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The Mission's Best Deli that Nobody Has Ever Heard Of

I've lived in the Mission for over three years now, and for whatever reason, last night it hit me: for the number of restaurants the Mission has to offer, it's shocking that an amazing sandwich shop, specifically one that stays open past lunch, is almost non-existent. Peruvian food? No problem! Indian food? The city's best is just a few blocks away! Japanese food? Yakitori or vegetarian, take your pick! Italian food? Obviously. But a killer, simple sandwich? Somehow that has almost slipped through the cracks. Almost...

Enter Jump Start Coffee and Grocery. To the untrained eye, Jump Start looks like your typical corner store, but for neighborhood locals it's their go-to place for super-sized, delicious deli sandwiches. Although the selection doesn't quite rival Ike's 3 million options, there is enough variety to find exactly what you're looking for. My go-to sandwich? The #4. A towering creation made of turkey, avocado, bacon, and ranch dressing on your choice of bread (and yes, they do have dutch crunch). I stick to their soft sourdough and like to make it a bit *cough* healthier *cough* with the addition of mayonnaise, melted provolone, and lettuce.

You may be thinking, "What's so special about that? Seems like a fairly standard turkey sandwich." Let me assure you that this is infinitely better than your run of the mill, lunch-box turkey and cheese. It's more like the kind of sandwich that is so packed with everything awesome, you're forced to sit there and look at it for about a minute, from all angles, contemplating how you're going to get your mouth around it. Allow me to try and break the awesome down.

First, let's talk about bread-to-meat ratio. As I've previously mentioned in my writing, having the right ratio is the foundation of any superior sandwich. We all know that 90% of (non-gourmet) sandwiches are rather stingy with their meats and are served on a roll or baguette that is roughly twice the amount of bread you actually need. Jump Start doesn't do this. On my last order I counted four layers of juicy turkey smashed between thickly sliced wedges of avocado, melted cheese that covered the meat in its entirety, and thick pieces of to-die-for bacon. Stingy? Ha! Don't make me laugh.

Second: obviously the bacon helps. But after one bite you know that this bacon is not your standard microwaved piece of rubber. I hate to sound so cliche, but it's true, the bacon really sets this sandwich apart. It's because Peter, the owner of Jump Start and an obvious genius, buys real, uncooked bacon and cooks it fresh every day. But because it takes awhile to fry up bacon to order at a sandwich shop, they actually don't cook it on the spot, they bake it until it's not quite finished and then heat it up when ordered. By doing this, it keeps it quick and juicy...just how I like it. That, my friend, is their secret sauce and the reason that I order the #4 at least once every week...at least.

Knowing that such a wondrous sandwich exists, is only $8, is large enough to satisfy my hunger for both lunch and dinner, and is a mere 2 1/2 blocks from my home, how can I resist? Clearly, I can't. And you shouldn't either.

Jump Start Coffee and Grocery
1192 Guerrero St
(between 24th St & Elizabeth St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-7555

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