I've been eating an inrodinate amount of sandwiches as of late. In fact, I'm officially declaring 2009 the year of sandwich.
Saigon Pork Sandwich @ Out the Door
I've already had two Saigon Pork sandwiches from Out the Door in the last week and a half. It's not quite a banh mi, but it's definitely inspired by it. At $8.50 it's two to three times as expensive as your average banh mi, but IMO it's a much tastier option. Also it's at least twice the size of any average banh mi, so given that and the fact that they're using higher quality meat, the price seems justified. It contains thin sliced roast pork, cilantro, pickled shredded carrots and mayo. They don't put any hot peppers on it, but they have sliced jalapenos available so I always put a whole slew of em on myself. I'm pretty sure it used to have pate on it when they started serving it a few years back, but unfortunately this is no longer the case. It's still one of my favorite sandwiches in all of San Francisco. I eat one almost every week it seems.
Various Sandwiches @ Boccalone
I've tried a lot of sandwiches at Boccalone. Their take on a Muffuletta is pretty good. No it's not on the traditional Muffuletta bread, but really, who cares. The quality of their meats is pretty sweet. Today I noticed that they now have create your own sandwiche options with one or two meats($8.50+tax). I paired up their Paté di Campagna with the Prosciutto Cotto. They also put on some Provolone, some pickled peppers and housemade mustard. It was mouth-watering deliciousness on bread.
BBQ Pork Banh Mi @ Latte Express 5
This place is easy to overlook. Just a tiny coffeeshop on the corner of Kearny and Sacramento. But it had some solid reviews so I tried it out last week. It's a solid banh mi., although pricier than average at $4. Not the best I've had, but definitely worth going back for since it's so close to where I work. The pork was very tasty and tender.
Been really wanting to try more tortas lately. Decided to try this place first having passed by it many times and having read some good reviews. Walked in and grabbed a seat at the counter. I asked the guys working there if I should get carnitas or pastor. Pastor was recommended so I ordered one with everything on it. Went for the large size since it was only like $2 more ($7.50). It turned out to be a huge sandwich. It was tastey, although not the best pastor I've had. I'm open to any torta recommendations anyone else may have anywhere in the city.
Classic Cheeseteak @ Phat Philly's
Great F'in Cheesesteak. Got the classic 12" with the housemade Newcastle cheese sauce and caramelized onions. Not really sure if it's necessary for them to fly the special bread in all the way from Philly, but it was a delicious sandwich nonetheless. I enjoyed the pepper bar, too. It's a $10 for the 12", but it was a pretty hefty sandwich and the Niman Ranch meat plus the homemade cheese sauce makes it worth it. I saw them making some onion rings, too, which looked pretty good.
Meatball Parm @ La Spiaggia Delicatessen
This place seems very old school, but they use Niman Ranch beef. The meatballs are flavorful, tender, delicious and huge. I think they only put two on the sandwich, but it's plenty. I get mine on the soft/sweet roll with pepperocinis and some hot pepper spread. Sometimes I can only eat half of this cuz it's so big. It's $8.50 and well worth it.
Disco @ Mixt Greens
This is my "healthy" lunch option. I know there are some mixed feeling about Mixt Greens, but I dig their Disco sandwich ($8.95) which is basically a turkey club. They usually serve it on ACME herb loaf, but I swap in the torpedo roll which I think works much better. I'm pretty sure there's Niman Ranch bacon on this (2 strips). Along with some roast turkey, harissa aioli, tomatoe and butter lettuce. It's not a massive sandwich, but it does come with a huge side salad of organic greens... Their Loafer meatloaf sandwich is also pretty tasty, especially if you add bacon.
Reuben @ Sentinel
I haven't had one of these yet this year, but I had quite a few last year and enjoyed them. Not your standard reuben being that it's served on flatbread, but the flatbread is delicious and buttery, and the corned beef is flavorful.
Please respond back with any and all sandwich recommendations!
re: Munching Mark
Have not had AK Subs. What's their specialty?
Another great sandwich I had a few times last year was the fried dhicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty's in Oakland. I don't get there very often, but it's the only good (awesome actually) fried chicken sandwich I've had in the Bay Area.
The Latte Express Banh Mi seems to have improved. My grilled pork had some nice char and they were very generous with the meat.
I liked the #19, eastern style, at Gambinos in Embarcadero 3. Its got everything along with fresh mozzerella. I also liked the sausage with fries and cole slaw at Giordano Bros on Columbus.