In Which Our Italian Sub Craving Takes Us to Molinari's
If you're a food person, restaurants are right up there with friends as the hardest things to leave behind when you move. I've been in San Francisco for a few months now, just enough time to develop a serious craving for the glorious Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica. It's an Italian sub at its finest, and in search of a satisfying NorCal substitute I headed to Molinari Delicatessen in North Beach, which has been owned and operated by the Molinari family for more than 100 years.
- First Bite at Mau: Two Inventive Takes on the Bahn Mi
- Happy Hour: Cheap Beer and a Moroccan Lamb Sandwich at L'Acajou
- The Corner Store's Fried Green Tomato Sandwich Makes a Cal-Southern Spectacle
It fit the bill in terms of atmosphere. The small room has creaky wooden floors, an impressive display case of cured meats (most done in-house), and tall shelves of imported Italian products. Take a number, select your bread from the clear plastic box near the back, and decide which sandwich to order.
I ordered the Molinari Special ($7), which is your basic Italian cold cut combo, piled high with Molinari salami, mortadella, and other sliced meats. The bread I chose was on the crusty side, which meant that the meat threatened to slide out with every bite -- especially since the sandwich was lubricated with so much mayo and mustard. It was a fine sub, but it wasn't anything special.
Next time I'll try the South Beach Special ($9.50), with roasted turkey, provolone, sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and basil garlic spread - even better, maybe I'll see if they can put the basil-garlic spread on the Molinari Special.
Meanwhile, where else in S.F. should I go to get a great Italian sub?