When the real estate business tanked in '08, Adam Mesnick, who was handling wholesale mortgages, sold his house and started up a lunchtime catering business, operating out of a spot on Howard Street in 2009.
In April 2010, he began offering lunch delivery by bike messenger. "But when we started telling people the turnaround time was three hours, people started coming to the door," he says. His lunch window got so popular, in fact, that a neighbor complained to the city about the crowds milling about, waiting for pastrami.
That's when Mesnick decided to go legit.
This week, the Deli Board, now a small sit-down restaurant, opened at 1058 Folsom, with a couple dozen seats, poured-concrete tables, and a turntable in the corner. Mesnick calls his menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches -- all made on the premises -- a mashup of East Coast deli and Midwestern deli. "I'm from Cleveland, so I lean more toward corned beef," he says.
Mesnick uses good-tasting meat, and lots of it -- sandwiches like his Boca (pastrami, corned beef, brisket, cheese, pickles, $10) are stuffed rather than gently layered on bread and then warmed up. "I don't cook people's food until they're here, so we bake all our sandwiches here fresh," Mesnick says.
He changes up his specials almost daily, announcing them on his blog
, and hasn't dropped the catering end of the business at all. Today, for instance, you and nine of your coworkers can order a Chicago hot dog-making kit complete with relish and sport peppers
: 1058 Folsom, 552-7687, www.deliboardsf.com