Sunday, January 20, 2013

Big Front Door

Sharing a few meals I've had at my new favorite neighborhood deli, the Big Front Door. They took over the spot of the older European Market location off Park Blvd, just South of Sprouts. I've been longing for something like it for a while now, a place I can walk to, casually grab some good food but also with an atmosphere that is cool and friendly enough to want to hang around and eat in.

Well for me BFD has become all that and I couldn't be happier, them becoming an addition to the already great University Heights / North Park community. Everything is made from scratch, many daily, and they smoke all their meats in-house as well. The bread for the sandwiches are delivered fresh from local bakery Sadie Rose.

You can purchase alcohol but at the moment can't be had on premises (until some permit technicalities are dealt with). Below the big front door swung open to the recent warmer January San Diego weather we had.

The Avocado Highway ($9) on a toasted torpedo I had earlier the visits won an easy place on my to-get-again list. Very generous amount of ripe avocado, fresh tomato, Parmesan crisp (yum) with romaine lettuce, some light oil and vinegar. I had it also with bacon (+$?) as it was recommended on the menu, definitely no regrets there. ;)

The Parmesan crisp was as thick as some peanut brittle I had last Holidays and along with the thicker cut bacon brought a lot of great texture and extra savory flavor to the sandwich. The bread was also great!

Also tried a small side of their potato salad ($1.50). Texture may have been a bit too mayo-ey for me but somehow flavor wise wasn't so much so surprisingly. Everything including the eggs and green peppers were larger cut and enjoyable.

Below, the revolving limited time Sandwich of the Season which currently is Baby Back Ribs ($10.50). Large deboned pieces of baby back pork ribs, chunky coleslaw and thick-cut oven roasted onions.

The meaty ribs had a lot of that crusty bark bits on the edges that I love, but still tender and not too dry. The sauce that seemed cider based was more tangy than sweet and nice to offset. If I do get this again though I'll definitely ask for it less in the sandwich and have some extra on the side. Otherwise it was nothing short of great.

The Black Bean Chili is priced the same as their soups and comes dressed with a little sour cream, cheddar cheese and chives. ($3 for a cup.) These smaller containers were plenty for me, it be the chili, soup or side.

The hearty ratio of coarse minced beef and richer spices reminds me of some competition style chili, though there are some black beans true to the name. Similar to my experience at the SD Soup Shoppe, I wished this was served in an actual bowl when dining in. More a wish than criticism, but I feel the meal deserved to be maybe. :)

Smoky the Meatloaf ($8) was a great tasty fill too. I actually would've ordered it again if I weren't trying to get a better spread for my post.

A good size piece of moist meatloaf with cheddar and garlic aioli, between toasted sourdough. I felt the fresh tomato slices were a great addition to give contrast. The house ketchup is rich and a little tangy and most is served on the side. The larger container of Soup of the Day ($5) was Red Pepper & Carrot. Was totally creamy but was told it uses no dairy.

The one called Turkey Day ($9) imaginably was your "Thanksgiving Sandwich" with thin turkey slices, their bacon stuffing (!), cranberry relish (that I asked to go easy on) and a drizzle of gravy. The cold cut turkey surprisingly had a lot of flavor (nicely brined) and overall was a great meal but felt it belonged on their "Hot Sandwich" selections. It's served at ambient temperature but the list of ingredients to me cry out to be done heated.

I knew I liked their stuffing (after sampling once earlier for dinner) so I had asked for extra (heated) as a side. Like many foods in a person's life, the best Thanksgiving stuffing I'd guess is what he/she had growing up at home.

My family's was the classic Better Homes & Garden Cookbook version and BFD's is similar, with the only extra addition of candied bacon (yay). Just my personal taste I thought it could use a little more onion, celery and a stronger sage kick, but that's just me. I'm only SO glad that it's not that cornbread-sausage-raisin-walnut abomination that many gourmet shops try to serve.

I had the O.F.T. (open-faced turkey) one night for dinner ($8.50). Over a slice of sourdough and plenty of hot gravy. Have to say it's been a while since I had turkey this flavorful. A good brine but with also a light smoked flavor. I need to tell these guys about the smoked pulled turkey sandwich I had with (Alabama style) White BBQ sauce..., but anyway for $2 extra you can have it with some green beans and stuffing which I did.

My most recent meal was this Caprese ($9) with side salad ($4) and small container of the soup of the day which was Roasted Tomato & Basil Bisque ($3).

The buffalo moz was cut thick and again loved the ciabatta that came from Sadie Rose. A light sprinkle of S&P made it perfect. The soup and salad were also both great being so fresh tasting. Plenty of other things to still try so I'm sure there'll be a part-two soon.

Big Front Door, 4135 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103


Adam Calhoun said...

Hey! We must be neighbors, I live a block away from that =P

I like the loins of fire sandwich... and you neglected to mention the copious varieties of root beer that they have for sale!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Adam! I live closer to Lestat's on Park but we're definitely neighbors then. :) I've been meaning to try that sandwich, I guess it'll be my next, and thanks for reminding us about the root beer selection!

caninecologne said...

What a great post - seems like you went through most of the menu! everything looked great there. i remember seeing it when bert, tc and i went to pizzeria bruno. now we know another good place to go to in the future!

"mayo-ey" - i like that!

Cathy Doe said...

OK, now I'm going. Everything looks wonderful. Bacon stuffing...turkey with bacon stuffing...oh hell yes.

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC! It's a friendly neighborhood place and I like that. I've yet to go to Bruno, I keep forgetting somehow...

Hi Cathy! I just corrected my writing, the cookbook we used was that red checkered Better Homes & Garden (from the 70's). I actually took photos of it last time I went back, haha.

Mary said...

Wow, really looks like you went through the whole menu, haha! That first sandwich with the avocado and Parmesan crisp looks so good! I've heard about this place here and there so I must visit soon!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mary! Actually there's plenty more sandwiches I've yet to try. For me the equally best part is that the folks who run the place are friendly and super cool.

KirkK said...

Looks great. I'll have to check them out soon!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, I'm pretty stoked for their stuffing! haha