Popping up in Oakland: Pop Sandwich
Pop Sandwich is a one man shop creating sandwiches in the back of a convenience store in the Uptown district of Oakland. The man, Ian opened up this little business a few months ago and he’s getting rave reviews for his sandwiches especially the pork adobo sandwich. My colleague mentioned how she stumbled upon this place a couple of blocks from our workplace.
We went to pay a visit to Pop Sandwich last week and ordered a few sandwiches to examine more closely. I asked Ian how he got to making sandwiches. He worked at restaurants around the Bay Area including Range and Ame and even traveled around Asia before he decided on giving this a try.
I first tried the pork adobo sandwich which is soy and vinegar braised pork shoulder, lettuce, sambal, aioli, carrot, and crispy onion. The delicious French bread first got my attention which Ian gets fresh from a local Vietnamese bakery. On first bite I felt like I was missing some vinegar and pepper flavor that is so present in adobo. As I continued on, I got more of the adobo flavor. By the last bite, the juices appeared like the au jus in a roast beef sandwich and was so good. Here is a quote from one of my colleagues “the Adobo Pork was the best Adobo Pork Sandwich I’ve had. So good. I would go for that over most things at Stags.” (Stag’s Lunchette is an amazing sandwich shop a few doors over.)
Another sandwich we got was the curry squash which was one of the vegetarian options. It’s made of squash, tofu, coconut milk, sambal, aioli, lettuce, basil, cilantro, lime, carrot, and crispy onion. I really liked the flavor profile of the curry sandwich but felt there was something missing – maybe it was meat or fat. Vegetarians would love it.
The mahi mahi sandwich was another sandwich we tried. Filled with confit mahi loin, lettuce, tomato, brown mustard, aioli, carrots, red onion, and cornichon, this was a really hearty sandwich. I enjoyed this one a lot for its uniqueness. Every ingredient appeared important to this sandwich and was really fresh tasting.
It was fun trying the different sandwiches from Pop Sandwich. I would definitely go back to Pop Sandwich when I need to get my adobo fix. It’s great to support small business and someone’s dream.