Into the tiny space formerly occupied by juice bar Corazon comes Mission Picnic, a sandwich shop that, unbelievably, doesn't cattle-prod bacon straight into every sandwich. In fact, you might say Mission Picnic is, by Valencia Street's standards, practically conservative.
The Hainan Chicken -- pulled garlic chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, scallion spread and garlic butter on a French roll -- more or less embodies the overall vibe: generous portions without a lot of gimmicks. A focus on texture is always welcome. That said, we're eager to try the King (peanut butter, banana, chocolate, honey and Frosted Flakes on a toasted brioche, with a carton of milk for an extra dollar) because hey, our id is the same as your id and somebody double-dog-dared us.
It's tiny in there, on 22nd and Bartlett, as Mission Picnic seats but eight. Fans of Corazon, take heart: they've retained the weird Coke bottle chandelier above the counter, and you can still get fresh juices, such as pineapple and watermelon.
Also, nearly every sandwich contains mayonnaise or aioli. Let's say, hypothetically, you're not such a fan. Try to order your bread bare of said condiment and Mission Picnic will basically negotiate with you. "Do you like garlic butter? Because we're pretty particular here." Translation: "We're not going to let you walk out of here not loving what you ordered."
While this place is an ideal stopover point before a lazy afternoon of hanging out with your friends over Tecates in nearby Dolores Park, the San Franciscan with the garlic butter slathered on makes for a fine lunch-hour picnic-for-one. Pedal up to the park, two blocks up and two over, and it will surely pair well with anything the, um, entrepreneurially-minded cash-only habitués might be purveying.
Mission Picnic, 3275 22nd, 735-3080. missionpicnic.com.
Follow Pete Kane at @wannacyber