Not long ago... ok, 10 years ago, there was absolutely nothing to eat South of Market. But then, the Ball Park was built. First called Pac Bell Park, then SBC Park and now it's AT&T Park. Since this park opened, construction in the SOMA area has been going in an aggressive manner. You have enormous lofts and condos. There is also a rail system that cuts behind the Mission Bay now. With all this growth, there are now places to eat and drink. Looking back 10 years, I used to work at 185 Berry and made it a daily ritual to eat between McD's and Victor's for burritos. I still frequent Victor's once-in-a-while. I never do McDonald's though, not even for their french fries and soft serve. I still work in the area and grab my Cento's every morning. I have recently discovered d'Urso as well. This Italian Delicatessen is reminiscent of New York's finest. My first visit landed me on their #1 sandwich specialita which included Italian dry salami, Gorgonzola, arugula, frisee, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The sandwich just hit the spot in some many ways. The combination of ingredients, the bread, the freshness and the quality all stood out. And since I am a big health nut, the portion size also was key in the fact that it was simple and delicious. I have also tried the one with mild toscano salami, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and had the same enthusiasm.
This morning I tried their breakfast sandwich. It was simple and light and very tasty. I requested egg whites to go along with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozz. I got to dine with the owner Joe and got a chance to bend his ear on his mission and his flavors that he offers in this fine deli. Joe stems from back east which automatically is a thumbs up in my book. Also the fact that he is Italian helps too in terms of his knowledge in building the right menu. I had the chance to watch him develop the daily sandwich, which today, includes one of my favorite cuts of pork, porchetta. I may have to go back and give it a try, partly because of how easy on-the-eyes Joe is to look at. ;) Stay tuned for some of the other hot spots I frequent in this booming hood. CHOW!