Vegan Picnic - San Francisco, CA

The Sophisticated Eater descended upon The Golden City tired, hungry, and just in time for a mid-morning rush towards the Bay Bridge. Naturally, The SE decided that this was the opportune moment to launch a quest for a legendary lunch, because what could be better than wandering the streets of a new city while hungry? 

The SE hit the pavement and began walking up and down San Francisco's perilous hills, dodging cable cars and taking advantage of surprisingly reliable public transportation before finally arriving at Vegan Picnic in the Cow Hollow neighborhood.

Cow Hollow is a decidedly trendy area. Preppy mainstays such as Chubbies Shorts Shop and SEE eyewear dot the landscape between vaguely interesting looking eateries. In the ultimate stamp of approval, a SoulCycle sits proudly on the corner of Union and Webster.

Vegan Picnic is half market, half eatery. Eaters must walk through a gauntlet of appealing snacks (why hello there, chocolate marshmallow cake!) to reach the friendly looking youngster taking orders  at a register.

Despite a relatively simple menu consisting of eleven sandwiches total, The SE was conflicted. After carefully weighing all the options, The SE went with " The Crispy Chicken". Much to The SE's delight, the hot sandwich also came with a small side of macaroni salad.

Meal in hand, The SE pulled a bar stool out from underneath a high table that overlooked the street. Unwrapping the sandwich, The SE could already tell this was going to be one for the books. The "chicken" patty was lightly breaded and cooked to perfection, presented inside of a large sesame challah bread. Sriracha mayo, lettuce, and a thick slice of tomato graced the top of the sandwich.

The SE turned the sandwich around, looking for the perfect first bite. Finding a spot with the perfect ratio of "chicken" to toppings, The SE dug in. 

The "chicken" was tender and juicy, with the sriracha mayo adding the perfect amount of extra flavor. The shredded lettuce and tomato contributed an extra layer of crunch between the two slices of sweet challah bread.

Mid-feast, two passerby stopped and stared through the window as sriracha mayo dripped down The SE's face. Overwhelmed by curiosity, they stopped and turned around to look at the menu. Happy to have served as an advertisement for others, The SE finished off the rest of the sandwich.

Expectations now raised, The SE moved on to the macaroni salad which did not disappoint. A tangy mayo-mustard mix covered al dente ditalini. Pieces of salty "bacon" bits sang through the mix perfectly, adding a pleasing smoky flavor.

Completely satiated, The SE got up and waddled to the counter to thank the owners for the BEST vegan sandwich consumed to date. With a loving glance backwards, The SE returned to the streets of San Francisco and began the search for the next great meal.

Vegan Picnic is open daily from 11:30am to 7:30pm at 1977A Union Street. Bring an empty stomach.

Pinky's up, fellow SE's!

Connect w/ The SE


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