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lmarie | Feb 25, 200807:34 AM     71

For the last few months I've had a craving for a meatball sandwich with marinara. So I've sampled several, and I list my rankings below. Are there other places in SF that 'Hounds recommend?

1. The Gold Standard: Pasta Gina on Diamond near 24th. Wonderfully seasoned, huge meatballs, perfect texture, cut in half on an Acme roll. The marinara is thick and deeply flavorful. Mozzerella is the highest quality. With tax it's a bit over $9, and you have to sit outside on a bench, but this is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had, bar none.

2. Morty's Deli, in the Tenderloin. Also obviously homemade meatballs, with hints of fennel and oregano. Good, substantial roll (MAY have been sourdough), marinara tasty, cheese unremarkable.

3. Mastrelli's Deli in SF Ferry Building. Also homemade meatballs, but spicing not as delicious as Pasta Gina or Morty's. Marinara tasty. Choice of rolls. On the clerk's recommendation, I got the ciabatta roll. Mastrelli's puts the sandwich in a press, which I don't care for - and the roll dissolved before I was done with the sandwich. I don't remember the cheese.

4. Marina Submarine on Union St. I'm pretty sure these are factory meatballs. "Homemade" marinara is unremarkable. Cheap roll that disintegrates after the first bite.

5. Subway. The meatball is the sandwich of the day on Tuesdays, when it's only $2.99. Cheap bread, toasted, factory meatballs, but not bad at all for the price.

On my list to try:
Birley's
Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store
Pomodoro
Mozzarella de Buffula
Giorgio's Pizzeria.

Any other suggestions/favorites?

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