(415) 474-3474, www.americanboxlunch.com
No one seems to mind squeezing into this hole-in-the-wall Tenderloin spot for an authentic $3 banh mi sandwich. It must be because of the sweet roasted pork on a chewy roll, served with pickled daikon, carrots, jalapenos, and cilantro. The two efficient women who run the counter aren't messing around, though, so don't hem and haw before you order and don't even think about making any special requests or alterations. Instead, quietly grab a pork bun or coconut dessert to accompany your sandwich and move along to make room for the next guy in line.
Mon.Sat., 6 a.m.6 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m. 5 p.m.; 560 Larkin, SF. (415) 474-5698
YATS NEW ORLEANS ORIGINAL POBOYS
You tell me where in SF you can get an authentic po'boy with red beans and rice in the back of a dive bar, and I'll buy you a beer. Really. Otherwise I'll bet money the only place is at Jack's Club, a neighborhood bar that's already fab thanks to a pool table, a CD jukebox, and vintage pinball machines. But head to the back and you'll find a little window that pumps out real Southern goodness to the San Francisco masses. The Debris sandwich (pulled roast with gravy) is my favorite, although the rustic gumbo with smoked sausage, seafood, and chicken is a close second.
Mon.Tues, 11 a.m. 4 p.m.; Wed.Fri., 11 a.m. 8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.6 p.m.; 2545 24th St. (Inside Jack's Club), SF. (415) 282-8906, www.whereyats.com