Appetite: Three beef sandwiches that get it right

Pub date October 21, 2010
SectionPixel Vision

In today’s Appetite installation, Virginia Miller ranged near and far (in a fabulous pair of vintage pumps, as is her wont) in search of the meatiest hunk of sandwich available for hungry city souls. Sink your teeth into one while watching your — cross your fingers — new league champion baseball team. Go Gigantes! 

1. Deli Board’s Boca 

You’ll do a double take when arriving at the address given for SoMa’s Deli Board. The window is lined with butcher paper, giving the place an under-construction look. Per building owner’s rules, you can’t even step inside the entrance of the building but must wait on the sidewalk to get your sandwich, soup, or salad. But once you do, Deli Board’s friendly staff ensures that you get a sandwich hot off the grill, freshly made within the last few minutes. Their Boca sandwich ($9) is a triple beef threat with brisket, corned beef, pastrami, delicately sliced in a sweet French roll with Muenster cheese, pickles and brown mustard. Though I could have used more of their “board sauce”, the beef is perfection, melting warm in my mouth: feathery light, yet dense and meaty with a radiant, multi-color meat ranging from pink to brown.

1080 Howard Street, SF

(415) 552-7687

Deli Board’s three-beef bomb, the Boca Source. Photo by Virginia Miller

2. Refuge’s roast brisket of beef

The famed pastrami sandwich at San Carlos Belgian beer bar and sandwich-burger joint, The Refuge, deserves the accolades. But equally worthy is their roast brisket of beef ($12). The beef is layered on warm bread in tangy sweet Carolina-style sauce with a lather of horseradish cream to give the already addictive beef even more lusciousness.

963 Laurel Street, San Carlos 

(650) 598-981

3. Sycamore’s roast beef sandwich

Sycamore is a cozy little cafe on Mission Street, the kind of neighborhood joint where quality beers, wines, happy hour prices and sliders (I like the BLT slider) keep you coming back. But the real highlight is Sycamore’s famous roast beef sandwich ($8) on grocery store-reminiscent sesame buns with BBQ sauce and mayo, a sandwich that pays tribute to the roots of native Bostonian owners. The beef is pink, thinly sliced, soft but hearty, and dissolves in your mouth. Eating it makes me feel like a kid again.

2140 Mission, SF

(415) 252-7704