Box Lunches, Take Two: Bar Bambino Gets It Right This Time

Here's the thing: We tried a trio of box lunches from Bar Bambino (2931 16th St. at Mission) soon after they debuted in late September. Frankly, we hated them. The three sandwiches (though they're not grilled, Bar Bambino calls them panini) were too bready, the fillings either dry, oily, or otherwise lackluster. And the accompanying salad? A clump of greens with a side of vinaigrette. A disappointment — the kitchen wasn't nearly ready.

Today we went back for an anonymous revisit. Only this time, the boxes (all $12) won us over. A tuna salad and tapenade panino was vivid and salty, moist without being gunked up with mayo. The sourdough roll had chew (all the rolls are from Firebrand Artisan Breads in Oakland, which bakes in a wood-fired oven), and the multi-bean salad was a mosaic of honest specimens (corona, ceci, and borlotti, though they vary a bit from day to day). The tuna is canned, by the way — pole-and-line caught albacore from a handful of San Diego fishing families under the name American Tuna.

The porchetta panino delivered vividness of a different sort. The plush, anisey slices came plastered with sinus-clearing mustard, sherry-spiked caramelized onions, and pieces of dark-tasting fried ones. Both boxes came with shortbread cookies flecked with TCHO cocoa nibs and Italian soda.

Bar Bambino's boxes are available Tue-Sat, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free delivery for 10 or more. Otherwise, you'll pretty much have to pick up.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

Tags: ,

Related Stories