Thursday, August 18, 2005

Marina Sub - San Francisco, CA
Today was my long-awaited first visited to Marina Sub. MS is in the toasted sub business, ultimately the same sort of subs as Sub Center. Marina Sub is, as its name vaguely implies, subs in the Marina, specifically on Union Street. It's a corner property operated by a Korean guy who makes the subs. The ambiance is a bit chillier than Subs, and has more tables spaced further apart. The prices are about the same as Subs, but the portions here are huge. Well, length wise they are long, but they lack in girth compared to Sub Center.

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This is a medium!

The method of making the subs is pretty much the same: slicing the bread, slather on condiments, pile meats or cheese, toast in oven, slather on more condiments, pile veggies, and then finish with secret sauce. The taste of the sandwich differs a bit, but mostly in texture. The bread is chewier and softer than Subs. The meat is also tougher and drier than I'd like. I think it's well-done beef rather than the medium at Subs. I also don't like the fact that he only slices the bread about 7/8 of the way through, thus causing the meat to fold and envelop the veggies. The sandwich has no structural integrity. It also causes an unevenness in bread to filling ratio, with the bites at the open side resulting in more filling, while bites at the fold result in too much bread. Reconciling this difference is way too much to think about when trying to enjoy a sandwich.

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Verdict: Subs wins. Marina Sub is an awesome place in itself, and if I had never tried Subs, this would be my favorite sandwich place. I think the ambiance and memories evoked also contribute to my favoritism for Sub Center.

Marina Submarine
2299 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-3990


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sub Center - San Francisco, CA
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.

Submarine Center
820 Ulloa Street
San Francisco, CA 94127-1117
(415) 564-1455


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines HKG > SFO

Atlantic smoked salmon garnished with mixed salad and apricot chutney

Unpictured - Sauteed prawns served with creamy tarragon sauce and pappardelle pasta tossed with tomato pesto

Viennetta chocolate ice cream

Assorted fruits

Braised butter noodle with pork and Beijan scallion