Best of the Bay 2013: BEST COMMUTER CRUSTS

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The Mexican-Italian house of Juan Gutierrez opened The Sandwich Place in 1979 when Gutierrez was only 14 years old. A tiny shop that just fits its refrigerator cases full of bevs and counter, the shop sits a stone's throw from the 16th Street BART station in a bustling milieu of commuters, street preachers, and the occasional demonstration or spoken word open mic. In such a space, one would expect strict utilitarianism. But Gutierrez would scoff at such assumptions — quickly, in his exuberantly bilingual manner. One look at the Place's vast menu reveals everything from chicken milanesas and bacon-wrapped hot dogs to a superb Portobello-and-balsamic sando from an impressive veggie section, all served on his fresh homemade breads in standard and gluten-free varieties. Better than the chain stores? By a million miles. And chances are, you won't have to travel even one to find out.

2029 Mission, SF. (415) 431-3811