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Salumeria - Yummy, but... [San Francisco]

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So, being Mission dwellers and home on Salumeria's opening day, we spontaneously decided to head down and check it out. We had a mostly solid meal with a few gripes.

We got the barley with peas, sour mackerel, duck confit sandwich, and salad with lemon-anchovy dressing. The barley was definitely the least interesting of the bunch. The salad was well-dressed and texturally interesting, with a perfectly cooked medium-boiled egg and crunchy bits of breadcrumbs mixed into the greens. The mackerel was also quite good...not fishy at all and well-balanced with vinegary onions, plump golden raisins, and pine nuts. The duck sandwich was good...not mind-blowing, but solid. Crispy baguette, some kind of cherry spread that offset the richness of the duck, a handful of arugula.

So, complaints. The portion sizes are ridiculous. In a way, the antipastis kind of make up for it, b/c at $6 apiece, they can fill you up and they're better than any prepared deli food I can think of off the top of my head (for example: Bi-Rite, Pasta Shop, La Boulange). On the other hand, the duck sandwich costs $12 and was smaller, volume-wise, than a typical 6" sub. Most people, upon paying $12 for a sandwich might reasonably expect that to fill them up for lunch, but I can't imagine anyone other than the lightest of eaters to be satisfied with a sandwich of this size. The salad was also petite. It was $9, but sized like a small starter salad. I guess I'm a little dumbfounded, because Flour + Water has always struck me and my husband as one of the best quality/price ratios in the city. Don't get me wrong, the food was all great, but I can't imagine having lunch here on a regular basis, and they seem to be aiming for that sort of "neighborhood lunch spot" vibe.

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  1. Thanks for the early report. With so much hype surrounding the rash of recent openings in the Mission, it's wonderful to hear some real life opinions.

    Here's the first day menu supplied by Eater:
    http://sf.eater.com/archives/2012/05/...

    1. I agree. I had the roast beef sandwich Friday. It seemed expensive for $12. But, that said, it was good enough that I'll be back.

      1. I was underwhelmed too. not like it isn't good.. It is good.....But i will not make it my go-to lunch spot

        1. A friend who lives nearby texted me this morning that Salumeria has lowered at least some prices, with no sandwiches over $9.

          1. I don't think the antipastis make up for it. The size of the antipastis is microscopic. It's good to know they taste good, but I wouldn't generally pay $6 for that portion size (and I am not a value shopper, lord knows). I've had plenty of deli items I've loved at Bi-Rite for a better price (a statement which seems absurd to me considering Bi-Rite's prices). At Salumeria, I ordered the mushroom/fava spread/limburger sandwich. The menu did not mention that it was served as a warm panino. First, it took for-effing-ever to them to prepare (they are working at a very leisurely pace back there). It was really difficult to eat -- falling-apart oozy -- and turned out to be a really unpleasant and sour taste combination. I was starving. It should have tasted good to me. The menu listing did not mention the slimy onions. I have to wonder if the owner tries out sandwich ideas on his staff. Either their tastes are not up to snuff or they are too meek to give him feedback.

            I want to like this place, but really, the sandwich I got was awful. The space is gorgeous, and I think it's great that Salumeria has built such a lovely spot to sit and eat one's lunch.

            1. Had lunch at Salumeria on Friday and split two sandwiches which, while not reinventing the wheel by any stretch, were really delicious. They reminded me of just what I get when I have a sandwich from The Sentinel, which is good enough for me. I think they were $9 each.

              I really liked the space just adjacent to the deli, which feels like sitting outdoors, though it's covered (with overhead heat radiators). The space adjacent to that is apparently the dining room for Central Kitchen and there was something raw and unappealing about it to me, though my lunch companion has had dinner there which he thoroughly enjoyed.

              The sandwiches were chicken salad with avocado and prosciutto. It was fairly busy but we didn't wait too long. The chef (is his name Naughton?) was moving around from space to space carrying ingredients presumably preparing for dinner service which was kind of fun.