Table Talk: Stellar Sandwiches, Mardi Gras Parties, Tony’s Seafood

Sandwiches made with love, care, and seasonal ingredients at Turner's Kitchen. (tablehopper.com)

Whether you’re a pastrami fanatic or eat vegetarian, Turner’s Kitchen has some fantastic sandwiches, plus two places for Mardi Gras parties, and start planning a field trip to Marshall for the reopening of Tony’s Seafood from Hog Island Oyster Co.

Visit Turner’s Kitchen for Some of the City’s Most Lovingly Prepared Sandwiches

Turner’s Kitchen
3505 B 17th St., San Francisco
Open daily 10:30am–4pm

With one look at the wall, you can see owner Ken Turner has a thing for vegetables and produce. (tablehopper.com)

There is a definite art to making a good sandwich, and then there’s a certain level of creativity and skill needed to make a truly great sandwich, plus quality ingredients. At Turner’s Kitchen in the Mission, owner Ken Turner has got it all going on. He took over the former Clare’s Deli and opened Turner’s in its place in 2016, keeping Clare’s beloved French Dip on the menu (and fortunately keeping Bryce and Javier in the kitchen!). But the rest of the ever-evolving menu reveals his culinary background (he cooked at Zuni for seven years) and a love of seasonal vegetables, trips to the farmers’ market, making housemade sauces, and more. 

If you follow @turnerskitchensf on Instagram, you’ll constantly see some of the most delicious-looking (and sounding) combinations he makes for the daily specials, like roasted eggplant, melted Fontina cheese, red sauce, and basil pesto on a toasted ciabatta roll. Or you get some storytelling: “Sandwich special inspired by singing karaoke in Korea Town and eating pierogi at Veselka around 3am in NY. Roast turkey, Munster cheese, wild arugula, house apple sauce (four types of apples, lots of butter, a little cinnamon, cider vinegar), sour cream, roasted garlic and fresh dill on sliced sourdough.” He even suggests chip and drink pairings in his posts.

The Liberty Bell special, a California spin on a Philly cheesesteak. (tablehopper.com)

Turner’s is known for their hot pastrami specials: the one pictured here was inspired by Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches, but with a little California influence: hot pastrami, melted Havarti (Swiss pictured here), roasted Brussels sprouts (in pastrami fat), sautéed sweet peppers, and lots of caramelized onions. I got there too late in the afternoon to have it on Dutch crunch, but my French roll from Panorama was fresh and held it all together. What a sandwich for $12.

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They may adore pastrami at Turner’s, but they also love their daily vegetarian wrap specials, which show a lot of love and care. From a meatless Monday–inspired Indian wrap, to this one: quinoa, roasted sweet potato purée, sautéed sweet peppers, roasted cauliflower, arugula, Gorgonzola, and house buffalo sauce in a spinach wrap — nope, vegetarians, vegans, and healthy eaters do not miss out here. I loved my Dorothy Gene special: avocado, fresh ricotta, roasted sweet potato purée, arugula, poblano peppers, sunflower seeds, fresh lime, and olive oil in a spinach wrap ($10). I just threw in a little piri-piri sauce at home to spike it up, because that’s how I roll. They also do some great soups, and there is always one that is vegetarian.

Winners on their daily menu include the Mission Fig (applewood smoked ham, roast turkey, melted Swiss, arugula, cucumber, and fig-caramelized onion jam on sliced sourdough) and their Gobbler, which comes with smoked turkey, cranberry sauce, mustard-sage stuffing, and melted Brie. $12 for some mighty stellar sandwiches.

A couple things to note: there are a few tables and counters (it’s a tiny spot), but you can always eat your sandwich in the 500 Club next door (and they’ll even deliver it to your bar stool!). Turner’s also just switched over to credit cards only, but you can buy a gift card for $20.

Two Mardi Gras Parties Where the Good Times Will Definitely Roll (and Are Unlimited)

Alba Ray's
2293 Mission St, San Francisco
Tuesday, March 5
6pm–11pm
Tickets: $85

Brunch Sat–Sun; seatings 10am–2:30pm

Alba Ray's will be celebrating Mardi Gras at brunch for the entire month of March. (Charlene Fernandez)

San Francisco may be far from New Orleans, but our love of good food and parties means we don’t like to miss out on any Mardi Gras festivities. This year, Alba Ray's in the Mission is celebrating with a Mardi Gras party, and a monthlong bottomless brunch! Their Fat Tuesday Blowout will have them turning their dining room into Frenchmen Street, with a live band bumpin' all night and unlimited food, starting with passed hors-d’oeuvres, and then there will be many food stations serving New Orleans favorites, like boudin balls, crawfish boil, jambalaya, fried chicken, beignets, and king cupcakes (and more!). The party runs 6pm–11pm, and your ticket also includes two drink tickets. Let the good times roll!

Just in case you don’t want the party to stop, every weekend in March, Alba Ray’s will be hosting a Mardi Gras Bottomless Brunch, with unlimited food and booze and a live band! You can feast on boudin Benedict, biscuits and gravy, soufflé pancake, and more, plus rosé, frozen Irish coffee, mimosas, and more, just $42 with a 90-minute limit. 

Town Hall
342 Howard St., San Francisco
Tuesday, March 5
Begins at 6pm.
Info/tickets: $85 + tax/advance; $110/door

Full glasses, full bellies at Town Hall's annual Mardi Gras bash. (Paige Green)

Town Hall is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, so you can expect their annual Mardi Gras celebration is going to be quite the extravaganza (although it always is!). It’s a night of unlimited fun from owners Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal, who really love to host a big party (it runs late). The unlimited food and drink includes Louisiana-style Hurricanes, Abita beer, Leblon caipirinhas, red and white wine, and all-you-can-eat Southern specialties such as a raw bar (uh huh!), fried chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, their famed St. Louis ribs, a crawfish boil, andouille sausage, shrimp 'n grits, buttermilk biscuits, corn bread, and king cake. 

There will be live music by The Joe Cohen Show, featuring Wil Blades, and wait until you see the samba dancers (Amor do Samba), plus there are beads, masks, feather boas, and face painting to help get you into the NOLA spirit.

Hog Island Oyster Co. Unveils the Renovated Tony’s Seafood in Marshall

Tony’s Seafood
18863 CA-1, Marshall

Historic Tony's Seafood is reopening after a renovation. (Remy Hale)

Oyster fans love heading up to Hog Island Oyster Co. on Tomales Bay in Marshall year-round, and about a mile south, the old school Tony’s Seafood has been another favorite for decades, which dates back to 1948! It was originally established by Anton “Tony" Konatich, a Croatian fisherman hailing from the Isle of Iz, and three generations of the Konatich family ran this seafood joint for 70 years. In 2017, the family reached out to Hog Island co-founders, John Finger and Terry Sawyer, to see if they wanted to buy this venerable family business, and now after months of restoration, the Hog Island team is excited to reopen Tony’s on March 1. 

You'll enjoy the freshest seafood at Tony's Seafood. (Remy Hale)

Helming the kitchen is chef Matt Shapiro (Marlow & Sons, Wise Sons, Walzwerk, Schmidt’s, Hog Island), also a fisherman and forager, who has been with Hog Island Oyster Co. since 2014. His menu will include classics like fish and chips (AK True Cod), an oyster po’ boy, a Northern California Dungeness crab roll (in season), oysters on the half-shell and barbecued, a crudo, linguine with clams, and a daily “heads and tails” dish, a catch of the day, and some landlubber dishes like a Stemple Creek hamburger with tartar sauce.

Tony's has always had a fantastic view of Tomales Bay. (Remy Hale)

The 96-seat restaurant has a stunning view of Tomales Bay, with a smaller outdoor waterside patio for alfresco dining, plus a waterside dining room is available for private parties (up to 30 guests). Tony’s will continue to be a local hangout and community gathering place, and there will be a Locals’ Night on Fridays, featuring live music and off-menu specials.  

After they open, winter hours will be Friday–Sunday 11:30am–8pm, along with a series of ticketed dinner events planned for Thursday nights. Spring opening hours will expand to Thursday through Monday 11:30am–8pm in April. Spring can’t get here fast enough.

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