Freddie's Sandwiches has been around since 1926 which, in California terms, is a real long time. So you have to assume they have to be pretty good at what they do, particularly in North Beach, a neighborhood that has turned much of the authentic into the tourist-driven.
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Back Yard Kitchen is a tiny sandwich shop that makes solid sandwiches in the San Francisco style. In other words, they're veggie-laden with killer locally-sourced meats and everything's available on Dutch Crunch. The Golden Gate ($7.50) is a grilled chicken sandwich with gruyere and guacamole. The so-called "guacamole" is actually just avocado that's so ripe it's scooped out of the shell and spread on the roll like butter. The gruyere is melted over the chicken before it's added to the sandwich, which preserves the crispness of the romaine, onions, and tomatoes.
"Dutch crunch bread." Say it three times in a row and you'll automatically start salivating. There's the fun-to-pronounce alliteration, plus all the abstract connotations that spring from such a loaded name. Is the bread Dutch? (Cue all things quaint and old-fashioned.) Is it crunchy? Like an apple or a yuppie? (Cue sunflower seeds and spelt.)
Growing up in the Bay Area, there was a single bread of choice for sandwiches. No, not San Francisco sourdough--lunches came on Dutch Crunch, a dense, doughy bread with a moist crumb. But what sets it apart from other breads? The crackly top, with crunchy little bits growing from the paler crust underneath.