Long before Kung Fu Tacos
began selling Asian-fusion tacos out of a truck in the Financial District, John from John's Snack and Deli
was serving Korean fusion from an unassuming convenience store in the same 'hood. At first glance, John's looks like a tiny market with little more to offer beyond Lotto tickets, gum, and cigarettes, but behind the counter lies a small kitchen that serves mom-inspired Korean dishes. Some days, John's mom is actually
behind the counter, preparing food for the lunch lines that form daily.
Regular offerings include kimchi burritos, tacos, and kimbap sushi. The kimchi burrito ($5.95) is stuffed with bulgogi beef (you can substitute chicken or pork), sautéed kimchi, lettuce, salsa, onions, cilantro, and rice. It's wrapped tightly in its tortilla, packed densely so you get a little of everything in each bite. The bulgogi is slightly sweet and the kimchi only mildly spicy, while cilantro adds a nice clean finish to each juicy bite. Tacos ($2.95) offer up the same ingredients (minus rice), tucked into small, soft tortillas. Kimbap sushi ($3.75) is a maki-like roll of kimchi, sausage, or Spam -- we did
say the dishes were mom style.
Specials change daily, and might include kimchi fried rice, japchae noodles, or soups. To find out what's on for the week, check the Web site. If there's something you want but isn't listed, John says he'll try to accommodate your request if he can. Service is fast and friendly, but try to avoid the peak lunch rush between noon and 1 p.m.
John's Snack and Deli 40 Battery (at Pine), 434-4634. Mon-Thu, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fri, 6 a.m.-4 p.m.