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Does Berkeley Have Any Decent Sandwiches?

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torta ahoga from Oakland's Tamarindo, Photo Credit: porkaholic

Not a single morsel from Berkeley or the Gourmet Ghetto was included in the recent lengthy guide to the sandwich penned by San Francisco magazine’s opinionated, long-standing food writer, Jan Newberry. In response, author, food writer, and SF-native, Frances Dinkelspiel, composes a Berkeleyside piece concernedly entitled: “Does Berkeley Have Crummy Sandwiches?”

It's tough to argue with Newberry’s well-researched, 40-deep sandwich queue. After all, she “spent months tracking?traveling to West Marin, San Carlos, and the east side of Oakland in search of grilled cheese, pastrami, and authentic banh mi”; for the piece, including widely agreed-upon favorites (Bakesale Betty’s fried-chicken sandwich, Anchor and Hope’s lobster roll), classics (Sentinel’s reuben), newcomers (Barbacco’s sardine and seared squid sandwich), cheap eats (La Torta Gorda’s pierna-enchilada torta), and hippified bites (Outerlands’ grilled cheese).

It's tough to argue with Newberry’s well-researched, 40-deep sandwich queue. After all, she “spent months tracking?traveling to West Marin, San Carlos, and the east side of Oakland in search of grilled cheese, pastrami, and authentic banh mi” for the piece, including widely agreed-upon favorites (Bakesale Betty’s fried-chicken sandwich, Anchor and Hope’s lobster roll), classics (Sentinel’s reuben), newcomers (Barbacco’s sardine and seared squid sandwich), cheap eats (La Torta Gorda’s pierna-enchilada torta), and hippified bites (Outerlands’ grilled cheese).

Dinkelspiel lists Berkeley’s artisanal signposts: Chez Panisse, the Cheeseboard, and Acme Bread, none of which make sandwiches with large cult followings. She then assembles her own cast of bread-encased favorites from Star Grocery, “Berkeley institution” Café Panini, Fred’s Market No. 2, Alice Water’s Café Fanny, and Saul’s Restaurant & Deli, which she notes author and Slow Food activist, Michael Pollan, has enjoyed. She then diplomatically concedes San Francisco magazine has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards this year, one for public service and one for general excellence.

Though the Berkeley omissions may be warranted, what about the Saigon Sandwich roasted pork banh mi both Playboy magazine and 7x7’s esteemed editors have endorsed. And the po' boy from Yat’s, for that matter.

As always, the wrestling match continues here, here, and here on Yelp. Party on.

An Opinionated Guide To The Sandwich [~SanFranMag~]
Does Berkeley Have Crummy Sandwiches? [~Berkeleyside~]

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