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The Starter: Bar Tartine

 A Sandwich Shop's Secret Weapon

When the god of flour (aka Tartine Bakery’s Chad Robertson) opens a new sandwich shop inside his restaurant Bar Tartine, you know his bread will be met with adulation. But top it with food made by his rising star chef, Nick Balla, and you’ve got a force of nature. From the menu, you’ll definitely want to order a trio of smørrebrød, an exotic name for open-faced sandwiches on rye. Topped with everything from house-cured salmon to chopped broccoli with onion jam and chili, these sandwiches are rustic works of art that only give a brief nod to their Scandinavian roots. But in the midst of ogling these beauties, don’t miss one dish that doesn’t involve bread at all. For this bit of genius, Balla takes Yukon Gold creamers, boils them whole, smokes them for four hours, deep-fries them, and then serves them in a bowl with a dollop of pickled ramp mayonnaise (left). They’re unforgettable—even worth worshipping. 561 Valencia St. (near 16th St.), 415-487-1600