lao sausage from pal's takeaway


pal's takeaway, 24th and hampshire, san francisco
"Fuck Leno...me and the staff ain't goin nowhere without our Pal's sandwiches!"
-Conan O'Brien, on today's Pal's menu

After multiple failed attempts to get a sandwich from these gourmet-liquor-store-sandwich innovators, today was the day I finally managed to stop by during Pal's limited hours of operation (M-F, 11-2:30 PM).  The Friday menu consisted of a thai chili-marinated chicken sandwich, a Lao sausage sandwich, and the veggie sandwich of the day (more on this one tomorrow!).  Since I came for two sandwiches, and had already decided that one was going to be the veggie, it was either the chicken or the sausage.  But what was the Lao sausage?  Chicken?  Pork?  I asked the dude behind the counter, and he explained all about how his Laotian neighbors made this homemade pork sausages with rendered fat and.... and.... I was spacing out.  But now that he had gone through the effort of telling me all about the sausage, it would be rude to then not order it, so sausage sandwich it was!  Fortunately, this turned out to be a great decision.  The sausage itself was black-peppery, greasy and crumbly; reminiscent of breakfast sausage, but not dry and crappy like Jimmy Dean or whatever.  It was salty and very, very spicy.  Balancing out the sandwich was a kimchi mayo (which I think was also spicy, as well as very creamy) and a cucumber-cilantro relish which cut the saltiness and spiciness somewhat (but not too much!) and added a little crispness.  The bread was a delicious crusty sour roll, and given the greasy sausage and creamy mayo, I'm frankly amazed at how well the sandwich held together!  I also picked up some of the "Full Belly Farm yellow creamer potato salad", because I'm a sucker for potato salad and can't say no to trying a new type.  This also turned out to be a great decision- the potatoes were cut in generous chunks, mixed with hard-boiled egg, edemame and celery in a Dijon-mustard vinaigrette.  It was an excellent take on the old deli standby.  Even Els liked it, and she claims to not like potato salad (yeah right)!  I can't believe I didn't try Pal's sooner, and if this sandwich was any indication of their typical quality, I'll be back soon.


  1. eating this sandwich really felt like shoveling lard into my mouth... yet, i don't mean that in an entirely negative way. the greasy sausage melted in the mouth and was heaven, yet the kimchi aioli was very heavy and overpowered the sausage. had i not shared the sandwich and had a full one i definitely would have felt sick afterward and had trouble going back to work.

    and yeah... that potato salad was killerz good! the flavor of the egg was very fresh and popped!

  2. I love eating Lao sausages whenever my Lao friend cooks them for us at his house. From what I could taste, I think Lao sausages are made with pork, lemongrass, a bunch of other herbs and spicy Lao chili peppers. The Lao sausages are really yummy and have a nice bite to them. They're not greasy like Jimmy Dean sausages at all. However, they are still nice and moist. I can't quite explain it. Anyway, eating them is like vacationing in Laos all over again.

  3. I did think that this sausage was pretty greasy, but then most sausages are. I think what I was trying to explain with the breakfast-sausage comparison was more the texture of the sausage, which was crumbly, rather than dense as some other sausages can be.