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Friday, April 26, 2013

Lunchpad: Adventurous Sandwiches And Candied Bacon In Hayes Valley

Posted By on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Lunchpad's Turkey Drizzle sandwich. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • Lunchpad's Turkey Drizzle sandwich.

When you think "noir" and "lunch," what comes to mind might be two crooks plotting a heist over ten-cent coffee in a greasy spoon somewhere.

That's changing at Hayes Valley's relatively new arrival, Noir Lounge -- which occupies the former Frjtz. As a wine bar that opens mid-afternoon, looking to ensnare the theater crowd, Noir opted to fill the noontime gap with The Lunchpad, a sandwich-heavy weekday pop-up.

See also: Noir Lounge in Hayes Valley is Open and Showing the Giants Game Tonight

A project by three brothers, Lunchpad's idea of a sandwich is to take a recognizable meat (such as roast beef, Black Forest ham, or, for vegetarians, breaded eggplant parm) and use it as a vehicle to deliver giardiniera and/or habanero candied bacon into your belly.

Softly pickled in vinegar, the giardiniera adds a nice pop of heat to the mix of a Turkey Drizzle, made with cashew pesto, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and turkey with a bit of balsamic gastrique. Even the garlic clove that came along for the ride in the additional side of pickles between the sandwich halves was mellow enough to eat whole.

It would be remiss not to note the terrific texture of the bread, from Marla's Bakery, which is firm without being too doughy or crunchy. In other words, it knows its place. Look for breakfast service, starting at 8:00 a.m. next week, which will lean heavy on the Marla's and the protein with such items as a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich.

Sure, Noir's flat-screen TV inside a gilt frame is a little corny (Monica's peephole on Friends, anyone?). So is a Lunchpad proprietor drumming up business in a pickle suit and aviators, but actually, that's the kind of sincere corniness we love most.

The Lunchpad, weekdays 11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., at Noir Lounge with breakfast service beginning next week, at Noir Lounge, 581 Hayes St., (415) 378-2668.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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