Friday, May 16, 2008

A Perfect Picnic

I'm taking a short break from Cecilia Chiang and Chinese cooking because my captive eaters are disappearing for the next few days. Plus, it's too hot to turn on the stove.

Yesterday, Owen and I shared a late afternoon picnic at Crissy Field. Intrepid chowhound Justine -- an ardent and discerning scholar of sandwiches -- has long recommended Marina Submarine, and so that's where we went for our overstuffed, oozing and altogether magnificent sub. It was prepared by an inscrutable Asian man who is something of a local celebrity for making ravishing sandwiches out of Subway-quality ingredients. The storefront where he works his wordless magic could not be dowdier. 

Down at the beach, sand blew all over the sandwich, but we ate every mayonnaisey bite. Then for two hours Owen did not stop talking -- about whaling, beggars, volcanoes, curly hair (he's a fan), and how glimpses of the "sparkling" ocean make him "laugh inside." He is a young man of many theories. If there's anything sweeter on earth than a happy 7-year-old boy I don't know what it is.

I'll fire up the wok again in a day or so.


  1. even the photograph (or maybe especially the photograph - your food styling is quite good) of that sandwich makes me want one right now. man, that is a good sandwich- i'm so happy it lived up to its reputation. and that guy who makes them is the owner, he's been the only person i've ever seen make them since the shop opened in 1986. He always has some gangly high-school kid helping him at the register, but he doesn't seem to let them touch the sandwiches. which makes the whole process very slow. but worth it, as you saw. and i love your description of owen's commentary & theories.

  2. Mr. Sub makes the best subs in the U.S. in my opinion and I have tasted many. The best of the best at Mr. Sub is the Italiano with or without avocado. The best in this city at least. The only thing better is a the Cemita sandwich I discovered in our old neighborhood in NYC's West Village. When the owner/chef took it off the menu I lobbied hard to for him to bring it back. He said it took to long to cook the pork "to much trouble". I said its about art and low and behold it showed about a month later right there one Friday afternoon to my happy surprise. Definitely one of my proudest moments.

  3. Best "subs" ever is Yom's hoagies. Why don't sub places in SF have sweet peppers, or do they and I don't know it?