Italian combo sandwich at Merigan Sub Sandwich Shop.
Order: It sounds like a deli case tornado, but the Italian combo ($13)—with its wide ribbons of mortadella, salami, prosciutto cotto, and provolone—is a meat-lined trip down memory lane for tri-state area exiles. The necessary shredded lettuce, oil, and oregano are all present, but—for better or worse—the proprietary Pinkie’s roll provides a little more resistance than your standard soft roll. It’s not advertised, but you can order a half sandwich—a recommended tactic that leaves room for bites of the Arista ($13), loaded with warm roasted and braised pork, sharp provolone, long hots, and rapini.
Add: Owner Liza Shaw achieved her chef fame at meaty A16, so it’s well worth dabbling in her carnivorous extras, like lightly spicy pig skin chicharróns and an addictive, artfully seasoned sausage–white bean soup.
Dessert: Shaw polishes her boardwalk theme with Italian shaved ice ($4) for dessert, but it’s impossible to compete with her dark chocolate chip cookie ($2.50) sprinkled with just the right amount of sea salt. 636 2nd St. (near Brannan St.), 415-536-2991
Originally published in the January 2014 issue of San Francisco