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Friday, August 21, 2015

Between Two Slices - Consistency is King at Yellow Submarine

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli
There's a common theme for sub shops and delis that have stood the test of time, providing a consistent experience every time you visit them. Katz's Deli in New York serves their sandwiches the exact same way on every visit and they have been since [looks down at Katz's Deli T-shirt that he's currently wearing] 1888. Molinari's in North Beach is notorious for having sandwich makers who are quick to whip out the snark if you falter through your order, but they've be that way since 1896 and I've never had a bad trip to Molinari's, the sandwiches are always on point. 

Enter the Inner Sunset's Yellow Submarine. It's been on the same corner of Irving Street and Sixth Avenue since 1971 and its success (I would quickly find out) comes from ... you guessed it ... consistency. Sure, it's got that hideous yellow paint job on the interior and the exterior, but it's quirky — and the shop doesn't try to be something it's not. It's a cheesy, Beatles-themed place, serving Boston-style sandwiches and it works, because from the recipes to the attitudes, it's never changed.

Talk about a hole in the wall. It truly feels like you've stepped into a tiny underwater sea craft with John, Paul, George and Ringo somewhere in the Sea of Holes. The space by the humble counter is tight, so the line either goes out the door or into the small dining room. The menu board is super basic-looking and the counter guys always use the same subtle and polite up-sell style: "Do you want an order of fresh cut potatoes, too?"

(The answer to that question should always be yes, cause Yellow Sub hand cuts the tater discs up fresh and fries em to order.) 

Yellow Submarine is one of those "no bullshit" sub shops. You're not gonna find garlic aioli, or chipotle mayo. Here, it's all classic fixins: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, oil, vinegar, mustard, choice of cheese, and a killer hot sauce. Last time in, I got turkey and roast beef and added bacon, cause why the hell not? No matter what meat or combo you're feeling, the toasted, Boston-style preparation is gonna yield a style that's distinct to Yellow Submarine. Every time. And that's why San Franciscans fiercely stand by Yellow Submarine, cause it's never gonna let you down. 

Yellow Submarine, 503 Irving St, 415-681-5652.

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About The Author

Adrian Spinelli

Adrian Spinelli

Hip hop and sandwiches.


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