Monday, September 9, 2013

Off the Map: Is That Your Passive/Aggressive Way of Asking Me to Hold the Sandwich?

Backstabber Sandwich -- Ike's Place
Ike's Place

If there is one thing we have learned about folks in San Francisco, it is that they like to stand in line.  We would assume that NYC would be the center of line-based culture in the United States, but no.  What New York lacks in patience, San Francisco more than seems to make up for.  After all, how else would you explain that we have reached yet ANOTHER snaking, out-the-door line during this west coast eating adventure?
It Takes a Lot to Make Us Realize That We're Even MORE Impatient Than Originally Assumed
This line comes courtesy of Ike's Place, a sandwich shop where we have come to consume Duff Goldman's Best Thing I Ever Ate MESSY dish, the backstabber sandwich.  
So Many Sandwiches, So Much Line....
Somewhat to Ike's credit, the ordering process set-up is quite organized, and in what has become a pattern at San Francisco food establishments, none of the customers (nor the workers) seem to be in much of a hurry.  Good thing, too, because the full amount of time we spend waiting for our sandwich adds up to at least 25 minutes.  That's asking a lot for a place that doesn't feature any more than a "sandwich waiting area," with nary one table on which to consume said sandwiches.
Never Before Have a City's Trash Cans Come with So Many DIRECTIONS
When we reach the front of the line, we place our order for one backstabber, which comes with Caesar dressing, provolone cheese, chicken, and artichoke hearts on your choice of bread (sourdough) and your choice of lettuce and/or tomato.  
Here's Proof of the Ingredients In Case You Doubted Our Description
The sandwiches also come with a bag of Zapp's potato chips (we choose the salt and vinegar variety, primarily because it has the word "salt" right there in the name), which appears to be a ruse to distract patrons from exactly how long it takes to procure their sandwiches.
So Essentially, We're In a Cafeteria Line
As we sit in the "waiting area," we watch the sandwiches being created in Ike's back room.

"I would never be able to do that job," Ginger says.  "I'd be so afraid I would make the sandwich wrong."

Vodka points around the establishment.  "But no one gets to stay here and eat it.  So if you did, they wouldn't even know until they got home."

In other words, don't mess up our backstabber, Ike!
In Case You're Not Familiar with Us, We Have a Penchant Toward Hostility
When our sandwich is eventually handed to us, we are eager to eat our first protein, rather than our fourth straight dessert, of the day.  Only problem?  We have no where to go.  Ginger recalls a park we passed on our way to Ike's, and we mosey there lackadaisically.  Which is when Ginger begins talking to herself.
Our Official Bag Handler
"This sandwich is heavy," she says to no one in particular, the (small, mind you) paper bag slipping out of her fingertips.

"Is that your passive-aggressive way of saying you want me to hold it?" Vodka asks, making reference to Ginger's "Well, this JUICE is good" declaration at House of Prime Rib.  Ginger suffers through all the way to the park, where we grab a spot of shade and begin to assemble our meal.
Ugh, We're Eating With the Ants. See What San Francisco Has Reduced Us To? 
"I can't believe we ended up having a stupid picnic," Vodka states, referring to how desperately we avoided all Napa wine tours that promised a "scenic picnic" at lunchtime.  We settle into our nature enclave and examine what Ike has created for us.  
As If Studying a Work of Art
The sandwich does indeed look pretty good, and it comes with more napkins than we thought existed in San Francisco, meaning we fear its promised messiness.  Diving in, we find shredded chicken, tangy dressing, and a delectable sourdough roll.  
We Do Love Us Some Sourdough
All of the ingredients are extremely fresh, and they provide a nice way to "cleanse" our palates after an entire morning of sugar.  (Of course, being that Ike's provides us with a lollipop at the bottom of the bag, our diabetic coma is not at its climax just yet).
For Once in Our Lives, We Threw Out This Item Before Even Tasting It
While munching, we manage to have one of the most judgmental conversations of our lives (which is really saying something, coming from us), first about a volleyball game going on yards away, and then about the predilection in this city for people to walk their dogs off-leash.
This Is What Happens When You Make Us Sit in a Park. We Judge People
"There is no way I would ever agree to play volleyball in the park," Ginger begins.  "If someone forced me to play volleyball, I'd do it in a dark room where no one could see me.  Plus, I don't believe people should play co-ed sports."

"You do realize we have opinions on things we have no business having opinions on," Vodka says.  "But that said, look at those people with the kite."

"I do like a kite," Ginger states.

"I always found them kind of pointless," Vodka begins, but before she can elaborate, not one, not two, but MULTIPLE dogs run across our "picnic area" in a short period of time.  "You know, a LEASH would solve that issue," she calls out in Ginger's passive-aggressive tone to the owners.

"We can solve everyone's problems," Ginger agrees.  "Volleyball, kites, dog leashes, food.  People should listen to us."
Let Us Share Our Profound Wisdom With You, San Francisco
By some miracle, despite all of our distractions with solving the errors of other people's ways, we manage to consume the whole sandwich without getting a drop on our clothing, as we observe one (presumably heavy) Ike's Place bag after another getting carried into the park, a consequence of the place causing its own version of "lunchtime homelessness."  
Time to Invest in a Dining Room, Ike
As one such couple walksby, they ask us what park we are in.  When we answer (correctly) and are thanked, we stare at each other in wonder.
"I think we were just mistaken for San Francisco citizens," Vodka states.  Which means, of course, that it is time to leave this place.  And their little off-leash dogs, too.

Ike's Place's Backstabber Sandwich: 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I made the mistake of doing my first trip to Ike's when there was a rumor it was gonna close that week (ended up moving locations.) I unwittingly ended up waiting TWO HOURS for my sandwich. Delicious but so not worth it!!!