Something unique about San Francisco is that day drinking is kind a given. If you don’t enjoy throwing back a few beers on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, you’re pretty much considered antisocial in San Fran. So on Sunday morning when we decided to go out for brunch, I should have known I was in for more than just brunch.
We went to a place called Lime in the Castro. Walking in, the place looks a lot more like a nightclub than a brunch restaurant. I love Sunday morning mimosas as much as the next guy, and I have no problem eating at a place that looks like a club, but this is the last place I would have wanted to be if I was hungover. Not only were the acoustics of the place loud because of all the people, but there was loud music blasting all the way. One of our friends had arrived early, so we were lucky and didn’t have much of a wait.
We were seated and I took a look at the menu. Nothing looked particularly special and the menu wasn’t too long, but one thing did stick out at unique. The Ruben Sandwich. I’d never seen this on a brunch menu and was certainly intrigued. What was even more intriguing for me is that grilled cheese with bacon is my favorite morning-after-drinking food and the Ruben was about as close as I could get on this menu. It was made with gruyere, pastrami, sauerkraut and Russian dressing. It also came with fries. I ordered mine without the sauerkraut (that terrible pickled vegetable masquerading as food), and waited.
The food didn’t take too long, and if it had hardly anyone would have noticed because everyone at the table had ordered bottomless mimosas or bloody marys (except for me, since I was the lucky driver for the long road back to LA). The Ruben came and looked pretty good. The bread looked mice and crispy and the pastrami was nice and pink. I bit in and and found the pastrami to be really tough. I know Ruben pastrami is generally tougher than typical Jewish deli pastrami, but this was especially difficult, to the point where my incisors were rendered useless. With each bite, I essentially ripped out an entire slab of pastrami and had to bite it off and replace it in the sandwich with my bare hands. It was a messy situation to say the least.
As far as my enjoyment, I definitely felt like the Ruben could have used some work. Even without the tough pastrami, the inside of the sandwich was a little bit soggy. The probably wasn’t helped by the constant replacing of pastrami within the sandwich.
But this wasn’t a meal meant for the sober. I realized halfway through that I was not the appropriate clientele for Lime. Had I not needed to drive afterward, I might have downed a few mimosas myself to improve my meal, but without any drinks in me, Lime just wasn’t all that it could have been.