People head to the T-loin for all kinds of fixes. And if your addiction happens to be mile-high east coast-style deli sandwiches made with love and actually served with a friendly attitude, then ~MORTY'S DELICATESSEN~ is your kind of dealer. It's nothing fancy--it's a deli, with wood floors, vintage café tables and chairs, and some art and dog photos/portraits on the walls. Plus it's tidy, unlike the street and all its associated "action" just outside the door.
Now, as the daughter of a former deli-owning family, I always notice properly sliced meat. Oh, and effective ingredient dispersion. I love the nice thin slices they do with the Italian meats here--it makes for a sandwich you can actually bite, instead of eviscerating it with your teeth like a starving wolverine. The ingredients are fresh, and the rolls are on the money and totally three bears: not too tough, not too soft, just right.
I have tried a few sandwiches: of course I ordered the Little Italy ($6.99), which comes with Genoa salami, capicolla, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, and oil and vinegar--fuggetabout it, it's my kind of dream sandwich. Not enough to knock Woodside Deli's godfather from my top sandwich spot, but this one is still in the ring. Almost like a consigliere sandwich--"in the family," but not Michael either.
I had higher hopes for the Big Easy ($6.99), with mortadella, prosciutto, Genoa salami, mozzarella, Sicilian olive salad, lettuce, and oil and vinegar. Instead of fulfilling my muffaletta fantasy, the olive salad was more like a bulk vinegary giardiniera (black olive, cauliflower, carrot) that was kind of tossed into the sandwich and not even chopped up very much. The vinegar is also redundant in this sammy--too tart. The meat combo was delish though, so I still wolfed the entire sandwich (over a three-hour window, mind you--these puppies are big) but it's not one I'd order again unless someone at Morty's went to NOLA, carted back a muffaletta from Central Grocery, studied the olive salad very very closely, and then gave it their best shot to recreate the mother lode of olive salad. Game on?
The Mack of all the sandwiches here is "No time to talk, I'm on my way to an angioplasty, like, now!" Reuben ($7.50). You can pick from either pastrami (made from a primo cut--I recommend it, it's juicy) or corned beef, and it will join the sublime party blend of melted Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sloppy sauerkraut. Don't eat this on a date or in front of your boss or worst of all, your ex--you're going to make a mess and a total pig of yourself. And I wish I had a number for a heart surgeon for ya, but I don't. (I can only help you with the problem, not the cure.) There are other types of hot sandwiches on the menu, but the Reuben is the one that keeps me asking for another hit. Literally the Jim Belushi of sandwiches.
Morty's also has salads, soups, hot dishes, daily specials, and breakfast sandwiches, which I am sure folks in the neighborhood know alllll about, but it's the sandwiches I'll drive cross-town for. And the price is right, especially when compared to a lot of lesser sandos around town, that's for damned sure. And hey, here's an idea! If you want your next lunch catered, give 'em a jingle! Woof.
280 Golden Gate Ave.
Cross: Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(closed Saturdays in June-August)