Though I got an extra special sneak peek of The Melt, it wasn't until yesterday that I paid a visit to the much-hyped outpost of the new fast casual chain in downtown SF. My dining companions, including Julia of PopSugar SF, agreed that the concept of a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant often falls short, but a fast-food grilled cheese restaurant makes a great easy, comfy hot lunch. Click through to see why.
The Cubano sandwich and the Mexican torta have more than a few things in common: both hail from Spanish-speaking cultures, both share characteristics with toasty subs, and both sandwiches make perfect after-midnight sustenance.
The Cubano actually earned the nickname medianoche, or midnight, for its role as a post-dancing snack. But as I recently proved after tearing up the dance floor at a wedding in Chicago, followed by a little honky tonk at Carol's Pub until 3 a.m., the torta makes an equally suitable meal after medianoche.
I can't remember what this place was called — does it really matter? — but I do know that I scarfed down a chicken torta there, and it hit the spot.
Like chefs Tom Colicchio and Dennis Leary before him, Graham Elliot Bowles has a sandwich side project. Last fall, the Michelin-starred owner of Graham Elliot opened Grahamwich in downtown Chicago, so when I visited my peeps at PopSugar Chicago last week, we had our lunch meeting over sammies — or should I say "grahamies"? Though not as avant garde as No. 7 Sub, Grahamwich gives nostalgic favorites a modern, quirky twist. Click through to see what we ate.
I have yet to dine at Maverick or Flour + Water, though both are on my list. So in between catching sets by MGMT, The Roots, Vetiver, Mavis Staples, Beirut, and many more at this weekend's Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park, I sampled sandwich offerings from these two must-eat San Francisco eateries.
I love that Outside Lands eschews typical festival fare for booths from local restaurants, including my beloved Phil'z Coffee, Andalu, Memphis Minnie's, Namu, and on and on.
Mission district American hot spot Maverick featured just one offering: a Cincinnati pulled pork sandwich, dressed with coleslaw (pictured above). The tender, plush pork came on a soft potato-like roll, with potato chips on the side (which incidentally started blowing away with the wind, tragic). I washed mine down with a pisco punch before grabbing a spot at Girl Talk.
On Sunday, we stopped by Salumeria by Flour + Water, which also kept things simple with a single sandwich: peppery roasted porchetta on a standout ciabatta roll. It's hard to find a perfect ciabatta, but when I do, I consider it one of the most satisfying sandwich vehicles. The meat was succulently spiced and chopped, rather than sliced, with some sort of onion jam (I think) to complement the robust meat.
Did you make it to the festival this weekend? If so, what did you eat to fortify yourself for the fun?
Ever since I saw the sign many years ago, I've wanted to eat at Mr. Pickle's for the name alone. Then I started hearing good things about the sandwiches, and that toque-wearing Mr. Pickle looked even friendlier. I finally tried Mr. Pickle's a few weeks back, and I was not disappointed — though, despite what some people say, it's nowhere near as good as Ike's. Click through the photos, then chime in with your thoughts.
I love sandwiches and cocktails — often together. But I've never eaten a grilled cheese and thought, "you know what would be good with this? A martini." Apparently, that comfort food and booze combo makes sense Beecher's.
The Seattle cheese emporium, which recently opened in NYC, has an off-menu item called the grilled cheese martini, which is exactly what it sounds like: grilled cheese sandwich-infused vodka, shaken with fresh tomatoes, muddled basil, and tomato juice.
Now here's the really terrifying part: Beecher's isn't the first to mix up a grilled cheese martini. Clive's in Victoria, BC, makes one with grilled cheese rum. Would you dare order one?
Two new sandwiches caught my eye this week as I walked by The Golden West: avocado, artichoke, tomato, and mint (four of my favorite things!) and a version of the divine Nicoise salad between bread. I haven't been out to lunch in ages, and I was bored by the idea of my salad, so post-2 p.m. I hightailed it out.
Tragically, considering what a special occasion this was, the avo and artichoke was sold out, as was the Nicoise. Determined, I marched over to The Sentinel, which highly satisfied with the last remaining tuna sandwich of the day.
Like the tony tuna salad at Bar Jules, this salad leaned on peppers, not mayo, for flavor, mixing them in with other Nicoise ingredients like egg and olive. It was garnished with the usual blessedly fresh butter lettuce and a few green beans, which were a nice crunch; could have used more, in fact. But all in all, yesterday The Sentinel was looking out for me.
I have been obsessed with No. 7 Sub for about a year now, and after my awesome trip to The Ace Hotel Palm Springs, I couldn't resist a swing by the Ace Hotel New York and the adjacent avant garde sandwich shop. The menu was bizarre, but the flavors were delicious. Click through to see what we ate.
Grilled cheese sandwiches are one of the great American comfort foods: almost all of us have memories of someone we love grilling up cheese sammies with care. Not surprisingly, this delicious simplicity lends itself to nostalgic one-upmanship and friendly competition, including an annual Grilled Cheese Invitational and my own local Grilled Cheese-Off.
The very basic requirements — bread, cheese, meltiness — lend themselves to countless creative combinations, resulting in another modern grilled cheese phenomenon: the grilled cheese sandwich-centric restaurant. Check out five temples to the tasty classic after the jump.
I love a good cup of corner-deli coffee, where they fix up the cream and sugar for you like at a New York bodega. Which is why I first fell for Henry's Deli, located on the ground floor of the building where I work and about the size of a microwave. But this teeny tiny store selling cigs and sodas also offers another San Francisco treat: the exceptional corner-store sandwich.
A few co-workers told me to try Henry's sandwiches, prepared much the way you would at home (Orowheat bread, toaster and microwave, no counter space) with prices to match. Usually on the rare days I venture out for lunch, I like to actually leave the building. That is, until a recent busy, rainy day, when I stopped in for Henry's veggie burger.
Curious about why it deserves a post?