Bacon Bacon Truck – San Francisco

Bacon Bacon Menu

Rated: ♣♣♣

I’m about to share with you something so disgustingly delicious, my heart is still hating me for the torture I put it through.

My coworkers and I trekked over to The Truck Stop (in an alley on Mission St. between Fremont and First) to try the newly popular Bacon Bacon truck. Apparently everyone else in the Financial District had the same idea because at about 11:45, there was already an hour wait in line! If you plan to try Bacon Bacon, I encourage you to get there when it opens to cut the wait time. They also run out of food as the day goes on, so the earlier the better.

Bacon Bacon Belly

Once I ordered, I had to wait another 30 minutes before I got my food. These guys seriously need an actual store front to handle the traffic. I ordered the Belly sandwich and a piece of chocolate covered bacon for dessert. The sandwich is a slab of crispy pork belly, a fried egg, arugula and caper aioli on a brioche bun. I feel like they only threw arugula in there to taunt me for eating a sandwich that’s 90% pure fat. Like, “Hey, you’re about to eat a 3,000 calorie sandwich, but it’s okay because there are some greens in it.” When I took my first bite into the sandwich, the yolk immediately popped and ran down my hand. The croissant-like roll paired with the crispy and juicy chunks of pork belly was like an explosion of amazingness in my mouth. I’m glad I savored every bite because there’s no way I can put my body through this again.

Bacon Bacon Inside Belly

The chocolate covered bacon was interesting. They took a very thick slice of bacon, toasted it up and coated it in chocolate and toffee bits. Who knew chocolate and bacon made for a tasty combination?

Bacon Bacon Chocolate

I was also able to try some of the bacon bouquet (yes, it’s a bouquet of bacon) and the spicy belly fries. The bacon itself has got to be the best bacon I’ve ever had. So thick and crispy with the right amount of saltiness. It also appeared to be deep fried. The spicy belly fries packed a lot of heat, but I didn’t care for them all too much. They were topped with loose shredded pork (which tasted like Hawaiian kalua pork) that seemed separated from the fries. Like, you couldn’t eat the fries and toppings in one bite. you’d have to eat the plain fries first, then the shredded pork.

Bacon Bacon Bouquet

Bacon Bacon Fries

I’ll admit that the Belly sandwich is one of my top ranked sandwiches next to Roli Roti’s porchetta sandwich. But because of the fat content, I don’t think I’ll be coming back here again. It just doesn’t seem worth it with the wait time. I guess it’s one of those places you have to try once.

Bacon Bacon truck
LocationL varies

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I Left My Stomach in San Mateo… or Top Peninsula Eats

Farewell upper peninsula. I’ve taken a position in SOMA San Francisco, and will be leaving Foster City. When people ask me what I’m going to miss, I am always going to tell them the good, cheap lunch spots within driving distance. So, here’s a list of top 10 Peninsula Eateries according to Kingston in no particular order:

Jersey Joe’s Hoagies & Cheesesteaks
21 El Camino Real
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 592-7317

If you are looking for the best cheesesteak sandwich in the Bay Area, look no further than this San Carlos Cheesesteak establishment. “THE BEST CHEESESTEAK SANDWICH IN THE BAY AREA.” There I said it. For around $10 you get a delicious, mouthwatering cheesesteak, fries, and a medium drink. This establishment will be the one I miss the most. Make sure you put some Buffalo Hot Sauce on your Mushroom Cheesesteak. Oh… Man. In fact, this will definitely be on my weekend Peninsula visits. (BTW, for all you Philly freaks, they have the traditional Cheese Sauce.)

Ike’s Lair
555 Twin Dolphin Dr
Ste 115
Redwood City, CA 94065
(650) 637-8903

So, you get all the hype from the San Francisco Ike’s Place, and realize, that waiting 2 to 3 hours is really not worth it. Now for Peninsulites (Peninsulans? Peninsuli?) all we have to do is make a phone call at 9:00 am to pick up our sandwich at 12:30 pm. I mean, it takes all the guess work out of figuring out which restaurant to go to for lunch. My office did several 15-20 orders of sandwiches to bring back, since there’s no seating there. My favorite is the Not A Reuben (Paul Reuben for my SF Place homies) with Mustard around $9.50.

Old Port Lobster Shack
851 Veterans Blvd
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 366-2400
TheCultureBite Bite Back

Ah… yes. The Lobster Shack. Sigh… Where do I start. I’m actually not a lover of Lobster (I’m more of a crab type of guy), but their Lobster Roll is deeelish. I mean, come on. You walk into this establishment as if it were straight off an old port in Maine. Make sure you start off with some Creamy Clam Chowder, order a Maine Lobster Roll (if you don’t like mayo or green onions order the Naked Lobster so you can dip into a side of mayo or butter), and enjoy that side of fries. Can’t say I’ve tried anything else here, but I hear their BBQ is award winning! My meals were usually around $30 here, so take someone special.

Kabul Afghan Cuisine
135 El Camino Real
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 594-2840

I love the lamb here. We used to come here for special occasions, and then we realized we should just come here for no occasion. The Kebabs are delicious, and they remind me of the song from the Flight of the Conchords “Most Beautiful Girl” ( Mostly because they mention kebabs and these are my favorite ones, specifically the Kabab-e-gousfand. Say that five times fast. The Lamb is seasoned just right and juicy. You get such large portions that I always have to take it home. The other dish I love here is the Challaw kadu. It’s a vegetarian dish with pumpkin in it. thdfsdf <–that was me wiping the drool off of my keyboard

Sushi Sam’s
218 E 3rd Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 344-0888

This is one of the more expensive lunch dining options in the San Mateo downtown area. I’ve come here for lunch a couple of times, but I’ve come here for dinner a ton of times! S loves getting the Omakase everytime we eat here, but I don’t mind trying all of their other things. The rolls are phenomenal, the Uni tastes fresh, and the service is fantastic. This has replaced my need to return to the Tsukiji Fish Market for my fresh fish. If I were an account manager with a good expense account, I would take all my clients here. My recommendation is to try the Omakase the first time, then try a few rolls. If you feel adventurous they do have some multi-course meals.

Everyday Beijing
637 S B St
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 373-7878

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for some Northern Chinese food. There are so many different variations of Northern Chinese food, that it’s always fun to try a new one. Some of them may have the XLB’s with the thin skin or the bun skin, some might have fresh soy milk, this one has Cumin Lamb. Yes, people, the lamb is excellent. Also, I love the meaty meat pancakes.

Saffron Buffet Line
Saffron Indian Bistro
1143 San Carlos Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 593-4269

It was always a treat to come here. It’s a really cheap buffet ($10), and there’s such a wide variety of Indian food to choose from. You come in to the joint, and you’ll notice that there are white table cloths on each table. I kept thinking, oh no, Indian food and white table cloths don’t seem to go well together. Then you sit down, and realize, wait, I should just get my food right away. The smell of restaurant is fabulous, if you love Indian food. Once you get your plate, you are greeted by a salad bar. I usually skip this, as I’m here for the main event. I spoon a little bit of rice, then, it time. Time to pour on the different curries on each side, Butter Chicken, Palak Paneer. There are 8-9 different curries to choose from, and they all have their own tastes and textures. The last thing I pick up is the Tandoori chicken at the end and I’m ready to sit back down. Now, once you sit down, you’ll notice that buttered Naan has been magically placed on your table. Oh man, the waiters are wonderful. Sometimes, you can catch a sports game on one of the two televisions if something is on, otherwise, just sit, relax and enjoy the orchestra of Indian flavors.

Jack’s Prime
3723 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 638-1479

You want a tasty gourmet burger? Then you better come to this modern diner style establishment. They’ve got all the good stuff you could ask for at a burger joint, milk shakes fries, burgers, onion rings, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it all. I personally recommend the Angry Cowboy which is a burger with smoked bacon, onion rings, jalapeno relish, cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce. Yeh doesn’t sound healthy, but it’s delicious.

Cha Cha Cha Fried Plantains and Pork
Cha Cha Cha Cuba
112 S B St
San Mateo, CA 94102
(650) 347-2900
TheCultureBite Bite Back

I love this place. The food is excellent, and the service is outstanding! My usual favorites are the Fried Potatoes with Chili Aioli, Fried Plantains, Ceviche, Calamari, and Mussels. Actually, I didn’t find anything I didn’t really like. One extraordinary thing is that I would actually enjoy drinking their Sangria. If you know me, I usually don’t like drinking alcohol. It’s so good here, how could I not? This place was introduced to me by my good friend, Victor D., who introduced us to the owner, Mario. Mario is a very friendly individual who has very interesting tales of the history of his family. You should ask him about the raft that’s posted on the wall. =)

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The American Grilled Cheese – San Francisco

American Grilled Cheese MushroomThe American Grilled Cheese Kitchen
(at 2nd St)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Neighborhood: SOMA

Rated: ♣♣

A grilled cheese sandwich has to be THE #1 comfort food. If I take a WFH (“work from home” for you noobs) day, all I want to do is stay in my PJs and cook me a toasty grilled cheese with a side of tomato soup for lunch. Well, it’s obvious the guys behind the American Grilled Cheese hit a goldmine when they opened their shop in the South Park district of SF. If you couldn’t guess, they exclusively serve different variations of grilled cheese sandwiches.

The scene:

The restaurant has limited hours and it gets packed so come early. It’s more of a workday lunch place, so there’s not much seating other than a few barstools.

The food:

Mushroom Gruyère sandwich with fontina, gruyère, roasted wild mushrooms, gold potatoes, melted leeks and thyme butter – Sounds delicious right? But as much as I love gruyère and mushrooms, I found this satisfactory. The flavors were amazing; it was the texture that was off. Rather than sliced mushrooms, leeks and potatoes, everything was chopped finely. It bugged me so much because I couldn’t tell what kind of mushroom they used. Also, I actually had no idea there were potatoes and leeks in the sandwich until I looked back at my photos.

Don Gondola sandwich with provolone, sopressatta, salami, roasted tomato, pesto and garlic butter – I didn’t get to try this one, but my good friend T loved it. So, I can’t say anything more.

Verdict? I was disappointed with my sandwich at the American Grilled Cheese, but not so much that I won’t come back. I’m eying the Jalapeño Popper next.

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Lee’s Sandwiches – San Francisco

Lees Sandwiches BBQ Pork and PateLee’s Sandwiches
625 Larkin St
(between Eddy St & Willow St)
San Francisco, CA 94109
Neighborhood: Civic Center/Tenderloin

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

I’ve had my share of Lee’s Sandwiches when I went to school in San Jose, Ca. Their only SF location happens to be situated directly across the best Vietnamese sandwich shop in the Bay Area, Saigon Sandwich. If the line at Saigon Sandwich is too long, Lee’s is a great alternative. But, don’t mistake this sandwich shop with Lee’s Deli, the sub-satisfactory American sandwich chain.

The scene:

Lee’s has more than 20 different kinds of sandwiches ranging from BBQ pork to paté, each costing about $4. If you’re in the mood for sweets, you could try any of the baked goods, the Vietnamese waffles or one of the glutenous rice rolls.

The restaurant is much bigger than Saigon Sandwich, and it has a seating area – a big plus for workers in the area who, like myself, avoid eating at their desks. I actually had this very sandwich (pictured above) at the movie theater while watching Eclipse… a perfect combination.

The food:

Lee’s sandwiches are different than other kinds of Vietnamese sandwiches. Rather than the round sandwich roll, Lee’s uses a long chewy baguette. Though, the consistency of the bread is the same as other Vietnamese sandwiches. A traditional Vietnamese sandwich contains meat, daikon radishes, carrots, cilantro and jalapenos. I ALWAYS ask for extra jalapenos. Yum.

BBQ pork and paté sandwich – In my opinion, this is the best combination of meats. You’ll find the first bite to be orgasmic. The sweetness from the BBQ pork (think Chinese BBQ pork) and the smooth, richness from the patémarry together as a match made in heaven. Really, there’s nothing better. And, this goes for all Vietnamese sandwiches, not just at Lee’s.

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Yellow Submarine – San Francisco

Yellow Submarine Pastrami SandwichThe Yellow Submarine
503 Irving St
(between 6th Ave & 7th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94122
Neighborhood: Inner Sunset

Rated: ♣♣♣

I’ve been wanting to come here for years because of the cute cartoon drawings on the storefront and their Beatles-inspired (possibly unintentional) name. Our friend, Ikai, raves about this place because their sandwiches are huge and they make a mean Spicy Italian sub. There are so many delicious deli sandwiches around the city, I had to put Yellow Submarine to the test. Verdict? A little underwhelmed. To sum it up, there was too much bread and not enough meet.

The scene:

The front of the restaurant advertises “Boston-style sub.” What is a Boston-style sub, you might ask? Well according to another review, it’s Boston-style because 1) the owner is from Boston and 2) they don’t offer everything with a meatball sub.

You first enter this tiny, and I mean TINY, cramped space to order your sandwich. The menu is what you would see at any other sub restaurant – pastrami, roast beef, corned beef, turkey, ect. After you place your order, you can then walk into their sitting area and await patiently for your number to be called. Towards the back wall of the sitting area is a neat wall painting of what I assume to be their old menu. Back then you could’ve had a large Italian Combo for only $2.35!

The food:

The sandwiches are lightly toasted so that the bread is still pillowy-soft. What I appreciate about the toasted bread is that they only toast the inside. One pet peeve I have about sub joints is hard bread that can cut up the roof of my mouth.

Corned Beef Sandwich – Like I mentioned earlier, the proportion of bread to meat was way off. The real plus about the restaurant is the bottle of homemade hot sauce sitting on the table. I love my hot sauce, so I doused it all over my sub.

I’d come back again to give this place another shot. I’m definitely ordering the fries as well since I’ve heard great things about them. If I were to order my favorite sub places, it would go like this:

Submarine Center > Little Lucca’s > Ike’s > Yellow Submarine

There you have it!

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