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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sandwich Week: Thursday

Oh my goodness.

I think I've just had one of the best sandwiches ever in North Beach.

I'm so glad I went to L'Osteria del Forno (LDF) instead of Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store. Mario's was my first choice and their panini are good, but damn, everyone who's anyone has waxed poetic about that place. Though I'd been to LDF before, I'd never had their focaccia sandwiches. I have had their focaccia bread as an appetizer and remember it being the best thing about LDF. And while I knew that a sandwich at LDF was hard to go wrong, I had no idea just how delish it would be.

I arrived at LDF shortly after 12 noon today, which ended up being lucky because about 10 minutes later, the place was completely full with folks waiting in line outside. I sat at a side table facing the street, with 3 young women sitting in front of me at the window seat. Before the waitress took my order, I told her that I was interested in the Focaccine and asked her which ones were popular with the public and the staff.

Her three suggestions were:
PANCETTA - Grilled Italian bacon, spicy vegetable spread, tomatoes, lettuce
NAPOLETANA - Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, lettuce, basil, olive oil
ARROSTO - Thinly sliced roast of the day, tomatoes, lettuce.

I'd been eyeing the arrosto anyway because I had heard about the roast pork, but when she suggested it, my mind was made up.

The Arrosto it is! And I'll sit here and wait patiently while I read today's Onion.

Today's headines are:
"War On String May Be Unwinnable, Says Cat General"
"Gay Neighborhood Struggling With Transgenderfication"
and "Many U.S. Cities Losing Battles To Preserve Their Burger Kings"

After contemplating what this all means, my sandwich arrived. It looked great! It was hot, but not too hot; somewhere between warm and hot…harm?…whot? Being a food blogger extraordinaire (or slightly less of), I immediately snapped a coupla pics.

Normally, I'm pretty discrete with the photos. Trust me, I hate getting attention. But as it was, the table of girls in front of me were in dire need of something to talk about, and pretty soon I picked up on that thing you do with your friends where you're like "O-MAH-GAWD, Becky, that guy is taking pictures of his food! Quickly...turn around and look, but be cool." Soon the girl with her back to me crannnned her neck around and *pretended* like she was looking towards the back of the restaurant. I smiled.

The girl sitting sideways to me was now staring at me with that "ew, freak" look and snidely said something like "do you usually take pictures of your food?"

"I write for a food blog", I say.

"Oh, you're a critic?", she says.

"No, I do a food blog."

Then, turning to her friends, she says, "I would never date a critic."

This is better material than The Onion.

I thought about this as I took the first bite of my focaccia sandwich and then WOW, THIS IS DELICIOUS, and I took another bite and pretty soon I was MACKING on that sucker. Out of the top corner of my eye I could see the sideways girl looking back to see my reaction and I felt like saying "THIS IS FUCKING DELICIOUS!"

But, I think she could tell.

And I think the folks beside me could tell. And, hell, even that person sitting behind me, with the pizza, could tell.

Maybe it was because I began apoplectically convulsing Italian phrases like "molto bene", "mama mia" and "tutti a tavola a mangare" or whatever the hell Lidia says.

OK, that's a stretch. But had you seen the look on my face!

This was a simple sandwich, comprised only of tomatoes, lettuce, bread, and roasted pork, but oh, was it good! The roasted pork was succulent and juicy and part of that succulence was absorbed into the rosemary and salt baked focaccia. The tomatoes and lettuce weren't just filler, but were strategically placed ingredients to heighten the flavor of the pork and focaccia.

You don't want to date me, sweet thing, because this sandwich was critically divine and you can tell all of your girlfriends to go immediately to L'Osteria del Forno and get real with the Arrosto Focaccini!

Like, today. OK?

L'Osteria del Forno
Focaccini Arrosto / $7.60 (plus tip)
519 Columbus
San Francisco


Blogger Clare Eats said...

Love the week of sandwhiches. Keep up the good work!

11:56 PM  
Blogger drbiggles said...

You bastard. I can't get there now.
What you should have done is picked up your plate, marched over to the girls table and kindly asked if you could set your sandwich platter at their table so you could get a photograph. It's the lighting, all about the lighting.


9:03 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Brilliantly funny story.

6:14 PM  

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