You may have already read a review of Southie, the new Oakland sandwich shop by the folks at Wood Tavern. Perhaps in East Bay Express, Tasting Table, or in one of our great local food blogs. So I don't plan on writing a formal review here on Bay Area Bites about the specifics of the restaurant--others have done it well. Instead, I'm going to tell you about how I brought my mom out to lunch and she fell in love. With a sandwich. And this is a woman who is a bit of a sandwich skeptic, sticking to the tuna salad she makes at home or a simple turkey and jack cheese creation. Sometimes, if she's feeling crazy, the jar of sweet pickles will make its way onto the counter.
I decided to take her to Southie to see if I could get her excited about a whole new kind of sandwich. From what I'd heard, these were no run-of-the mill deli sandwiches; they were creative and thoughtfully executed meals. We walked in around 1 p.m. in the middle of the week and nabbed a seat right away. The small restaurant is light and airy with a semi-open kitchen (you can watch them make the sandwiches but there's a large prep kitchen in the back where much of the actual cooking occurs), shiny red espresso machine, pretty flowers, and gracious service. It just feels good in there. So when the menus came, I watched my mom study it. Charming in its simplicity, there are 5 or 6 daily sandwiches, a few salads, a soup and a couple of dessert options. It's the kind of menu you can scan quickly, get a gut feeling on, and order right away. No hemming and hawing here. Knowing that my mom loves crab, I had a good guess about what she'd choose. She ordered the Dungeness Crab Roll, I chose the "Pulled Piggy," and we decided on the Truffled Bacon and Poached Egg Salad to share.
Preparing Sandwiches Behind the Counter at Southie
After the sandwiches arrived (and they arrived quickly!) we opted to split both so we could try a little of everything. The Pulled Piggy was my favorite, with Niman Ranch pork and very little else to get in the way of the uber-juicy meat and buttery roll with the exception of a few jalapenos and a lightly dressed slaw. After one bite, I was already sold. I waited to hear from the other side of the table.
Pulled Piggy Sandwich at Southie