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Giordano Bros.
303 Columbus Avenue/Grant St., SF
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Pretrial hearing at Spec's
10/15/04

Out frontVardigan

Hello? Is there anybody out there? I have been away a long time. Can someone tell me how to get to www.fudcourt.com?

Oh. Hi. Welp, we did it again. Thought our last extended hiatus was pathetic? Well, the second one was even more shameful. But don't call this a comeback. Wait, yes, do, 'cause that's what it is. We were here, and then we were not, and now we're here again. That's a comeback. And it's our second time doing that. So I guess it's The Comeback II. We're like all those boxers who retire, unretire, get knocked out, and go through the whole cycle again. Earlier today I was nearly finished writing this review when my computer ate it. TKO! Instead of having a tantrum, I just spit in the bucket and nodded. Because I deserved that.

FriesWe negligent judges have deserved misfortune for some months now. Such as a slow but steady decline in traffic, till it hits zero. But this hasn't happened. Still people continue to visit the site, even if it's just to get a decent on-line Zuni review (and getting ours instead). And, you know, we're still going around eating in restaurants. Just barely ever together. The last time was ages ago. We ate at Giordano Bros., which back then was new, but has by now probably achieved landmark status.

Giordano's is located on the busy strip of Columbus in North Beach, where you'd think there'd be a few good restaurants, but you'd be wrong. This is where you see all those barkers out on the sidewalk trying to rope you in with $8.88 linguini. Giordano Bros. doesn't want to be like that. When we talked to the owner, he said they're after a loyal, local clientele -- not a tourist one. So, no barking. I don't know if that's good business sense or not, but I hope so.

BeerPlus, there's no $8.88 linguini. Instead, there are all-in-one sandwiches! That's your choice of meat, provolone cheese, cole slaw, and french fries between two soft pieces of white bread. Drop a fried egg inside for an extra 50 cents. Entire meal in there, see? These sandwiches got their start in Pittsburgh (PA, not CA), where truck drivers would eat them during early-morning deliveries. Wheel in one hand, whole breakfast in the other. We ate them at a table, inside the restaurant, with two hands. I had pastrami, which after a griddled flash-fry took on a bacon-y quality. I ordered extra meat. Without it, the other fillings tend to overwhelm the sandwich. With it, the thing's a real taste sensation. Extra meat tacks on two bucks, bringing the sandwich to $8.75. Not exactly cheap, but it is a full meal.

Next time you're up on Columbus, drop in. If it doesn't seem right without the barking, bark at yourself, and then go in. Try the egg, and let me know how it is, 'cause I didn't know about it (at the time it was a secret menu item).

 

McClure

SammichWatch out PB&J, there's a new sandwich in town and it comes here from clear across this wide, wide country of ours. This review, like the all-in-one-sandwich, was a long time in coming but better now than never. The all-in-one reminds me of a sandwich I enjoyed while living in England, I think it was called the Chip Buddy, basically a french fry sandwich, fried potatoes on white bread.
 
The comparison ends there though -- the boys in Pittsburgh go far beyond the buddy.  At Giordano's you can choose from a few different meats: Italian sausage, hot coppa, pastrami, cheesesteak, smoked turkey, double egg and cheese, or just cheese. My favorite is the sausage. I think this is the best value meat-wise and the flavor is excellent. I also recommend the hot coppa but to get the full flavor meat effect you may need to add extra meat for $2 more. 
 
SignThe slaw is light, crispy, and a bit zippy. It's olive oil, vinegar and black pepper, no mayo here. The fries are fresh cut, fresh fried, and fresh tasty. The meat is grilled with provolone cheese on top which melts up oh so nice. The topper and bottomer is the Italian bread, oh so soft. It makes a perfect holder for the fillin's, and doesn't get in the way of all the goodness.
 
The all-in-one is great before, during, and after a night of North Beach drinking. You can also hang out at G. Bros. and have a bucket of beer -- Sierra Nevada is $20 for 6. They have a couple tables on the sidewalk, where you can enjoy the sights, like a bachelorette party across the street.
 
It is worth a trip to North Beach just for the Giordano Bros. all-in-one sandwich. The folks there are nice and will treat you right. I recommend you get over there immediately so you have time to go again tomorrow.

 

Turner

SammiesFriends, do you ever wish you could have a full meal of a sandwich, fries, and cole slaw, but you just don't want to deal with three separate items? Well apparently the people in Pittsburgh feel the same way, and they've designed a sandwich to deal with the situation. I think it might have been for truck drivers or something. Steel workers?

Anyway, this sandwich kicks ass! I got the hot coppa, which is kind of like proscuitto but from the other end of the pig. I think. Anyway, it's tasty as hell on its own, but when you griddle it up it takes on a crispy bacon flavor. Damn! But, do get the extra meat if you get the coppa. If there's one criticism I have it's the portions. I know coppa's not cheap, but if I hadn't tacked on the $2.00 extra meat, I think I would have been disappointed. $8.75 is really straining the limits of sandwich pricing.

That said, this sammy was a new experience for me. I mean, fries and cole slaw ON the sandwich? Nutso! But no, it works. Tasty fresh fries, a simple olive oil and vinegar cole slaw, grilled meat and melted provolone on their nice soft bread that doesn't get in the way. "Italian" bread, baked daily in North Beach, they say. Don't know if it's baked on the premises or not, but it really works for this sam, and it's good.

Of course we had to get a side of fries ($2.50 for large) to start. Cuz we're sick like that.

I'll definitely be back, and see if I can choose between the coppa, sausage, pastrami or cheesesteak, for that matter. Maybe I'll get around to smoked turkey and "just cheese," but I kind of doubt it. But go check this place out, these people are kicking down a quality, fresh sandwich in a nice atmosphere in a cool part of town and are friendly to boot.

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