There’s been a lot of hubbub in San Francisco about finally having a Legitimate Jewish Deli, in the form of Wise Sons‘ Mission district location.
I have two thoughts on that:
(1) These people clearly haven’t been to Moishe’s Pippic in Hayes Valley, which has been serving phenomenal corned beef, pastrami and (on Fridays and Saturdays only) brisket for quite awhile now; and
(2) The rye bread at Wise Sons is transformative, at least as far as this longtime Rye-Hater is concerned.
Wise Sons’ rye bread is absolutely worth the annoyance of trying to find a parking spot in the Mission on a weekend afternoon. Hypothetically, I think it’s even worth waiting in the horrendously long line that wraps around the corner starting at 11 a.m. on weekends, when Wise Sons starts serving their infamous Reuben sandwiches. And I say “hypothetically” because of this very-exciting-to-me-now-that-I-know-it fact: you do not need to wait in line if you just want to purchase a loaf.
That’s right. And now that I know line-waiting is unnecessary, only the difficult street parking will stand between me and that incredible crunchy crust and fluffy caraway seed-strewn middle. Good thing Jay doesn’t mind circling the block while I jump out and grab a loaf!
The day of, it’s a great opportunity to make sandwiches, as homemade reubens aren’t really that difficult to make – and it allows me to commit the blasphemous act of whipping up a quick coleslaw batch and heaping a giant scoop of it atop my Otherwise Reuben Sandwich.
A day later, rye bread makes for amazing toast with a dab of butter. And a day after that, I converted the remaining hunk into addictive garlicky croutons galore. The croutons would be amazing on a salad, if I had let them get that far.
Instead, I gobbled them up in a momentary snack attack.
Here’s the part where I should say, “Oops!” Except I know it will be a recurring mistake, and as a result, I’m happy to take full responsibility for it.
Makes 2 c.
2 c. rye bread, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. herbs (I mixed thyme, parsley, oregano and chili powder)
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a small saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add smashed garlic clove, and saute, stirring a few times, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Discard garlic.
Drizzle garlic-infused oil over bread cubes, and sprinkle with salt and herbs, tossing to distribute evenly. (This can be done directly on a foil-lined baking sheet to save some mess, or in a bowl.) Spread out bread cubes evenly on a baking sheet, and bake until crispy and slightly browned, about 10 minutes depending on size of the croutons.