Monday, April 13, 2009

The Best Day Ever

Lyndsay poses with her "Backstabber" vegan turkey sandwich.
It will be completely devoured in about .2 seconds.

Who: VN Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig + VN Editorial Assistant Melissa Feineman
What: Super-scrumptious sandwiches and so-good-it-should-be-illegal ice cream
When: Sunday, April 12, 2009, from here on out known as "The Best Day Ever"
Where: Ike's Place and MaggieMudd, San Francisco
Why: To see just how much utter deliciousness could be fit into one day. The short answer? A lot. For the long answer, see below.

The Scoop: Pop quiz: Can a sandwich change your life? If you answered yes, chances are you have already experienced the joy and wonder that is Ike's. If you answered no, you poor dear, then you must drop whatever you are doing and arrange a trip there as soon as is humanly possible. If you fall into the latter camp, perhaps you are thinking "What's the big deal? It's a flippin' sandwich for cryin' out loud." But that, my friend, is where you'd be wrong.

Let's start with the options, of which there are many. No matter what your dietary leanings, from dedicated omnivore to e"vegan"gelist, we're pretty sure you'll find something to please your palate. On the vegan side of things, not only are there vegan meatballs (more on those bad boys later), turkey, and cheese, but also a substantial range of vegetable-only delights.

Having perused the menu online ahead of time (which I recommend doing just before going. Too far ahead of time and you might find yourself gnawing on your hand, mousepad, or anything else that happens to be lying around just to stave off the hunger pangs), I already knew what I wanted, which was the "Not So Sloppy Ike." This is a vegan meatball sandwich with barbecue sauce and cheese. Lyndsay went for the "Backstabber," a vegan turkey sandwich with marinated artichoke hearts, garlic and herb sauce, and soy cheese.

We had been warned ahead of time that the lines can be long and the wait torturous, but lady luck was most certainly smiling upon us since we were eating no more than 15 minutes after we arrived. Ike himself (dressed up in his Easter Sunday finest), hand-delivered the sandwiches to our table, and after that, well ... I can't really tell you too much of what happened after that because I was so focused on my sandwich that the rest of the world just seemed to fade away. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what made it so incredibly, mind-bogglingly delicious. Was it the tangy sweetness of the barbecue sauce? Maybe. The satisfying bite of the "meatballs"? Perhaps. The mingling of complementary textures from crisp to saucy? Quite possibly. I've said it before and I'll say it again–this sandwich will change your life.

Now, any normal person might stop at this point and think, "Hey, I've just had the best sandwich of my life. I think I'm ready to go out on a high note and call it quits for the day." This type of thinking, though, will get you nowhere, and luckily Lyndsay and I were on the same page here. It was a beautiful San Francisco day. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. The only possible move that made any sort of sense was for us to head up to MaggieMudd for a vegan-ice-cream blowout.

As a small side note here, if you ever intend to recreate "The Best Day Ever," which I highly recommend that you do, I would also suggest that you walk from Ike's to MaggieMudd. This journey takes about an hour if you don't stop anywhere along the way, and it provides you with just about enough time to make room in your stomach for ice cream.

Is there anything better than vegan mint chocolate cookie ice cream on a beautiful day?
No, I don't think there is.

MaggieMudd, like Ike's, is a place of diversity, so you can find everything from dairy to soy to coconut-milk-based ice creams. There is also an unbelievable selection of sundaes and blended drinks. Lyndsay opted for a Maggie Muddy Fudgy Sundae (just try saying that three times fast!) with "Death Squad" and "Chocolate Mint Cookie" flavors. I went for a cup with "Mint Cookie Swirl" and "ChocoRaspberry Cookie." Since mint chocolate is, as far as I'm concerned, the be-all and end-all of ice-cream flavors, I was really surprised to see two different mint-chocolate combos on the menu. The one I ordered was mint-flavored ice cream with swirls of chocolate and cookie pieces, while Lyndsay's choice was a chocolate ice cream with mint flavor and cookie pieces. The only apparent difference was that mine was green and slightly mintier in flavor, but both were excellent.

Just as Nelly Furtado sings, "All good things come to an end," and so, too, did "The Best Day Ever." It was mind-blowingly amazing, and I can't wait to do it again!


Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Sounds like a perfect day to me! The "Vegan Backstabber" is my favorite!

Sky said...

The Backstabber made my list of 50 best vegan eats in San Francisco:

Not sure if I'd have room for Maggie Mudd after eating one, but more power to those who do! :)