This rapidly expanding Bay Area chain of sandwich shops got its start in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, and its devoted following has multiplied phenomenally in the seven years of its existence, enough to support 13 stores in all. I was glad to bypass the legendary lines at the original location and accepted a friend’s invitation to check out the Danville store.
Bright with thick block lettering and a quirky sense of humor, the store’s sleek design is enough on its own to appeal to broad, modern-day, American eatery sensibilities. Who wouldn’t want to try a sandwich called Love Triangle or Reading Rainbow? A good portion of the sandwiches are also named after celebrities and famous characters. The vast array of options on the menu at the Danville location—
–is dwarfed by the options shown in their online menu. It might be an overwhelming number of choices, but I like not having to compile my own sandwich ingredient list, and Ike’s has nearly any combination you want covered. That includes sandwiches stuffed with jalapeno poppers! Vegans and vegetarians also have a bevy of options, and lettuce, tomato, and onion are givens.
Every sandwich comes with Ike’s signature dirty sauce, which tasted to me like a creamy horseradish sauce…but really, really light on the horseradish, which made it very good. The interwebs tell me that it’s actually a garlic and herb sauce, but I’d swear there’s a little horseradish hiding in their somewhere. The sauce is grilled into the bread and also added to the ingredient pile—some sandwiches even come extra dirty. The messier a sandwich, the more likely I am to love it, so I thought those methods were fantastic.by