b on the go in pac heights their prices have them in the right hood
I found myself in Pac Heights one day and as odd as it sounds, it's actually true. Had to make a stop in at one of those healthcare provider folks over there and thought why not check out a new food place while I'm in this neck of town. I don't normally get over here too often, though I had made a special trip to check out b. patisserie because IT'S A BAKERY PEOPLE! You think I'm pass that up. I liked it a lot and it satisfied my sweets craving quite well.
Since then, chef Belinda Leong (she of the b.) has opened up a sandwich and salad place a block over from the patisserie called b. on the go. I figured if I liked the baked goods why not try the meat and cheese goods.
It's a big open space with tall ceilings and I get there right before the lunch rush as the place filled up fast. Means they've developed a following. The menu is mostly sandwiches, hot and cold, plus a couple salads and sides. Scanning the list it seems they fall into that range of $8-$11 sandwiches with no sides which just makes me sigh with exasperation. But I'm here and hungry and just decide to go all in with 2 different sandwiches and a side. Because that won't seem odd at all.
Michel Suas is the bread mastermind as all are made in-house. They are a bakery after all. And their interesting take on the classic grilled cheese is first up. Instead of two slices slapped together Suas has come up with a cylindrical loaf that can be sliced in large thin circles. The bread is then filled with Swiss cheese and mushroom duxelle and folded over like a tortilla. Bread is buttered and grilled to a golden brown. Sort of like a deli version of a quesadilla. It's made to order thus you get it piping hot with all that gooey melty cheese.
The mushrooms add a nice earthiness to contrast the rich cheese and even for me, there was plenty of butter on the bread. Yes, I liked it. It is a tasty take on a classic. But at $8, it is not the biggest of sandwiches and my taste buds and wallet don't exactly mesh on this. Good, yet hard to get past the price for a grilled cheese and no sides. I'll leave it up to your own comfortability in what you'd pay for a sandwich.
I see pork on a menu, I can't pass it up. It's why I went in for the porchetta with salsa verde on a soft ciabatta bun, also made in-house. I also tried not to wince too much at it's $10.50 price tag. That's what happens sometimes, I'm just blinded by the pig meat and can't resist. It's an open kitchen and you can see them preparing your food. I saw them pull out the porchetta roll and slice it up. It looked good and I was excited to taste it.
It is a decent size, more 7 inch sub length than regular sandwich. They do pile on the meat as you can see. I bite into it and the meat is tender with notes of garlic and rosemary. The salsa verde adds a nice tangy vinegar like greenness too. However, my one big problem is the sandwich is not served hot. It's more room temp to cool and where pork is concerned, that is not the best of ways to eat it. Many of the pieces had large chunks of fat and if they are hot they can be smooth and melt like butter in your mouth. As is, they came off both chewy and a bit solid, kind of lard-ish. Bummer, not least because I'm a pork fan, but with the price point, I was hoping for a little more. I would say if they changed this up to a hot sandwich (and a $1.50 less) it'd be worth tasting. As is, I'll pretend it didn't happen so I can keep my happy pork memories in tact.
Normally I would have stopped with just the sandwiches, but the above curried quinoa and roasted root veggies (squash and carrots) intrigued me and at $6.50 it was a pretty decent take away size. It had great flavor. The curry was there but not overpowering. The quinoa was kind of earthy, the carrots and squash were a little sweet and all together they blended flavorfully with the curry to make lovely side salad that was also filling. Served slightly chilled, this was an instance that worked in this salads favor.
So, what have we learned today?
Grilled cheese and mushrooms on fresh made and butter toasted bread is great and worth it depending on your level of willingness to pay for it.
Porchetta is sandwich meat best served hot. Too cold, too pricey means too bad.
Quinoa with roasted carrots, squash and a little curry flavor works really well as a refreshing, cool side salad.
If you live in Pac Heights, this review and what you spend here probably isn't going to matter too much to you. Next time I'm in the hood, I'll just be content going back to their patisserie. It has more value for me anyway.