TABLEHOPPINGTwo Mexican restaurants to get you fired up, and the sub shop of your dreams
If you're a fan of the incredible birria on the weekends at Gallardo's (3248 18th St, SF. 415-436-9387), you'll be happy to know you can go for the goat at the Mexican restaurant's new location (in the former Chava's), which is still in La Mission. You can also join the line for the weekend menudo, and warm up with some pozole during the week. Welcome back, Gallardo's!
Over in the Marina, a new Mexican restaurant that has opened in the former City Tavern, Sabrosa (3200 Fillmore, SF. www.sabrosasf.com), has one hell of a chef: José Ramos, who was one of the founding chefs at Nopalito and has been at Nido in Oakland of late. His home-style menu includes recipes from the ladies in his life (that would be his mother, grandma, and aunt), with some local and seasonal twists. Look for a toasted masa sope with pasilla chile, beef tips, and chickpea; quite a few salads; tacos and quesadillas, including a quesadilla de tinga poblano with chicken, chorizo, chipotle chile and tomato sauce, crema, and epazote (which I can't wait to taste); and entrées like caldo xochitl, a chicken, rice, and squash soup with carrots, turnips, and chipotle. There's also grilled chicken with a chile seed pipián sauce. It all sounds muy tasty.
A dining room with a communal table fits 12, and outside seating has room for 32 (yes, there are heaters). There's also a large, 24-seat bar of golden onyx, where you can get your heat on with drinks like the Night Creature, with Old Overholt rye, mezcal, Averna, Benedictine, and orange bitters. Or heat up with a Pepino Diablo, made from jalapeño-infused tequila, cucumber, lime, and salt. Brunch and lunch will be coming in about six weeks.
YOU GOTTA EAT THIS
You love sandwiches? How about an East Coast-style sub? Yeah, I thought so. You need to hightail it over to the newly opened Merigan (636 2nd St., SF. www.merigansubshop.com) in SoMa, where chef Liza Shaw, formerly of A16 and Acquerello, is bringing her twist on a sub shop to glorious light.
Shaw takes care of all the butchery in-house. Everything from the pork in the Arista (a delightfully drippy sandwich with roasted pork loin and braised shoulder with provolone, hot peppers, and arugula, uh huh, and you can add burrata to it, hold the phone) to the meatballs, the coppa di testa, and porchetta all come from the one and a half sides of Llano Seco pigs Merigan will be getting each week. Also under the hot subs list, there's an eggplant parm and chicken parm sandwich, and a cheesesteak too.
Cold subs include a roast beef number with horseradish ricotta, provolone, pickled onions, and arugula, or housemade egg salad, and the insanely good Italian combo, with mortadella, salami, prosciutto cotto, provolone, shredded lettuce, onion, tomato, aioli, and hots (those would be hot peppers for those of us who don't speak Philly). This sandwich is the kind you want to eat half of and come back to the other half late at night when it has all been marinating together even longer Yeah, that. This sandwich is almost too good. All the subs come on a custom sesame Italian roll from Pinkie's Bakery, with a texture that's soft and chewy, perfect.
Bonus points: The sub shop is near the ballpark, which is gonna be perfect for when baseball is back, and it has a killer wine and beer selection. Plus, you can get an Italian ice for dessert. Is this heaven or what? Hours are Mon–Sat 10am–7pm.