Food brings back a lot of memories for most people. May they be lunchables, Mom's apple pie, or meatloaf, comfort food can take someone back to a certain time and place. Well, I guess you could say I was sort of deprived of any sort of comfort food as a child. My mom never allowed me any processed foods, and being the noncooks my parents are, we dined out a lot, as much as we do now. When I try to think about "childhood food," I can't really focus in on any particular food. For some reason, I only remember the bad: a particularly bad experience with pate de porc aux poireaux, the suffering from accidentally eating a camouflaged chili pepper at some Malaysian place; yeah I wish I could think of chicken noodle soup like other people. So I guess the closest thing to comfort food for me is a good ol sandwich from Subs.
I remember my first time at Subs. This was sometime in the beginning of sophomore year, when D introduced me to the wonders of a toasted roast beef sub. It was a dreary San Francisco day, and I must say I was skeptical of how a sandwich could be as good as she described. The ambience was very down to earth with San Francisco roots. Numerous autographed pictures of 49ers hang on the wall; homey wood panelling; imitation sausages and garlic hang behind the counter; a simple wood counter with a plate of glass separate us customers from the oven for sub toasting. The workers--the tall stingy guy, Luigi, and the small mousy fellow--still work here today. After that I became a Subs Slut. We would go, as a ritual after school every Friday.
I haven't found a sandwich place like Subs anywhere on the East Coast. What really makes the difference is that the sandwiches are toasted. First, they take a piece of white submarine roll and slice it horizontally. They spread mustard on one of the pieces, top it with a type of meat, then cheese, then onions, and shovel both pieces into the oven. After about 5 minutes, they take the two sides of piping hot bread, spread mayo on one side, top it with lettuce, tomatoes, and then squeeze some secret sauce (Italian dressing) on it, and combine the pieces in a perfect harmony of sour and savory and toasty.
When I eat a sub, I am brought back to so many times and places because they provide for versatility in eating locations. I remember eating these on the premises, at many ppl's houses, flagpole, journ room, the beach, movie theaters, airplane, buses, etc..... I can't believe I have to return to eating cold sandwiches at school--I've been too spoiled.
820 Ulloa Street
San Francisco, CA 94127-1117
Labels: San Francisco (Cont.)