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Ike's Place

Home > San Francisco > Food and Wine | Halal | Lunch | Vegan | Vegetarian
Published December 3rd 2012
It's the dirty sauce that does it

Ike's Place is a San Francisco institution. It's famous for enormous sandwiches featuring bread that's covered in Ike's famous 'dirty sauce' before baking so the flavour literally bakes into the bread. The recipe for the 'dirty sauce' is a secret but it definitely involves garlic. More 'dirty' sauce is also added to all of the sandwiches when they're being crafted which is what makes them so Ike-ish. Well that and the fact that they're huge, delicious, messy to eat and feature quite unusual combinations of fillings.

The huge picture of a bloated sandwich that perches on the wall at Ike's Place is not misleading. Upon entering I was a bit surprised to see that the sandwiches are actually made out the back in a kitchen. I'd seen a video on youtube that showed the sandwiches being made sort of subway style. I wasn't bothered by the fact but thought it worth noting if people have also seen the video. I would say it's because they need all the space out the front for customers.

There's not really much room to sit and eat here, making it more the kind of place that you grab your food and take it somewhere else to gobble. Today being a cold, rainy day there wasn't the usual line and we actually managed to get a seat on the bench inside.

I'd heard much about these famous sandwiches, and I'd walked literally miles to sample the wares. I ordered the 'Sometimes I'm A Vegetarian' and added avocado as an extra. The included fillings were grilled mushrooms, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Pesto, Provolone plus tomato and lettuce. I got it on the dutch crunch bread because that's the famous one.

There was a whole lot of avocado on it, that's for sure. They were generous with the pesto too. I knew it was going to be a pretty big sandwich when I felt the weight of the wrapped brown parcel in my hand. While it was definitely delicious, and huge, I don't think I'd get the same one again. The 'dirty sauce' was delicious though and the bread had a nice crunch to it.

My dining companion got the 'Menage-A-Trois' which is a pretty risque name for a sandwich. It had BBQ, Cheddar, Halal Chicken, Honey Mustard, Pepper Jack, Real Honey, Swiss and he also got tomato and lettuce and his bread was dutch crunch.

The two we opted for though are just two of any number of combinations that you could get in store. They have a huge selection of sauces and fillings available.

I admit to being jealous of the raunchy sounding sandwich. I hate having food envy and on this occasion I certainly did. The honey really made it I think, but overall it was just a great mix of flavours and the chicken was so tender. If I went back I'd consider getting one of those - although that much cheese can not be good for you.

The two sandwiches came with two packets of chips too - we got Voodoo flavour and sea salt and pepper. But, I haven't even looked at them yet after that massive food injection of a sandwich. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Ike's Place and would certainly go back. The hardest part is deciding what to get.

If you visit the website you'll also see a huge list of sandwiches. When you're actually at the place they aren't all listed on the board so best to write it down if you know what you want.

You can also order online and just run in to pick up your deliciousness which might be a good idea on the weekends and when the weather is fine. If you're feeling hungry and like a huge sandwich try Ike's.
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Why? It's gotta be the dirty sauce
When: 7 days a week 10am-7pm
Phone: (415) 553‑6888
Where: 3489 16th Street San Francisco CA
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
Kathleen, those sandwiches look awesome. I love how the fillings look like they are almost falling out of the bread - there is so much of it. I feel hungry now looking at them and I can almost taste the flavor combos you've described. I hope I don't end up making myself a sandwich at midnight. I'll blame you if I do ;)
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2847 days ago
I like the sound of the dirty sauce and imaginative names
by Oxford Explorer (score: 2|655) 2847 days ago
I love the pictures you included. The burger article looks really cool.
by Ms. Samantha (score: 2|362) 2820 days ago
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