[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Liza Shaw has been on a quest since she moved to the Bay Area 14 years ago. Her goal? The kind of fresh, meaty Italian sub that's ubiquitous back home on the East Coast, but not nearly so easy to find in SF. Eventually, the former A16 executive chef decided to take matters into her own hands, and today she's debuting the result: Merigan Sub Shop, a new sandwich stop that's taking the Italian sub game to a new level. Although the menu will be East Coast Italian-inspired, Shaw makes no secret of her non-Italian background. In fact, the name "merigan," from the Italian "amerigano," is basically Italian for "gringo."
Shaw plans to source mostly from local farms and farmer's markets, importing a few Italian ingredients when necessary. Whole-animal butchery and in-house pickling will also be a focus. The menu is divided into hot subs, cold subs, and "not subs" like giardinera, bean salad and marinated roasted vegetables. In the hot section, Shaw is offering subs like the porchetta (slaw, hot peppers, dressing, lemon conserva, cracklins), arista (roasted and braised pork, sharp provolone, rapini, long hot peppers) and panelle (ceci bean fritters, fresh ricotta, olive salad, tomato conserva, arugula). Cold subs range from the Italian combo (mortadella, salami, prosciutto cotto, provolone, shredded lettuce, onion, dressing, hots, tomato) to terrina (coppa di testa, pork liver terrina, slaw, giardiniera, hots, mayo) and the gutbusting "widowmaker" (roast beef, mortadella, salami, prosciutto cotto, turkey, provolone, pickled onions, hots, shredded lettuce, dressing). Housemade potato chips and soups round out the menu. All the sandwiches are priced at $6-$10/half or $13-$18/whole. Here's an exclusive first look at the menu.
Merigan has Anchor Lager, Green Flash Hop Head Red, and a red and white wine (Unti Rosso Piccino and Il Campo Giornata) on tap, plus a bottle list that includes Sierra Nevada and Peroni, and a wine list that showcases a mix of California and Italian wines, like Sicilian rose and half-bottles of bubbly. For dessert, don't miss another hard-to-find-in-SF item, Italian ices, in classic lemon and more unique almond or coffee (flavors will rotate seasonally). The cheerful 1,300-square foot space features colorful seating for up to 35, although Shaw estimates that takeout orders will account for as much as half of her business. (Given that AT&T Park is totally cool with outside food, Shaw's subs should also be a smash hit for carting into the stadium when baseball season returns.) Hours will be 10am-7pm daily, making Merigan a lunchtime destination as well as a spot to stop in for a happy hour drink or to-go sub after work.