The American deli seems to be getting a makeover. Nowhere is this more evidenced than at San Francisco's The Rye Project. Dubbed a "Newish Delicatessen" from delimaster Adam Mesnick, The Rye Project takes the decorous delis of your childhood and turns them on their heads as it serves up corned beef, pastrami, hot bagels, and spicy Cleveland mustard to lines of people set against a backdrop of what may aptly be described as old-school beats and schoolroom chic.
With the Rye Project, Mesnick has accomplished something that I can best describe as a quantum culinary memory. His corned beef and pastrami is nothing short of an edible experience that exists on two separate planes at the same exact time: the savory conscious reality of consumption while recalling a sandwich and moment you remember eating as a kid sitting next to your grandparents under the fluorescent lights of Katz's.
For me, Mesnick's impeccable take on deli favorites, is best embodied in the "B.Hold."I feel dirty even referring to it as a sandwich because really it's just so much more. This is one classy sandwich. The meat is delicate while maintaining a leanness that is piled appropriately high. The bread pushes together providing structure, lovingly wrapping itself around an assemblage of meat, cheese, kraut,and something spicy referred to only as tysyacha sauce.
The Rye Project. Serving food you eat on Monday,think about every day 'til Sunday,and go and get when the deli reopens again the next Monday.