If the traditional media and the denizens of Yelp waged war over the best food in SF, Ike's Place would be Antietam.
It might surprise you, but we come down with the Yelp people. Ike's is the perfect example of the ~1% of the time Yelp is useful: If a place has over 6,000 reviews with a 4.5 star average, it's going to be good.
Sure enough, we've never taken anyone to Ike's Place and regretted it. The consistency across the chain is remarkable—I've had Matt Cains (the sandwich, not the pitcher) in something like five different locations, and it always gets the job done.
Ike's serves a constellation of perfect sandwiches, yet each is perfect for a different person. I rarely stray from my aforementioned Cain, but my friends will swear to the superiority of the Menage A Trois, Name of the Girl I'm Dating (currently "Bella"), and the Going Home for Thanksgiving. They are all wrong, of course. But I'm sure they'd say the same about me.
(An aside on the sandwich names - they're mostly nonsensical, but what would you name 200 sandwiches after? Philosophers?)
Fan cultivation is also one of Ike's's strong suits. The chicken is Halal, the vegetarian options are PETA approved, and the gluten-free bread is among the best in the business. It's no surprise they are occasionally able to sell atrocious T-shirts.
At the Infatuation, we aim to provide restaurant reviews for the people. In this case, most of the people may already know, but for any who don't: Ike's is delicious.
Menage A Trois
Pretty sure this is a reference to three types of cheese having sex on the sandwich, but in reality the key flavor elements are the honey, honey mustard, and BBQ sauce. If you like sweet BBQ flavor, you'll love it, but it's not our favorite. Also, to clarify for the rest of the rundown, Dutch Crunch is the only correct bread option unless you're medically gluten-free.
The chicken ends up in a sort of honey-mustard salad that's well complemented by the avocado. A very popular sandwich, for good reason.
Going Home for Thanksgiving
Imagine Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, boosted with Sriracha. Sounds weird? It's good.
Okay, we've never actually ordered this, since it's three times the price and size of the standard offering (onion rings, mozz sticks, and jalapeño poppers? In a sandwich?). But if you do, hit us up on Instagram with the #EEEEEATS tag and we'll see what can be done.
A personal favorite. Steak, provolone, and onion rings? Philly's got nothing on this.
My sample size of 1 says this is the best sandwich at the joint. It's a classic cold cut combo (roast beef, turkey, salami) with the garlicky aioli kick you get from Ike's dirty sauce. It's the best showcase of the dirty sauce on the menu, and the dirty sauce is one of the best ingredients known to the sandwich-making profession. ERGO, order the Matt Cain.