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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

How can you say no to a sandwich that's stuffed with jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks? You can't. And luckily I didn't, because the King Koopa ($12.21) at Ike's Place is about as amazing as a sandwich can get. The Koopa starts with a meatball sub, a good meatball sub, one with a thin layer of marinara sauce and all-beef meatballs that are actually moist and well spiced. Then it gets a little crazy: The meatballs are topped with the jalapeño poppers and mozzarella sticks.

The jalapeño poppers gave the sandwich some heat and the melting cream cheese was surprisingly delicious. The mozzarella sticks added a layer of warm, fluffy ricotta and a tasty crunch from the shell. Together the effect was spicy, juicy, gooey, and just plain awesome. A sandwich of this nature could easily turn into a greasy mess with no discernible taste other than "fried." Yet this sandwich was surprisingly light and left me feeling like I could, if pressed, eat another few bites. Ok, maybe a half sandwich, tops. Make sure you order it on Dutch Crunch—you're in the Bay Area after all.

Ike's Place

475 Via Ortega, Stanford CA 94305 (map)
650-322-1766; ilikeikesplace.com

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