San Francisco’s ‘Obama’ French Dip Sandwich
Little FRENCH PIGGY SANDWICH REVIEWS:
At least once a week I take a walk or ride my bike to a different San Francisco eatery for lunch. I’ve been doing this on and off for about 15 years now. The only rules are that the place must be locally owned AND must feed a full-sized, french piggy for under $20.
Sandwiches are rated based on ingredient quality, deliciousness, and ‘bang-for-your-buck’.
‘THE BARACK OBAMA’
HOT ROAST BEEF, MELTED PROVOLONE, ARUGULA, ROASTED GARLIC MAYO
AND GIARDINIERA ON DUTCH CRUNCH & SIDE OF CHICAGO STYLE AUS JUS
The first time I had the Barack Obama at Turner’s Kitchen, it made me think of this commecrcial for Bros. Bar-B-Q.
And that was before I even dipped it in the aus jus, which by the way, is so good that it will make you want to slap your whole family, and I’ve got a big, French family. When it comes to french dip, I’ve never had a better one in the city, and the only dip that compares is CLARE’S FRENCH DIP, which is good news for you, because it’s made at the same place: Turner’s Kitchen, also known as “the sandwich spot next to 500 Club” and, “you know, that spot that used to be Clare’s”.
CLARE’S FRENCH DIP
ROAST BEEF WITH MELTED FONTINA ON A TOASTED CIABATTA ROLL SERVED WITH HORSERADISH SAUCE & ROSEMARY AUS JUS ON THE SIDE.
Ken Turner took over for Clare back in 2015, and kept the same staff and a bunch of the same sandwiches. Clare’s Dip is more traditional but equally delicious on a chilly SF afternoon, or while sitting in a booth at 500 Club. I don’t know what they put in the horseradish sauce to make it pink, but it’s fucking delicious, especially when you dip it in roast beef juice. I’ve been getting that sandwich for over a decade now and I haven’t gotten tired of it.
The best part about the sandwiches at Turner’s are the ingredients, everything tastes like it came straight from a farmer’s market, and that is because they did. It’s all locally sourced ingredients, and when veggies are grown close by, with care, they taste better. On top of that Turner was trained by Judy Rogers (RIP) of Zuni Cafe, so the sandwiches have culinary chops, and there are always a few new special sandwiches happening, probably based on what looked good at the farmer’s market that day or because they decided to smoke a brisket or braise beef in vinegar and truffle oil on any given Monday.
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For example, I got a sandwich this week that I’d never seen on the menu before called “Animal Style’ which had In-N-Out vibes. Spoiler alert, it was fucking good.
HOT PASTRAMI, AVOCADO, MELTED FONTINA CHEESE, ARUGULA, CARAMELIZED ONIONS, PICKLES AND 1,000 ISLAND ON CIABATTA ROLL
The sandwiches aren’t huge and you pay a little extra for ’em, ($15/sandwich + gratuity) but you’re getting a lot of quality in return.
Piggy Score: * 5 out of 5 little piggies
3505 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Order Online at turnerskitchensf.com
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am only half french, no one has ever called me ‘little’, and I have no qualifications as a ‘food critic’ other than I was raised by a Chef, and lived in France as a child. I’m also a fat fucker who eats a lot of sandwiches.