andersen's bakery, crocker galleria, market & new montgomery
Due to recent work obligations, I've been spending a fair amount of time in the Crocker Galleria, an exceptionally boring mall in San Francisco- its small size and lack of interesting shops make it more or less a glorified food court. And being a glorified food court, the options for a good meal are pretty slim. So when I went to Andersen's Bakery for lunch the other day, my expectations were low. But there were already a few signs indicating that this might be one of the better lunch options in the mall: for one, they bake their own bread, and two, there were only about five sandwiches offered. The small size of the sandwich menu gave me hope that there would be a few well thought-out sandwiches, unlike shops that try to offer everything but don't manage to do anything very well. My hopes turned out to be well founded, because this was a very good sandwich. It wasn't great by any means, but certainly better than I expected from mall food. I went with the turkey, avocado & swiss on sourdough, one of the all-time classic sandwiches and fairly easy to do right. Andersen's version was definitely enjoyable. Curiously, both halves of the sandwich came individually wrapped- I don't know why, except perhaps because the slices of bread were long enough to make the sandwich too large to fit into the bag as a whole? As for the bread, the sourdough was soft in the crumb, tough on the crust, and had a pleasant albeit unexceptional sour flavor. The rest of the ingredients were able to pass muster as well; the turkey was tasty and somewhat dry (and not slimy like you might expect from cheaper sandwiches), the avocado was delicious in spite of it not being avocado season, and the swiss cheese had enough flavor to be noticeable (unlike other sandwiches we've had lately where the cheese was too subtle and got lost in the mix). One aspect of this sandwich that I liked best was the sweet mayonnaise, a staple of deli sandwiches that is frequently omitted from the high-concept sandwiches I mostly eat these days. All around, this was a comforting sandwich that definitely defied my low expectations for food from Crocker Galleria.