Here's a novel concept. Take over the sandwich counter at a crappy corner store. Bring your farmer's market sensibility, solid culinary skills and a sense of humor. Make kick-ass sandwiches and salads.
That's what's going down in the Mission these days. Tucked inside Tony's Market on the corner of 24th Street and Hamphshire, Pal's Takeaway should be on everyone's short list of destination lunches.
The menu changes daily. They tend to feature three or four sandwiches (like Grilled, marinated ranch beef banh mi w/ cucumber, cilantro, carrot-daikon, jalapeno, herbed canola mayo), a side salad (like Riverdog mountain rose potato salad w/ corn, radish, broccoli sprout, fresh herbs) and 4505 Meats Chicharrones.
On Friday I tried a 4505 Meats Hot Dog with corn relish. It was really an experience, as Ryan Farr, the owner of 4505 clearly knows what he is doing with pork. The combination of this heritage hot dog with the sweet corn and a house made chili (just a schmear for flavor) worked very well. I downed the thing in a few bites. Then I dug into a version of potato salad that looked like it might be dry and flavorless. Rather, it popped with spring peas, fresh dill, a little acidity and perfect seasoning. I couldn't wait for a fork so I dug in with my fingers while driving.
I'm quite excited by the new breed of sustainable food businesses and Pal's scores big with their innovative entry. I'm guessing they'll be buying Tony out or moving into their own space soon enough....