*THIS RESTAURANT HAS CLOSED*
Sometimes, all you want is a good sandwich—a tasty preparation that shows there's someone out there who really cares about your lunch, besides your mother when you were seven and brown-bagging it. At ~ABIGAIL'S BAKERY AND CAFÉ~, a hidden-away little alcove in Cow Hollow, they care about your sandwich. They also care about your coffee in the morning, your brunch, your dinner, and your to-go pastry that you're taking to your coworker as a surprise afternoon treat. I hesitated about writing this place up without trying their dinner as well, but I had to share about their sandwiches RIGHT NOW, so here we are.
Abigail's is off the main drag of Union in Cow Hollow, and in fact, many people working and living in the neighborhood have no idea this gem even exists, which is slightly troubling. This neighborhood bistro feels like something out of Paris—burgundy banquettes, small tables, an intimate and sunken (and somewhat nondescript) dining room with cream walls, and a small open kitchen. The staff, however, has a friendly unpretentious manner, so the excursion to Paris stops there.
This place is a total lunch jackpot (cherries across the board, baby): outdoor tables in the front, friendly servers, good prices, and yo, the sandwiches. My realllllly hungover friend and I split a couple: the B.L.T. ($10) and the croque monsieur ($10). My pal was actually so hungover he couldn't even eat (Fernet, don't ask) so he had to sit and watch me tear into the hearty B.L.T. with gusto. (He also had to get up a couple times to splash cool water on his face—yeah, he was hurting.)
The B.L.T. is stuffed with apple wood-smoked bacon that the chefs not only butcher themselves, but then bake in the oven with sugar and spices until it's caramelized. This bacon is SICK. It's piled into a house-made baguette with arugula, fresh organic tomato, house-made aioli and man, bingo, check out your killer sandwich. Plus there's a wicked accompaniment of hot and perfectly crispy salty garlic fries that have just a whisper of garlic, plus a dusting of fresh herbs. (Hold me.) Oh yeah, and some cornichons, which I just love. Crunch crunch. I practically eat them daily.
The croque was also a study in scrumptiousness: Black Forest ham and Gruyère nestled between slices of brioche—it's not only pan-fried, but is then finished in the oven for perfect gooey-cheesiness. And those fab fries on the side. Like, sold. I've heard monsieur gains a wife at brunch—I can only imagine how delicious the croque madame is. There's also a skirt steak sandwich ($11), a house-ground hamburger ($11), and a vegetarian sando ($10) with, you guessed it, veggies. All come with those damned fries.
One of the reasons these sandwiches resonate as something out of the ordinary is that the chef, Josh Bush, and his sous, Ben Stilwell, were both cooks at Foreign Cinema. They are really committed to using quality ingredients, and go organic whenever possible. The bakery in the name is due to the owner, Cuong Do, who is the pastry chef and baker who makes the treats in the gleaming case. I tried the creamy chocolate mousse, which totally delivered on its smooth chocolate promise. You can also order cakes and any other hair-brained dessert you may dream up—Do will totally make it or bake it.
I'll update this once I return for dinner, and I gotta try their hamburger, but in the meantime, if you need a place for a tête-à-tête luncheon, or just have a hankering for a hot sandwich, this place is the joint.
The brunch is supposedly delish, and therefore can get busy on the weekend, but I've heard you can breeze right in for dinner on a Saturday, for rotating and seasonal Cal-French dishes that hover around $19. Meet your new secret weapon for those random date nights when you have no reservation anywhere. Friday nights are supposedly livelier, with live music at 7:30pm, like free-form jazz and blues, basically some low-key dining music. Check it out, it's on the one.
Abigail's Bakery and Cafe
2120 Greenwich St.
Cross: Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
*no food 3:30pm-5:30pm
Chef Josh Bush is no longer at the helm, so I can’t vouch for the fabulous-ity of the food anymore.