I get truly happy when I hear about someone with East Coast roots who wants to bring the BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese; i.e., egg on a roll, fried egg sandwich) to San Francisco, plus classic subs, and since we’re in SF, offer some big, well-made salads too. You with me? Ryan Blumenthal has lived here for 17 years, but grew up in Vermont and Pennsylvania (just ooutside Philly), with family in New York too, and he has been missing these East Coast classics. He got lucky and found a space with a hood that is right across from SF General, so he’ll be able to fry up eggs the way he intended. It’s time to meet NEWKIRK’S.
His BEC is going to feature a custom-made kaiser roll (he found a baker in the Richmond who was also a New Yorker, and they have been perfecting their recipe), and he has really honed his bacon technique to hit that chewy-crispy balance. He’s going to be using quality organic eggs, but in a true nod to tradition, American cheese will be on offer. Yes! (It’s the right move.) Although there will be another variation, probably with some cheddar.
He’s also working on 6 or 7 subs, including a cheesesteak he has really been tweaking and perfecting. I was also pushing for an Italian combo, which he’s keen to offer, so yay. Ends up he worked for some New Yorkers who opened a deli in Colorado when he was living there, so he learned some true NYC deli ways. Instead of flying out Amoroso or parbaked rolls from the East Coast, he wants to have a locally made French loaf that is East Coast style but doesn’t use preservatives, so he’s finding the best baker for that right now too.
He’s also going to offer some vegetarian subs, and he’s working on a vegan tuna melt, inspired by his five years working at Gestalt in the Mission (he was behind the sandwich menu development there). And sometimes, all you want is just a big salad, so he’s going to offer two or three kinds, simple but satisfying, like one with kale and romaine, and you can add protein to them. (Ryan also mentioned offering fried chicken later in the game, always wicked on a salad.)
As for the name, Newkirk was his New York grandma’s maiden name, as well as his middle name, so there you have it. He’s going through inspections right now and is targeting mid-October for the opening. I’ll definitely keep you posted, but you can follow along on Instagram for now.
When they open, hours will be Mon-Sat 7am-4pm, so you’ll be able to come by for breakfast and some Ritual Coffee on your way to work, or order in 20 BECs to be delivered for your office meetings (he’s going to be on some apps).
The location was New Aux Delices II, a Vietnamese restaurant for almost 30 years before they closed three years ago. Before that, he has reason to believe they sold fried fish based on the sign he found in the walls during construction. The building dates back to 1901, so he’s excited, although the remodel has been quite a big endeavor. He’s looking forward to being a part of the neighborhood. 1002 Potrero Ave. at 22nd St.
Looking good with new glass and paint at Newkirk’s. Photo via Facebook.