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15 Peninsula sandwiches we’re craving now

Uploaded: Jan 7, 2022
By Sara Hayden

We enjoy a good sandwich as a perfectly self-contained, hand-held meal or a decadent indulgence accompanied by a stack of napkins. These Peninsula sandwiches satisfy from bread to filling, layer by layer. Have others you love? Email us at peninsulafoodist@embarcaderopublishing.com — we’d love to try!

Apple Fritter: Pigs Gone Wild Brekky
This San Mateo eatery offers breakfast and brunch with donuts, burgers, sandwiches and more. On the menu is a “brekky sandwich” spread that includes the Yoga Mom Brekky (grilled spinach, mushroom, egg, cheddar cheese, pesto) and the Pigs Gone Wild Brekky (grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs, arugula, chipotle mayo).

The brekky sandwiches come with your choice of bread (sourdough, egg, brioche, gluten-free, wheat, rye, or English muffin). But if your choice of bread happens to be a glazed donut, get a donut burger. Yup, there’s a special section on the menu dedicated to donut burgers! Try the Donut Luther with a beef patty, bacon, American cheese and a fried egg.

applefrittereatery.com // 1901 South Norfolk St., San Mateo; 650-525-9125

Baked “so it’s crispy and your fingers are not greasy,” the Chemel family’s B Deux Go offers sandwiches that diners can pick up in Palo Alto from the kitchen door of their fine-dining restaurant, Baumé. (Photo courtesy B Deux Go)

B Deux Go: Croque Poivrons
B Deux Go’s croque-style sandwiches with ham or peppers, Gruyere cheese and bechamel sauce are perfectly packaged to eat on the run.

To make it easier to eat while out and about, the sandwiches’ buttermilk bread is baked with no oil on the outside, and served in a paper envelope with a napkin neatly tucked within.

Pick up your sandwich to go in Palo Alto from the restaurateurs behind the fine-dining restaurant Baumé — in fact, the team serves orders from Baumé’s kitchen door. The Chemel family launched their to-go sandwich concept in the fall of 2021.

bdeuxgo.com // 201 California Ave., Palo Alto (pick up from kitchen door on Park Boulevard); 408-900-8000

Cafe Bunn Mi: Crispy Duck
This South San Francisco cafe offers baguettes served with crisp pickled carrots, onions and daikon, and your choice of combination pork, five-spice chicken, grilled pork, lemongrass steak, crispy duck, vegetables, tofu and more. Also very satisfying to go with that crispy duck sandwich? A side of garlic fries.

yelp.com/biz/cafe-bunn-mi-south-san-francisco // 226 Grand Ave., South San Francisco; 650-745-8883

Greedy Ant: Artichoke Art
This Belmont eatery has a tightly curated sandwich selection with a focus on fresh ingredients.

Among the menu’s seven sandwiches are the Artichoke Art (artichoke hearts with fennel pollen, melted brie, roasted red peppers, greens, tomato and garlic pesto), Ham I Am (with choice of shaved truffle ham or rosemary ham, plus havarti, marinated onion, greens, tomato and their magic mayo) and Disco Chicken (roasted chicken breast with herbs, sauteed red onion, jack cheese, tomato, greens and lime-basil mayo).

Each sandwich comes with your choice of side. Choose between marinated chickpeas in dill or pickled beets.

thegreedyantgourmet.com // 932 Ralston Ave., Belmont; 650-832-1136

La Casita Chilanga sells tortas with names inspired by football clubs and celebrities like Sofia Vergara. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

La Casita Chilanga: La Super Aguila
La Casita Chilanga has been in the community for more than 20 years. At an eye-catching location painted half green and half white with a red fence on Middlefield Road in Redwood City, you’ll find tortas with fresh-baked talera, housemade aioli, xipoctli salsa, avocado, cheese and caramelized onion along with your choice of other toppings.

Circumstances were difficult when Juan Zamora and his partner first decided to open their own restaurant. They set out to achieve their goal shortly after 9/11.

“In that time, it was a hard time — like right now (during the pandemic),” Zamora says.

But they weren’t deterred. “We say, ‘You know what? We should put tortas here, like Mexico City-style.'”

He and his partner found a small place that could fit three tables, developed their own recipes and set up shop with tortas to go. The menu was inspired by their Mexico City hometown, different from the menus at the Asian and Italian restaurants that Zamora had previously worked at.

“There’s little jokes in the menu,” Zamora says.

Some tortas are inspired by football clubs, like [https//www.instagram.com/p/CU6NaAnpjt6/ La Super Aguila (breaded chicken breast, smoked turkey leg sausage, chorizo, ham, yellow and Monterey cheese) and La Mega Chiva (pastor, caramelized pineapple, chorizo, turkey sausage, Monterey cheese), and celebrities like Sofia Vergara (breaded chicken breast) and Raul de Molina (pork head cheese). La Cubana is the most popular, with thin-cut breaded beef, ham, chorizo and smoked turkey leg sausage.

The team is a mainstay in the Peninsula sandwich scene. In addition to Middlefield Road, La Casita Chilanga has locations on El Camino Real as well as in San Mateo and San Jose (watch for different items on these menus).

Other credits include the Sandwich Bug in Palo Alto, offering deli sandwiches with house-baked bread and special mayo “buggy” sauce, Snacks in San Mateo serving tortas and street foods, and The Patty Shack, offering burgers in Redwood City.

lacasitachilanga.com // 2928 Middlefield Road, Redwood City; 650-568-0351

Jood: Taook Sandweesh
The Harbali family has a decadeslong history of building food businesses with prized beef, sheep, poultry, and lamb. Their most recent addition to their restaurant repertoire is Jood in San Carlos, showcasing barbecue.

Try a sandwich made with slaw and pickles on lavash, with fries on the side. The Minced and Kneaded Sandweesh is made with meat or vegan kafta, hummus and tahini, and the bestselling Taook Sandweesh is made with marinated grilled chicken breast, creamy garlic sauce and ketchup. Heaven’s Sandweesh offers a vegan option with eggplant, cauliflower, pesto and tangy housemade sun sauce.

The online menu has a handy chart with allergen information.

eatjood.com // 635 Laurel St., San Carlos

Dad’s Luncheonette: Mushroom sandwich
Served out of a bright red caboose off Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, the hamburger sandwich previously made the Peninsula Foodist’s chef’s bucket list. Served on grilled bread from Rosalind Bakery, the sandwich is made with beef, soft egg, cheese, red onion pickles, “Dad’s Sauce” and red oak lettuce.

Also not to be missed is the mushroom sandwich, made with the same ingredients as the burger except for the beef. In place of the patty are maitake mushrooms.

The eatery was opened by co-owners Alexis Liu and Scott Clarke in 2017. After the birth of their daughter, Clarke left his role as a chef de cuisine at the three Michelin-starred Saison as the family sought balance.

dadsluncheonette.com // 225 Highway 1, Half Moon Bay; 650-560-9832

Little Lucca: Egg salad on Dutch crunch, with everything
Little Lucca has been on the Peninsula since 1980, expanding from South San Francisco to Burlingame. Choose between a roll (sour, sweet, wheat, Dutch crunch or ciabatta) or sliced bread (rye or white).

If you get a roll, the Little Lucca team scrapes out the middle, creating a pocket of crust for maximum filling.

You choose — there are crab and shrimp sandwiches, meatballs, liverwurst, cured meats (including salami, soppressata, coppa and prosciutto), combos like the Chicken Cordon Bleu (breaded chicken, ham, Swiss cheese) and Veggie Delight (cream cheese, tomato, cucumber, avocado and creamy Caesar dressing), and more.

Order your sandwich with “everything” (mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, red onion, lettuce, tomato), and especially one (or both!) of the housemade hot pepper and original garlic sauces for extra spice and savoriness.

littlelucca.com // 724 El Camino Real, South San Francisco; 650-589-8916 // 1809 El Camino Real, Burlingame; 650-697-8389

Just My Toast: Char Siu Toast
Order ahead so your favorite doesn’t sell out, then pick up street toast at this newly opened eatery in San Bruno.

Choose from Pimi & Cheese (roasted red bell pepper, cream cheese, cabbage slaw), the J.M.T. Signature (prosciutto cotto, egg, cheese, cabbage slaw), Char Siu Toast (char siu, egg, cabbage slaw) and the Chicken Melt (diced chicken, celery, mayo, onion, cheese, cabbage slaw). As a side, get crispy mini smashed potatoes with onions and garlic.

instagram.com/jmttoast // 1212 El Camino Real Suite F, San Bruno

“I just fell in love with brisket, the craft, how long and painstaking the process is.” With Breakwater Barbecue, founder Wyatt Fields fulfilled his dream of opening a barbecue restaurant near his Half Moon Bay hometown. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

Breakwater Barbecue: Brisket sandwich
On the menu at Coastside destination Breakwater Barbecue is the Gold Rush Pulled Pork Sandwich (topped with apple cilantro slaw and Gold Rush sauce), a Reuben (house-smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, pickles) and a banh mi that features a daily smoked meat selection.

Founder Wyatt Fields has a particular passion for brisket. The brisket sandwich features slices of smoked and seared Black Angus brisket, caramelized onions, pickles, ancho coffee barbecue sauce and mayo, all on thick cut country sourdough from Rosalind Bakery in Pacifica.

breakwaterbbq.com // 30 Avenue Portola, El Granada; 650-713-5303

Mendocino Farms: Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Reuben
Founded in Los Angeles, Mendocino Farms has locations in Palo Alto, San Mateo and Mountain View. The menu clearly marks vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items, as well as which items contain nuts.

For those who crave a meaty sandwich without the actual meat, try a Reuben on rye made with plant-based corn beef, apple and celery root slaw, bread and butter pickles and Thousand Island dressing. Get it with havarti cheese for a vegetarian option, or plant-based smoked provolone cheese for a vegan option.

The menu also has options for gluten-free sandwiches, including chimichurri steak and bacon or chicken pesto caprese (these both have meat), a plant-based burger and more.

mendocinofarms.com // 401 San Antonio Road, Suite 64, Mountain View; 650-209-3987 // 167 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto; 650-543-8135 // 1060 Park Place, San Mateo; 650-332-8300

New England Lobster Company: Lobster Roll (Dressed)
Head to Burlingame for a luscious lobster roll with a side of crunchy chips and coleslaw. If you want pure meat, order the Naked option, served with a side of butter, or get mayo, salt and pepper with the Dressed option. The menu also offers a seasonal choice.

The company started out as a wholesale distributor in Maine in 1987 before opening up a market for the public in South San Francisco in 2002. Its brick and mortar eatery has been in Burlingame for about a decade.

newenglandlobster.net // 824 Cowan Road, Burlingame; 650-443-1559

Respectable Bird co-owner Christian Perez adds sauce to a spicy chicken sandwich in the South San Francisco kitchen. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

Respectable Bird: The Sandwich (Spicy)
At a South San Francisco ghost kitchen or food truck, the Respectable Bird team makes their regular or spicy fried chicken sandwiches available via pickup or delivery.

Each is served on a Martin’s potato roll. Also used by Shake Shack, the bread holds up to a hefty half-pound of thigh meat, as well as sauce and juicy pickles.

If you’re feeling especially bold when it comes to spice, try a level 4 hot chicken sandwich from the group’s Love Burn brand. If you do, you’ll be required to sign a waiver. Served with a complimentary side of milk.

respectablebird.com // 312 Swift Ave., South San Francisco; 650-754-6258

Plaza Gourmet Delicatessen: The Godfather
The Peninsula has no shortage of excellent cheesesteak establishments. At Plaza Gourmet in Foster City, you’ll find an assortment, including the Famous Philly (grilled sliced beef, onions, peppers, provolone), the Slim Philly (turkey breast, light Jarlsberg) the Pizza Philly (grilled sliced beef, marinara sauce, pepperoni, onions, peppers, melted provolone and mayonnaise) and the Vegetarian Philly (grilled bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, melted provolone and mayonnaise).

You’ll also find other sandwiches like the Godfather (prosciutto, salami, mortadella, coppa, provolone, olive oil, vinegar, artichoke hearts, pepperoncinis, lettuce, onions, oregano) and Shrimp Supreme (shrimp salad, avocado, mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato pickles, onion), as well as imported meats.

fostercitydeli.com // 929 Edgewater Blvd., Foster City; 650-666-8813

San Benito House Garden Deli: Cheese and avocado on olive-walnut bread
This 116-year-old Half Moon Bay outpost moved out of a temporary location at Pizza Pie and reopened in the fall, following a devastating fire in April 2021.

The San Benito House Garden Deli’s homemade breads are velvety smooth, complimenting hearty slices of turkey, ham, hot pastrami, cheese or avocado, topped with extra fresh and crisp tomato, onions, lettuce and pickles, and just the right amount of mayo and mustard.

Try olive-walnut bread for a briny crunch (especially tasty with a scoop of egg salad), or whole wheat for subtle sweetness.

If it’s really bread you crave and not all the sandwich fixings, take home French bread or a Portuguese loaf.

sanbenitohouse.com // 356 Main St., Half Moon Bay; 650-726-9507
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Posted by Cecily Gates, a resident of another community,
on Jan 7, 2022 at 10:39 am

Cecily Gates is a registered user.

In terms of more conventional cravings, whatever happened to normal sandwiches like roast beef/pastrami/ham/turkey + Swiss on light/dark rye? Or a peanut butter and jelly or even a tuna salad sandwich?

Have we gotten so far off the beaten track that a 'gourmet sandwich' now equates to something foo-foo?

The only sandwich cravings we had while residing in Palo Alto was an occasional trip to the old Town and Country Cheese Shop/Deli.

Posted by Jesse Taylor, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 7, 2022 at 2:23 pm

Jesse Taylor is a registered user.

My favorite sandwich is fried balogne on white bread (preferably Wonder Bread) with some French's yellow mustard. Add some Lay's Classic potato chips + a cold Budweiser and you have lunch fit for any down-to-earth, unpretentious Palo Altan.

A full-tilt Dagwood sandwich made from holiday leftovers (including turkey, ham, and roast beef + 2 types of cheeses) piled 5" high on one's bread of choice is also hard to beat.

Posted by All Along the Watchtower, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jan 8, 2022 at 11:52 am

All Along the Watchtower is a registered user.

If those recommended sandwiches cost more than $10.00, they are a total rip-off given the actual food costs to prepare one.

Anyone can make an egg salad sandwich.

Posted by Paul Withrow, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 8, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Paul Withrow is a registered user.

"15 Peninsula sandwiches we're craving now"

Not everyone. I am craving my late grandmother's leftover turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce and Swiss Cheese on dark rye.

Sounds simple enough as I can replicate it to a certain extent.

As for going out for something like an Egg Salad Sandwich, give me a break.

Posted by Lawrence McPheeters, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jan 9, 2022 at 11:40 am

Lawrence McPheeters is a registered user.

* The only sandwich cravings we had while residing in Palo Alto was an occasional trip to the old Town and Country Cheese Shop/Deli.

Their unique 'secret' mayo/mustard/relish dressing made any sandwich they offered taste amazing!

Fancy names and artisan ingredients do not necessarily equate to a great sandwich...just a higher asking price for those willing to waste/spend their money.

Posted by Lauren Pang, a resident of another community,
on Jan 9, 2022 at 1:36 pm

Lauren Pang is a registered user.

An Egg Foo Yung sandwich on white bread is very inexpensive in terms of food costs and chances are, many local diners would unquestionably pay $7.50 for one with a few potato chips on the side.

The ingredients: eggs, bean sprouts, and some green onions + a couple slices of bread cost less than a dollar per serving and the egg foo yung sauce can be easily made from basic Asian ingredients.

No need to overpay for a simple sandwich.

Posted by Jamila Winslow, a resident of North Bayshore,
on Jan 9, 2022 at 3:11 pm

Jamila Winslow is a registered user.

Leftover chitlins with Louisiana hot sauce on white bread and then deep fried makes for a very tasty sandwich as well.

Why don't anyone offer it?

Posted by Ronnie Delgado, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jan 10, 2022 at 8:51 am

Ronnie Delgado is a registered user.

"chitlins...Why don't anyone offer it?"

Because most people (including white folks, Jewish people, Hispanics & Asians) wouldn't order it.

Though chitlins are a true 'soul food', it is an acquired taste & more along the lines of a cultural epicurean preference.

Posted by Dirk Peterson , a resident of another community,
on Jan 10, 2022 at 11:37 am

Dirk Peterson is a registered user.

Chitlins are the intestines of a pig and must be thoroughly scrubbed to avoid any fecal aftertaste.

I have never tried them myself but many of my African American acquaintances detest this particular dish as well, dreading the days when they had to go to their grandparent's house for a family gathering and meal.

On an un-aired episode of 'Diners, Drivers, & Dives', Guy Fieri sampled them and was repulsed by their 'barnyard flavor.'

Best to stick with baby back ribs, ham, bacon and pork chops leaving chitlins to those who actually enjoy them.

Most people don't which is why you will NEVER see chitlins offered on a mainstream menu that advertises or offers soul food.

Posted by Lacy James, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 10, 2022 at 11:54 am

Lacy James is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Ashley Nguyen, a resident of North Whisman,
on Jan 10, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Ashley Nguyen is a registered user.

When I was a child, my grandmother used to prepare something along the lines of a grilled snake sandwich.

She would occasionally catch a gopher snake in the back yard and after skinning it, she would then slice the meat into thin strips and fry it with some onions and red peppers.

She kiddingly called it a Vietnamese fajita.

Posted by Jim Ferrin, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 10:41 am

Jim Ferrin is a registered user.

>She would occasionally catch a gopher snake in the back yard and after skinning it, she would then slice the meat into thin strips and fry it with some onions and red peppers.
>>She kiddingly called it a Vietnamese fajita.

Gopher snakes should not be killed (or eaten) as they provide a key element within nature's ecosystem by controlling rodent infestations.

There are countless other snake meat alternatives...like a rattlesnake.

Posted by staying home, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 12:56 pm

staying home is a registered user.

yeah, any one can make food at home at a cheaper cost than going out. But honestly, sometimes eating out and enjoying food isn't a financial decision.

@Lacy James: In addition to being vegan, what other things would you change if you were a slave?

Posted by staying home, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 12:56 pm

staying home is a registered user.

yeah, any one can make food at home at a cheaper cost than going out. But honestly, sometimes eating out and enjoying food isn't a financial decision.

@Lacy James: In addition to being vegan, what other things would you change if you were a slave?

Posted by Justin Morales, a resident of Castro City,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 3:06 pm

Justin Morales is a registered user.

Some upscale sandwich offerings border on the ludicrous.

Like who would spend $50.00 (or more) for a designer Wagyu hamburger unless they were either an idiot or a bragger seeking outside validation?

Posted by Sunshine, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 3:13 pm

Sunshine is a registered user.

It's also difficult to find good bread out here. I've yet to find a good light rye (not sourdough) with caraway seeds in it. Then, all it needs is pastrami and a little spicy mustard so it won't be too dry.
Don't even think of adding sauerkraut, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, etc.

Posted by Melba James, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 3:46 pm

Melba James is a registered user.

Are there any local Jewish delis that can be sourced for good rye bread?

It is also hard to find a good bagel these days as most of them are merely bread with a hole in the center.

@Jamila Winslow
I utterly despise chitlins and I am of African American descent. My great grandmother also used to prepare them and it makes the entire house stink! My great grandfather also hated them and being a long haul trucker, he was never around when chitlins were being served.

As for eating snakes, some Asian cultures and Native Americans partake in them. Those who have tried it say it tastes like chicken, so why not just eat a chicken? Chickens are easier to find as well.

As far as the question posed to Lacy James by staying home, being African American and a descendent of slaves, if I were a slave I would try to get a job as a domestic (cook, maid) working inside plantation home rather than picking cotton or tobacco in the hot sun.

You get to wear better clothes and you won't have to eat chitlins!

Posted by Butch Wilkins, a resident of Bailey Park,
on Jan 11, 2022 at 7:12 pm

Butch Wilkins is a registered user.

How come no one offers the classic Elvis sandwich?

All it takes is white bread, peanut butter, sliced bananas, and some bacon (pre-cooked) and then fried, preferably in a cast iron skillet.

Real food for real people.

Posted by Jeremy Taylor, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jan 12, 2022 at 9:47 am

Jeremy Taylor is a registered user.

The biggest rip-off sandwich is the $20.00+ fried abalone sandwich at Duarte's in Pescadero.

A paper thin slice of abalone dipped in cornmeal, fried and then served on two nondescript pieces of white bread.

OK for dumb tourists but not locals.

Posted by AdjunctProfessorville, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 12, 2022 at 7:35 pm

AdjunctProfessorville is a registered user.

Geez...lot of commentary from the crankies! If you would rather eat a simple sandwich at home, great! Sometimes I find it fun to try new things, even if its an occasional modest splurge, and even if it strikes some of the more sensitive types as silly. Lot of clutching at Birkenstocks in these comments!

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