Best Gut Bomb

Ike's Place

The colorfully named sandwiches people line up for in the Castro feel as if they weigh two pounds, dripping wet. And indeed they do drip, with layers of juicy meats, chopped fresh vegetables, and special sauces (the popular garlicky “dirty sauce” in particular), assembled just for you by boyish soul-patched Ike, who works behind the counter with his cheerful mom. Sure, they'll make you a single-ingredient sandwich (which they call UnOriginal), but regulars return for the Backstabber (chicken breast, marinated artichoke hearts, provolone, Caesar dressing) or the SexyBoy (thinly sliced steak, fried mozzarella sticks, havarti). Vegans are cheered not only by the sight of their own offerings, but by the info that nonvegan sandwiches can be made vegan for 99 cents extra. For a time, Ike's was so popular that you had to make appointments on weekends, but now you can show up anytime and they'll take care of you. Eventually.

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