Happy August my pastrami fans! I have some good news and some bad news for you, as well as a pastrami sandwich review.
My first bit of news is a bit sad. The Chick-N-Coop on Taraval has officially flown the coop. There are still the two locations in Daly City and the Outer Mission...but this is the first Chick-N-Coop that I knew, partially because my first apartment was down the block. This was way before the pastrami blog, but I still remember getting the corned beef sandwich on the regular from the Coop. It was definitely a bit of a dive and normally you'd end up eating your dinner next to an elderly couple or a bunch of cops who spillover from the Parkside Police Station. When I first went there, there was this girl working behind the counter that was gorgeous and it kept me coming back. I used to talk to her and see her at campus on SFSU and then one day I went in there and she was gone. Her father was always there though. He was the owner and he had big, bushy eyebrows and an imposing presence...he wasn't mean...he just emanated a "don't mess with me" attitude. Sadly this is the guy that closed the shop as he no longer wanted to keep it open. He retired. That's that. Taraval will never be the same.
The Deli Board has shut its doors for right now until - but don't fret, it's not for long. The Board will be back in its new spot on Folsom Street, right around the corner from where their smaller location was for over a year. It's sad I can't get the sandwiches for lunch today, but I know Adam (the owner of Deli Board) is working extra hard in preparing his new spot for use to enjoy even more than we enjoyed the original location. He said they'll be open hopefully in early September. It's going to be tough to wait it out.
The sandwich pictured above is from Ike's Place, the world famous sandwich shop on in the Castro, SF. Ike's is one of the most reviewed (overwhelmingly positive) on yelp and recently won the ESPN Fanwich competition with their sandwich named the "Matt Cain". The pastrami blog was pulling for the Carmelo sandwich from Carnegie Deli when I first saw the competition...but after trying my "Paul's Reuben" at Ike's sandwiches I finally understand why so many people loves their sandwiches. #1 reason = They're delicious.
I pulled a small piece of the pastrami out of the sandwich to give it a try by itself, without the dirty sauce, veggies and cheese and was pleasantly surprised by the taste. I think I said something like "Oh that's very good". It was sweeter than I expected, but not overly so and had a nice fat content that marbleized the pastrami just a bit to add more flavor. The bread was very fresh and a lovely dutch crunch and the fixings are quite unique to Ike's with the dirty sauce (kinda like Italian dressing).
I called this a return, because the first time I went to Ike's it was way crowded and I was unable to get a sandwich before it was soggy. The only reason I would mention this is because they have made it so much better. The owner, Ike, is a really friendly dude who cares about his customer base and understood he was getting too well known to quell the demand for his might sandwiches - so he got a new, larger spot and hired more people. The result is a smaller wait time and a never soggy sandwich. Kudos to Ike for being great owner. I have yet to meet him, but I talked with him via text/e-mail and told him how great his sandwich was and how awesome his staff was to me when I came in. Give it a try if you haven't - it's a unique SF experience.
My next post will likely be about an article that is going to be on Chow.com on pastrami. I was interviewed by a food critic about the status of Pastrami in San Francisco. Hopefully his story is still on and I will have something to post for you about it. I also have a sandwich shop in Antioch, California that I will be reviewing. Drop me a line at Pastramiking@gmail.com. Twitter = @pastramiking. Please like my Facebook fan page at the top of the website. Thanks!