A Sandwich a Day: Fried Chicken Sandwich at Bar Tartine, San Francisco


[Photo: Maggie Hoffman]

I just wrote up a First Look on Bar Tartine's sandwich shop a few weeks ago, and already they're switching it up with this new monster sandwich, inspired by Japanese tonkatsu.

It's a beast of a lunch, layering lightly crumbed and fried moist chicken thigh meat from Fulton Valley Farms with shredded cabbage, ripe tomato, and thinly sliced purple onion, dressed with garlic mayo and a spicy tonkatsu sauce made with apricot and tamarind. The day I visited it was all piled on thick-cut bread, but they're now serving it on a potato brioche bun that's made using lightly smoked potatoes for added flavor. It sells for $12.

I must admit, it's a bit tricky to get all these layers into your mouth, but your efforts reward you if you can manage to get a bite that brings together all the saucy elements with the crisp crunch of cabbage and crackling coating on the chicken (which gives way to impressively juicy interior.) Things got sloppy and I gave up and resorted to fork and knife after awhile, but I bet the new bun will help hold things a bit more snugly.

Bar Tartine

561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA (map) 415-487-1600; bartartine.com