1058 Hoagie Reopens as Rye Project, Serving Sandwiches That Are Anything But Boring

Categories: SOMA, Sandwiches

Anna Roth
The Rye Project's fish platter and Romanian pastrami sandwich.
SOMA lunchers, take note: The nabe has another worthy sandwich shop. Proprietor Adam Mesnick, also of the Deli Board, changed up the concept of his SOMA 1058 Hoagie sandwich shop earlier this week. The new Rye Project, named after Mesnick's pop-up, features a whittled-down new menu focusing on a few sandwiches served on rye or a Kaiser roll, as well as smoked fish on a platter or on a bagel.

The thinly sliced Romanian pastrami ($14) is a mess of a sandwich in the best possible way. Its meat has a wonderfully dark, smoky appearance and comes dripping with grease, though not so much that it overwhelms the sandwich or the stomach. There's sauce on the side, but you don't need it -- the unadulterated meat, between two thin slices of rye, is enough to make a total experience, especially when you alternate the rich bites with nibbles of the accompanying semi-sour pickle.

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Classic Lunch Special For the Win at Manora's Thai Cuisine

Categories: SOMA

Ferron Salniker
Manora's Thai Cuisine on 12th and Folsom
In a city of $12 sandwiches, I find myself excited about a lunch special. Manora's Thai has been on Folsom and 12th St. for twenty years. The Zagat and Michelin awards hanging on the wall fade out around 2010, so I went hoping there was still some magic that's kept people coming in. I'd bet it's the $8.95 lunch special.

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The Food Network's Tom Pizzica Brings Pork-Belly Burgers to SoMa

Pete Kane
The Banh Baby Banh with crinkle-cut fries.
Western SOMA is really taking off. In a corner spot on Howard Street that used to house a forgettable taqueria comes the brick-and-mortar for Big Chef Tom's Belly Burgers, a somewhat desperately needed establishment a solid mile from any Super Duper or Umami Burger. The Big Chef Tom in question is Tom Pizzica of the Food Network, a gregarious soul if ever there was one, and who seemingly does everything Guy Fieri should avoid doing.

See also: Western SoMa Gets a New Third-Wave Roastery, Sextant Coffee
The Willows Had Us at "Pork Belly Doughnuts"

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AT&T Park Has a New Garden Behind Center Field

SF Giants/Bon Appetit

Right behind the center field wall, in most ballparks, fans can find some unique attraction that pertains to the team or the city's character in some way. (Yankee Stadium has Monument Park, the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field has an actual cownose ray tank, etc.)

Now AT&T Park has The Garden, a 4,320-squre-foot space full of leafy edibles for Giants fans to gather and hang out in, among kumquats and dwarf artichokes and marigolds in a familiar orange hue. It's got a bar, benches and tables, fire pits for chilly games, and slits in the wall with ground-level views of the action -- plus a Peet's Coffee.

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Western SOMA Gets a New Third-Wave Roastery, Sextant Coffee

Pete Kane
The raw, moody interior of Sextant Coffee Roasters.

The western end of SOMA manages to be lively at night and fairly humdrum during the day, minus the traffic coming on and off the freeway (or possibly Costco). Aside from Vega, the little coffee stand selling Blue Bottle on Folsom between Eighth and Ninth Streets -- and which has no seating -- there isn't much of a café scene between Sightglass and Coffee Bar. So in spite of coffee's current ubiquity, Sextant Coffee Roasters fits in quite well on Folsom and 10th.

See Also: The Perfect Five-Minute Drip Coffee at Home (and Other Fun Facts) From Mr. Espresso

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Dive Bar Bite: Box Kitchen at the Tempest

Categories: Cheap Eats, SOMA

Ferron Salniker
Captions: The elote at Box Kitchen inside the Tempest in SOMA.

Stumble home too quickly out of the Tempest and you might miss Box Kitchen. I work across the street and have long discovered that the Tempest is the perfect SOMA dive bar to arrive to after a long day: the crowd is unpretentious, the drinks are cheap, the music usually takes me back to middle school, and the food actually tastes good even before I'm tipsy.

Box Kitchen serves bites ranging from $4 to $9 and is operated by the Tempest, so order inside the bar during lunch or walk over to the order window next door in the evenings.

See also: Best Place to Hide Out from the Shopping Hordes of Powell Street
Dive Bar Bite: Farmers' Market Sundays at Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon
Dive Bar Bite: Carnitas Tacos at El Cerrito's El Autlense

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Who Makes the Better American IPA: SF's 21st Amendment or San Leandro's Drake's?

Kate Williams
21st Amendment's Brew Free! or Die IPA
Like burritos and sourdough bread, we've got no shortage of good craft beers in the Bay Area. Just down the street from my apartment are a craft beer pub, a beer garden, and two breweries, with at least two more on the way. This doesn't include, of course, the countless bars serving brews that would be hard-to-find anywhere else. But despite the Bay's affection for rare beers (raise your hand if you've stood in line for Pliny the Younger), there's still a place for that middle-ground beer: the widely available, affordable, and still darn tasty IPA.

American style IPAs are a staple of West Coast breweries, showcasing our locally grown hops in ways that range from subtle to bombastic. There are plenty of small-scale operations making killer IPAs, but for this showdown, we're taking a look at two of the longer-running breweries on both sides of the bay: 21st Amendment in San Francisco's SoMa district and Drake's in San Leandro.

See also:
Who Makes the Best Fried Chicken: S.F.'S Front Porch or Oakland's Miss Ollie's?
Who Makes the Better Italian Sub: S.F.'s Molinari or Oakland's Genova?
Who Makes the Better Chinese Dumplings: S.F's Kingdom of Dumpling or Oakland's Shan Dong?

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Red Dog, a Spinoff of Il Cane Rosso, is a Long-Awaited Dream Come True

Categories: Opening, SOMA

Pete Kane

To say that Red Dog has been long-anticipated doesn't even cover it. Lauren Kiino's follow-up to the Ferry Building's takeout-only Il Cane Rosso is a large space in eastern SoMa (in a rather unlovely, concrete corporate office complex that also happens to contain a number of tasty lunch-and-happy-hour options). We have been promised something since the first whispers emerged almost two years ago, and now we finally have it. And Red Dog, windowed on three sides, full of crisp diagonal lines, and home to some killer fries, is a big win. If this is empire-building, do build on!

See also: Terminus' Arrival Means Finally, There's Something Near a Cable Car Worth Eating

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Drink of the Week: Jersey City at Trou Normand

Lou Bustamante
When I go into a bar, the first thing I do is scan the menu for the drinks that define the house style. In that pursuit, I usually scan past the classic drinks and look for original ones -- except if I am at one of Thad Vogler and Eric Johnson's bars like Bar Agricole and the brand new Trou Normand.

Nobody has the ability to alchemize old drinks with the same kind of skill that this duo does, like their manifestation of the Jersey City ($11, calvados, pineapple gum syrup, absinthe) cocktail. The presentation is dramatic and unusual in that the drink is both stirred and built in the glass. Watch as a squared spike of ice starts off too big to fit into the glass gets stirred for a few seconds and melts just enough to descend, snug, to the bottom.

See also: Bar Agricole Spinoff Trou Normand Is Designed To Awe
Drink of the Week: Lemon Drop-tini at AQ
Drink of the Week: Old Golden at Ramen Shop

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Drink of the Week: Lemon Drop-tini at AQ

Lou Bustamante
We all need to start somewhere in our road to learning about cocktails, and like many, my road started with the Lemon Drop -- the very first cocktail I learned to both make and enjoy.

It was in the era where every drink came shaken and served up with the surname "tini," that I started to learn about spirits and drinks. Some bartenders consider that epoch a dark time in bartending, and others deem that time with the kind of embarrassment usually reserved for Facebook photos of themselves as teenagers, confidently gangly and awkward. Most distance themselves from those drinks in favor of forgotten classics gleaned from dusty tomes, but Tim Zohn's menu at A.Q. says we can have both with a list forged entirely of "Martinis."

See also: Prey of Thieves, a Cocktail Worth Stalking
Drink of the Week: Old Golden at Ramen Shop
Drink of the Week: Bone Machine at Third Rail

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