley

Location: Roli Roti at the Ferry Building Farmers Market Saturdays only

I don’t claim to know it all, but when I see a sandwich that resembles a baby’s arm loaded with savory, fatty, and moist boneless rotisserie pork, I know my belly is on its way to epicurean nirvana. The Porchetta sandwich served up by Roli Roti’s enthusiastic team of sandwich artists has delivered both excitement and disappointment on a few occasions. Inconsistency you ask? Maybe it is the nature of the Porchetta sandwich that is to blame for my love hate relationship with this Ferry Building Farmers Market staple. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Porchetta, let me explain. The body of the pig is gutted, boned, arranged carefully with layers of stuffing, meat, fat, and skin, then rolled, spitted, and cooked on a rotisserie. Next, the jolly French man at Roli Roti slices thick rounds of Porchetta, layers it on a grilled hoagie which he rubs into the succulent juices that accumulate on the wooden cutting board, tops it with wild parsley and hands you over a creation that will either give you a 12 inch food boner or leave you questioning why you waited in line for 45 minutes for a sandwich loaded with gelatinous pork trimmings. However, with good karma and a bit of luck, the Porchetta sandwich with its crunchy salty skin and notes of wild herbs including rosemary, fennel, garlic, and lavender has the potential to put a smile on the face of samich gluttons everywhere! At $7 a pop, I would give this Italian piece of art 3.5 bites out of 5 on the samich scale.

Pyle Style

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Samich with Seoul

Korean BBQ Chicken Sandwich; $8.10: Korean BBQ Chicken, mozzarella, soft bun

Hahn's Hibachi
1710 Polk St. San Francisco, CA 94109-3617

Ahhh, BBQ; a thing of beauty. Marinated meat and flame, it is part of the primordial experience that has been in our DNA since the discovery of tools, fire, and masturbation.
Therefore, Korean BBQ combined into a Samich is an important notch in our evolutionary belt. Ya know those strange monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey?....made from Korean BBQ samiches.
Hahn's Hibachi pays homage with their BBQ Chicken samich.

Similar to the Philly Cheesesteak, this tasty samich consists of tender Korean BBQ'd chicken (beef also available) with melted mozzarella, all between soft bread. The gooey cheese adds a nice mellowness to the bold flavor of the chicken, while the bread is just the right thickness to keep everything together. One of the cleanest eating samiches around. Absence of lettuce and tomato was slightly off-putting, as they would've added a nice, crisp freshness to the assertively savory samich.

Overall, Hahn's Hibachi is a classic and consistent standby, whose samiches (and BBQ) I've been enjoying for years. Nothing beats a Hahn's samich after watching a couple rounds of hobo-fisticuffs on the 19 Polk bus line. Is it the greatest-all-time samich, made by a human? No, but it's simple, tasty, and comforting without the frills and glamour. It's Korean BBQ and Samich....need I say more?

3.5 / 5 mysterious samich monoliths

Teenage Mutant Ninja Torta

Monday, April 27, 2009


Now I am a working man, and a working man sometimes needs a hearty grind that he knows well and can trust when hunger is knocking at his belly-step. He doesn’t need fancy-pants hard to pronounce sandwich. In fact, he doesn’t even need to say a word at all – just a shout out to 3 simple letters: B.L.T.

Today I swooped in on some lunch action at Bayside Market, a branch of the RJ’s econo-yuppie markets scattered about the realms of the financial district. Now I have had some bad experiences with this particular grocery-delicatessen, but some fellow and respectable grinders told me that the problem was me, not the Bayview. Now that is a bullshit sandwich if I ever heard of one…..who designs a hot chicken breast so slippery it pinches out of the buns on first bite contact?? HUH? A fucking sandwich moron – that’s who. Come on! Slice that damn breast, it is a simple solution! Also, why does it smell like garbage in there far too often and why did that salad with too many baco-bits make me have a sickly baby belly for nearly a month? Aye there are many unanswered questions about this place indeed. But lest I get off track, I need to forget about that slip-sliding hot breastie and my other grievances and move forward.

Yes today was a certainly a bright new day at Bayview, I dismissed prior grub infractions and arrived with an open mind and a mighty appetite. The astonishingly school lunch-lady-like lunch ladies interrupted their smoke break to make me fine piece of BLT ass. Now let me get on to the actual sandwich!

The first thing to note, and not surprisingly, is the quality bacon Bayview has got cooking. On days with a blustery southward breeze, a hint of bacon essence can be sniffed up to 4 blocks away downwind – which is great, albeit dangerous. This bacon is thick sliced and not dry and crusty, a big no-no for BLT bound bacon. They give the generous quantity of strips (» 9 strips) an additional zap in the microwave as well to get it sweating hot flavor. The T was also well-played with fresh tomatoes sliced a bit larger than normal due to its headlining ingredient status. The lettuce was lettuce but also crucial to the combo. I put the B, the L, and the T in a fine loaf of Dutch crunch lathered in mayo. Yes siree, I was very happy with this BLT, it was delicious, easy to eat and filling and was one of the cheapest options available on the menu ($5.99). So if you are thinking – “Hey what kind of unoriginal lunch-doosh takes time to review perhaps one of the most common sandos of all time?” you just don’t understand - this was one hell of a BLT treat.

4/5 Grind Medallions (I have added an extra medallion due to the slandering I gave them on the store smell and hot shit breast sando – they are lucky I can show mercy)

RJ’s Bayview Market – Brannan and Embarcadero

Forever Grinding,

Sir GrindAlot

Friday, April 24, 2009

Contents (no longer) under pressure: Paradise and lunch in San Francisco’s Dog Patch

On Tuesday I had lunch at Kitchenette. I guess a few chefs from Chez Panisse and Foreign Cinema had some free time and decided to open a little sandwich stand. It’s located in an industrial loading dock at 20th and Illinois in San Francisco although the high-end attire of the people waiting for their sandwiches would lead you to believe it was closer to Jackson Square. Anyway, the sandwich was amazing—grilled cod with avocado salsa, jicama, chiles and lemon aioli. They also had 50 cent lemon ginger cookies, which were fantastic.

Basically, when a few chefs got handed lemons, they made lemonade–really good meyer lemonade. Because people are hesitant to drop 80 bucks a head on a prix fixe menu at Chez Panisse, some exciting and affordable options are springing up around San Francisco. Another great example is The Sentinel, run by Canteen head chef Dennis Leary. Delicious corned beef on flatbread with gruyère, cabbage and russian dressing for $8.65.

This is a great shift for the restaurant industry. Fresh, well-considered food is becoming much more accessible. As a result, the bond between chefs and their patrons is being strengthened. Fancy restaurants create an environment filled with pressure and stress. Once restaurant-goers expect a certain something from you, it can easily turn into a straitjacket that only gets tighter as time goes on. In a job where creativity is very important, the constant pressure has to be draining. These new, low-key options seem to be a lot more human for everyone involved.

Maybe this is a new career path for talented chefs who are looking for a way out of the pressure cooker. It reminds me of when a bunch of French chefs decided to renounce their Michelin stars citing stress as a major reason. “You always have to be impeccable. Like footballers, there comes a point when you don’t have the energy, the happiness, the excitement,” said Le Figaro food critic François Simon. One chef, Bernard Loiseau, killed himself when it was rumored that he was going to lose one of his stars in the 2004 Guide.

Most of the chefs who left their stars behind aren’t leaving the kitchen entirely. In fact, a lot of them are opening small, more casual bistros where they find themselves less boxed in and much happier. Olivier Roellinger left his three-star Maisons de Bricourt in Brittany to open a toned down seafood restaurant called Coquillage. He benefits from the relaxed atmosphere, and everyone who visits gets to enjoy top-notch food in a more casual setting.

The economy is forcing people out of the rat race and it’s starting to show some dividends. Instead of chasing fame and fortune, some serious professionals are rolling up their sleeves and creating new forms of life. At Kitchenette they’re selling great food at a reasonable price off the back of a loading dock. They call it “spontaneous organic covert nourishment.”

9/10 UUSD (Universal Units of Sandwich Deliciousness)


You can read more from ExtraPickles at

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Tenderloin Snuff Cheek Buffalo Bung Burger

Munch Haven
1244 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-0247

Description-Nestled cozily between your finest tenderloin district prostitute buns, lies a war torn battlefield of flavor, delicately comprised of a variety of locally grown produce, with the occasional wiff of pure funk butt. If you notice the Top Bun is evenly sprinkled with supplest sesame seeds that food stamps can buy. I must say my experience with this fine treat was a memorable one...I did share it with my grandmother since she was in town from Poland and wanted to eat something shes never seen in her stupid Pollock life. The last few bites were the best...I had to dig my face deep in to a dingleberry rest haven of a black crevice for a scrumptious mouthful of buffalo bung patty. PURE deliciousness!!!!!!

8 out of 10 bubble cheeks

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving: Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Brie Cheese, Butter, and Arugala on a French Baguette

Cheese Plus
2001 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 921-2001

Usually a Happy Thanksgiving for me is being completely shitfaced drunk by dinner and then passing out at the dinner table when the tryptophan sets in. This version of a Happy Thanksgiving is pretty good too. Essentially, this creation is the French Panini version of the sandwich we all make with Thanksgiving leftovers. The one amazing addition to this samich is the use of Brie cheese (chaz). If I could, I would take Brie cheese out for a nice dinner and tell it how I had a really good time and then never call it again. Why? Because being jilted will make Brie cheese want me as much as I want it (it’s all a game, am I right?). Seriously, the thing that makes this samich sparkle like the moons of Endor is this cheese. It also helps that the samich is grilled. It allows for the cheese to settle on the turkey and for the cranberry sauce to seep into the bread. I am not saying I would give up Thanksgiving dinner for this sandwich, but if my family finally says that I can’t come over anymore you will know where to find me.

7 out of 10 Golden Pickles

Sandwich Destruction

Monday, April 6, 2009

George's Zoo Liquor & Deli Review

Samich Name: RJ’s Invention

Place: George’s Zoo Liquor & Deli

Located at Sloat and 44th Ave.

Price: $6.99 with free fountain drink.

The hunger pains were striking after a morning at the beach, and I was craving a sando from Java Beach at OB. However, after meeting up with Falco (beach n bongloads) who is local to the Sloat and 45th St. area, he mentioned George’s Zoo as being a better sando and priced more affordably. This deli is a chronic little spot if you are headed to the beach or just fungry for grindage. The two guys in there were super friendly and after I ordered RJ’s Invention, he said I’m gonna love this sandwich and I’ll come back for another one. They have been serving this sando for 20 years but I’ve never heard of a Pastrami Chicken Salad combo before. He was right, I will go back.

RJ’s Inventions

This masterpiece consists of deli sliced pastrami and smoked cheddar with chicken salad smeared inside. I got it will all the trimmins; lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayo and mustard on wheat. He piled the pastrami on and then the creamy chicken salad evenly gooped on top. A very fresh sando with a meaty creamy clean finish and you get a free fountain soda with your samich.

4 / 5 Gorilla Patties

Big Ed

Friday, April 3, 2009

El Tonayense Taco Truck

Cabeza Super Torta; $5.50: Beef cheeks, lettuce, tomato, onion, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and soft bun

Mission District
Intersection of 14th St. and Harrison (In front of the Best Buy)
San Francisco, CA 94103


This is not your ordinary grease trap / mystery meat roach coach. El Tonayense taco truck serves up some of the tastiest tacos, burritos, and tortas around.

Being this is a samich blog review, I chose the path of the all mighty Super Torta. At $5.50, the Super Torta consists of lettuce, tomato, onion, guac, sour cream, mild or hot salsa, and choice of meat served between soft bread. El Tonayense offers a diverse selection of meat: from the traditional (pollo asado, carnitas) to the exotic (brains, tripe). A vegetarian option is also available for those who support the brutal slaughter of innocent vegetables. While the carnitas and pollo asado were very tempting, I decided to follow the advice often given in a monkey-knife fight: "Go For The Face", aka the Cabeza. Literally translated as "head", this cut of meat refers to the cheeks of the cow. Although the pollo asado would have been a more flavorful torta, the cabeza was incredibly moist and tender. Lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa all helped balance the fatty cabeza, while the guac and sour cream added a nice, mellow creaminess.
The Super Torta was delicious as it was messy. Bread became a bit soggy, but everything held together. Good samich-handling technique and gratuitous napkin use is recommended. The service was no bullshit friendly and fast, especially considering it is was run by a crew of 2. The usual assortment of beverages were also available; including Horchata and Jarritos. I am a sucker for Coke in a bottle ($1.50), and the soft tacos ($1.75) are a must.

There are other El Tonayense trucks throughout the Mission, as well as a small restaurant. While this particular truck is not in the most scenic of locales, it is in front of a Best Buy.
As a movie-buff / samich-lover alike, the concept of holding a Super Torta in one hand, and say, a copy of JCVD's masterpiece Blood Sport in the other, tingles the mind and stomach.
Parking was a breeze since it's a stone's throw from the parking lot.

So whether it be flavorful asado, tender cabeza, or maybe even beef tongue ye seek, the tortas at the El Tonayense taco truck are a worth every peso.

4 / 5 slow motion, spinning split-kicks to the face

Teenage Mutant Ninja Torta

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If this was prison you would be dead already

Sandwich: Subway Meatball 6 inch sub

Ingredients: Marinara, meatballs, swiss cheese, peppers, olive, jalapenos on white bread.

Location: These places are fucking everywhere

I joined some friends for lunch in downtown San Francisco today. I wasn’t left with many options for samiches so I went to Subway to get the samich that helped me get through many a munchie session in high school and college. Well, my altered state of consciousness must have been doing something for me because this samich sucks my balls. I have no idea why I ate this sammie so many times. The only bright part was the meatballs and I am only saying that because as I write this I have neither diarrhea or heart burn. Kudos Subway! My sandwich artist did a fine job stacking the sandwich with condiments so I guess I can compliment them on that as well. Other than that, things went south quite quickly. This sandwich becomes a mushy and uncontrollable mess after the first bite and they only give you four meatballs. Four Fucking Meatballs! If this was the only meatball sandwich on the market I bet it would be pretty good. Yet, when you have other meatballrific options (I plan to do a follow up with a worthy one) across the city you have to be real. By real I mean that if this was prison this sandwich would have already been;

1) Gang Raped in the shower
2) Made someone’s bitch
3) Or stabbed in the kidneys with a shiv out on the yard

Step your game up Subway.

2 out of 10 Golden Pickles

Sandwich Destruction

Where's the Beef?

Howard Street Coffee Roastery

Neighborhood: SOMA
180 Howard Street
(between Main St & Spear St)
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 344-0224

Beef Teriyaki Sandwich: Seeded French roll, beef teriyaki, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños (made sure to request them)

As a native Sco Cat, I have been eating Beef Teriyaki sandos for as long as I can remember. They can come in many different shapes and forms, but like Biggie and Pac, it's about the beef. I usually would order them whenever I stumble into a sandwich shop owned by Koreans, cause they seem to have the best flavored beef (no homo). To this day, Kingfoot has the best beef teriyaki sando in the city, but we will save that for another review.

This one was from the Howard St Coffee Roastery, which is right by my place of employment. The sando they make there is quite good, although I have had much better. The pros include the flavor of the meat, the seeded roll, and the generous portion of melted cheese. It is also important to point out that the lettuce is shredded, which is key on a sando like this. Make sure you get Jalapeños added as well, a much needed kick. On a side note, the chairs in there are really comfy, which comes in handy because they can take a while to crank these puppies out.

3.5/5 Sandos

"The Bread Winner"