Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Desperately Seeking (An Excellent) Sandwich

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you'll be aware of one thing about me.

I love the NBA playoffs.

But it gets worse. Even if you knew that, you probably don't know that:

- I love the NBA playoffs so much, that I literally take off work (by calling in "sick") to watch the highlights that are played in the afternoon. Yes, I know that the highlights will run again in the evening, but I need to watch them when they're fresh.

- I love the NBA playoffs so much, that I don't even answer phone calls from my grandpa (who is over 95 years old) when the games are on the television. I just direct him straight to voicemail. My reasoning, is that "he can wait."

- I love the NBA playoffs so much, that if my team loses the series, I can't sleep for a week and have massive indigestion, cramps, and mood swings. Think "PMS" but with an "NBA" influence.

- Finally, I love the NBA playoffs so much, that I neglect my (1) kitchen, (2) food blog, and (3) other favorite food blogs for months on end.

Well, you probably knew that last fact, if you are a long-time reader and blog friend of mine.

To make it up to you all, I just wanted to post about two sandwich places that I recently discovered near me, in hopes of rekindling our blogging relationship: (1) Toasties and (2) the Submarine Center.

Recently, the beau and I have been sneaking over to West Portal, a trendy neighborhood yet quiet neighborhood in San Francisco. We had heard raves about this toasted sandwich place in West Portal, but conveniently, we forgot the name just as we were about to try it out one day.

All that we remembered was that the sandwich place was right next to the train station. So when we saw Toasties near the MUNI train line, we thought for sure that that sandwich place was "the" place. But, Toasties was pretty much empty and we were the only patrons. Nevertheless, it was clean and they gave us free sodas with our two sandwiches.

After we ordered, we were told that if we wanted to use the restroom, we had to go into the restaurant next door. (Strange, I know.) As we excused ourselves outside to use the neighboring bathroom facilities, we saw a crowded and bustling place on the same block called the Submarine Center. We then realized that we had bought our lunch at the wrong sandwich place! Therefore, we immediately went into the Submarine Center, and ordered a third sandwich (turkey) to share.

But, I have good news to report, the sandwiches were all decent, and I would more than likely go back again to both places.

First, as for the turkey sandwich at the Submarine Center, I really enjoyed the interplay between the crusty bread and the feathery shreds of iceberg lettuce and how both really brought out the flavors of the turkey and cheese. I found it to be a classic sandwich in all respects, and it was definitely appealing.

As for the toasted sandwiches at Toasties, I enjoyed the more substantial tug of the dense bread and the high quality of the toppings, such as grainy mustard and good mayonnaise. The sweet and yeast-pocketed bread definitely made these sandwiches stand out more prominently in my memory.

Toasties' sloppy crab melt sandwich was a little too sloppy for the beau, and I found it to have a pretty powerful relish up in there, but I definitely enjoyed it.

All in all, pretty good bang for your buck at both places.

Yes, I know, that's all for my crappy post. Brief, yes. To the point, hopefully. Okay, now back to playoffs!

(What's my quick take on the playoffs? Although I hate the Mavericks, I'm actually glad that they eliminated the Spurs. The Spurs manage to make the playoffs and championship games supremely boring. The players simply don't have charisma. (Although I do admit that I enjoy looking at Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker from time to time.) But that's why they can never be a real dynasty in my mind. Now I'm just cheering for the Hornets and for the Lakers. Since Phoenix was eliminated long ago, my ideal team now is the Hornets.


  1. MMMMMM....those sandwiches look great!
    Are you talking about baseball or american football?

  2. yum yum love your style of writing comical, oh the poach pods come from crate and barrel

  3. What gorgeous sandwiches! In Switzerland, they are never filled with so much stuff...



  4. OK, so those sandwiches look sooo yummy, especially the last one...

    And I have to say, I don't get the same way about basketball like you, but I am a psychotic hockey fan. I don't call off work b/c it causes more trouble than I need, but on Easter when the Philly and Pittsburgh match was on, I fought the guys to watch it. Even if it wasn't my beloved Hawks playing, I NEED to watch hockey.
    Now if I had some of these sandwiches to eat while I watched, I'd be set!

    Go Blackhawks!!!

  5. What great looking sandwiches! I actually don't know anything about basketball :)

  6. PE you crack me up! And now my peanut butter bagel looks really boring...

  7. Yum!!!! I missed your blogs but considering how wrapped up everyone is in the playoffs, I should have known :-)

    Great recommendations. The sandwiches from Toasties look more appealing IMO. Going to have to check them out!

  8. You don't have to apologize. Just do what you need to do! :) Eating game time food is up there with the best part of sports.

  9. I didn't think anyone else called in sick to watch the NBA playoffs! I used to do that before I met my husband but now we only have room for one sport in our viewing schedule, baseball. He says he needs to watch it all the time to manage his fake fantasy baseball team (whatever). I also unselfishly gave up hockey (dead giveaway that I'm Canadian).

    That sloppy crab melt looks delicious!

    b/t/w, thanks for all your comments on my blog - always hilarious!

  10. Dare I admit that I was as obsessed when "Ally McBeal'' used to be on? One of my editors at the paper I used to work for even knew that if he was editing one of my stories that night, he better finish up by 7:30 p.m. so that I could get home in time to watch the show! ;)

  11. The bread from Toasties is my kind of bread!

    Go Celtics!

  12. Wow, the sandwiches from both places look awesome! It's great to see the many layers of flavor in each sandwich :).

  13. Looks like all the sandwiches are winners. So, you are an NBA fan. Cool. I hope you enjoy the games. I know not much about basketball. Although their foot size intrigues me.. smile!

  14. I think it's actually kind of hard to find a great sandwich.

    These look pretty good, though.

  15. Oh yum! I love sandwiches! The pictures are gorgeous too! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to try a couple. I recently posted my fav sandwich recipe on my blog:

  16. So who's your team? I'm all about the Lakers baby! Those sandwiches look SO good and we just opened up a Toasties here in downtown SF!

  17. Oh all those sandwiches look really yummy. I love the detail of the breads that you picked up in the photos!

  18. I always watch the playoffs too! I hear you about the boringness of the Spurs. Now, don't hate me, but I'm kind of pulling for the Cavs. That sub looks incredible.

  19. You know, I would have guessed a name like Toasties would be good too. That would have been my first stop. I love any sandwich that's toasted, but that turkey submarine does look yummy and big.

    Is this the final four? [[confused look ]]

  20. I'm just wondering if I can use your materials (recipes and photos) in my cooking website with full acknowledgment of your work and link back to your posts. If you agree, I'll also create a page for you in my site as a Top Chef with your recipes and link back to your blog. You can contact me using the contact link in my website (bottom of the home page).

  21. The best sandwich I ever had was in a small pizza place on Block Island. Every time I go back there, I have to stop for one--their Italian sub is to die for.

  22. Poor old Grampa. He called because he wants to leave you his millions and just needed your new address. But he has decided to leave the money to the rescue cat shelter that did answer his telephone call.

    The crab sandwich looked delish!

  23. Hey PE - You should rename this post to "Sandwich Porn"!

  24. That was such an excellent sand-o. Thank you PE!!
    BTW, I just received my FREE Quaker Rice Cakes sample. Whoo hoo! I look forward to sharing them with my littlest passionate eater. Thanks for the tip. I'm all about free Haagen Daz this week too.

  25. Wow that is hardcore, but those sandwiches sure look tasty!


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