Let me preface this with a mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I know better.
I'd been eating at Sam's -- the old hole-in-the-wall on California and Burlingame -- for many years. Then it had no place to sit and a selection of only four or five sandwiches (at least that I could remember) And, everyone -- or almost everyone -- always ordered the Sam's Special -- a mammouth sandwich of salami, ham, and cheese served on a crusty french roll. Spasm of deli meat and processed cheese - yes, that's what I said -- heaven.
But, then, in 2003 or so, Sams as well as their neighbor Cheese Please (Cheeze Pleeze?) were evicted. A developer bought out the block and all of the tiny shops were given their walking papers.
Sam's disappeared. Sigh.
At least for a while. But, several months ago I noticed construction work being done on the old train depot at California and Howard. Lo and behold, the phoenix rises! Sam's Sandwich Shop was reborn.
This time with indoor and outdoor seating, amazingly enough. But could the Sam's Special be as delectable as I remembered?
Well, the menu had changed. Sam's had expanded and now the shop offered not only the Sam's special, but also hot sandwiches and salads and soups.
I was tempted. And, I succombed. I ordered the Italian Dip ($6.50 and comes with cole slaw or chips). Because I'm always in search of the ultimate roast beef dip sandwich, and perhaps...
Thank god I also ordered -- to go for my husband -- the Sam's special ($4.50 medium and enough for a lumber jack; $5.95 and sufficient to fill the gullet of my daughter's soccer team after a game, by god) -- still chock full of salami, mortadella, ham, chopped ham, and processed cheese of some unidentifiable but glorious sort. Still on this amazingly light and crusty french roll and served with the works -- mayo, pickles, lettuce, pepperocini, onions and tomatoes. Still sprinkled with either a garlic or italian vinagrette. Thank god for small favors.
The Italian Dip was horrible. I hesitate to say it was mystery meat, but the cut came close. Yes, it must have been roast beef -- it was brownish grey and had that odd rainbow effect when put to the light. Thankfully, the meat was served on that wonderful roll, cuz I could eat that.
After one bite of the Italian Dip, I unwrapped my hubbie's Sam's special and dug in. Nirvana. Now, don't get me wrong. These sandwiches aren't your high falootin (sic) Kobe beef and Triple Creme Brie served on the finest Acme bread sandwiches. These are working folks' sandwiches. And, they are to die for.
Just don't stray too far off the path of the Sam's Special...