The Sandwiches at Grubbin' (in the Parkside) Are Easily the Peer of Ike's
Pete Kane The "Kickin'": roast beef, bacon, pepper jack, wasabi spread, Grub sauce and pepperoncinis, on a Dutch crunch.
No matter how good a sandwich is, it's probably not going to inspire you to travel very far. Even if you don't live in the Parkside area, or anywhere near the L-Taraval, Grubbin' is worth it. Based on the combinations of ingredients, the bread's toasted-ness, the house sauce, and the free bag of chips, it's easily the equivalent of Ike's Place, and for the Ike's-deprived western half of San Francisco.
See Also: Ike's Place Has a Secret Menu!
The menu is mostly sandwiches, with add-ons like hot wings, fries, tater tots and chicken tenders. Let's just get one thing out of the way now. Unlike, say, the cryptic in-jokes at Ike's, all the sandwich names at Grubbin' are cutesy and overly punctuated: "Droolin,'" and "Savorin'" and such. That said, the Kickin' -- roast beef, bacon, pepper jack, wasabi spread and garlicky Grub sauce, plus pepperoncini, on a Dutch crunch -- was otherwise the perfect sandwich. If the primary criteria are quality, size and cost, and they basically always exist in tension with one another, I can't remember the last time I ate something that good and that huge for only $7. (Secondary sandwich criteria are questions like "Did I make a complete mess of myself?" and "Did the layers slide apart after the third or fourth bite?" No, and no. The Kickin' really was perfect.)
Of course, nothing's ever entirely so. The interior of Grubbin' is bland to the point of borderline-depressing, and behind the counter is a giant mess, with flats of soda littered around and generally the opposite of what you want to see in any kind of open kitchen. For a brand-new place, that kind of thing is not going to win customers among the neatniks. Which would be too bad, because on the sandwiches alone, Grubbin' deserves an intense cult following.
Grubbin', 1404 Taraval St., 688-7106.