It’s damn hard trying to find a good deli sandwich in this town, and let me tell you, I’ve looked far and wide.
Certain sandwiches have acquired some notoriety over the years, like the Korean Steak Sandwich at Rhea’s Market or the Banh Mi at Saigon Sandwich, but stumbling upon a quality street corner deli isn’t exactly a daily occurrence. If you happen to find yourself in the Outer Richmond on the corner of Clement Street and 25th Avenue, however, you’re in luck.
AK Meats is a teensy, tiny market that specializes in freshly cut, proprietary meats. They serve hand-made sausages stuffed with spinach and garlic, jalapeño smoked chicken, and asiago cheese. They offer gorgeous cuts of Heritage Pork, fresh fillets of fish, and clean little cuts of Niman Ranch Beef. The atmosphere in AK is reminiscent of an East Coast delicatessen with the familiar acuteness of the many Japanese food marts that are so prominent in the Bay Area.
Other than their list of grocery options, AK also has a short menu of delicious little sandwiches that are ideal for picking up and walking around or grabbing on the way to the beach. With about nine sandwich options, the two standouts are the AK Combo and the Hot Pastrami. Both are served with Swiss cheese, the only difference being the combo has a blend of roast beef, turkey, ham, and some extra veggies. Everything is the way it should be from the fresh rye bread and bottled condiments to the thinly sliced, salty cold cuts. The layers are folded perfectly into a little chilled stack of crunchy vegetables, salty luncheon meat, and tangy dressings, all squished between two pillowy squares of bread. I often find that if I want a decent, simple sandwich in this city, I need to make it myself, but AK Meats has changed my mind and would make living on this block worth it alone.
Football season is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for Sunday snacks, baby. Just stroll on in to AK and grab a few sandwiches, get them sliced up, and you’re all set for the afternoon. Maybe snag a couple steaks to throw on the grill too. Whatever you’re in the mood for, AK is just one of those places that are few and far between in San Francisco. Everyone needs a neighborhood spot, but this one might just be a little better than yours.
AK Meats, 2346 Clement St., (415) 933-6328