Since SOMA is once again the new FiDi it’s our opinion that it really needs to start developing it’s eatery options. Luckily, Dennis Leary of Rubicon and more recently Canteen fame seems to completely agree with us. The Sentinel opened up late May, originally starting off slow and offering continental breakfast and coffee, but now this little food “stand” is really getting into the swing of things. Not as much of a secret as we would like, it’s located in what used to be a small cigar shop next to the House of Shields and now serves lunch starting at 11:30 AM in addition to breakfast. Last time we visited we got there at 11:39 and there was already quite the queue; of course, it’s hard not to be caught up in the excitement with a bunch of professionals and Web 2.0 people milling about on the corner of New Montgomery and Stevenson waiting, apparently, for something.
The kitchen at Canteen is infamously small, but Leary has really decided to give himself a challenge because the Sentinel is honestly little more than a counter and the suggestion of a cooking space. The amazing thing is the food that comes out of this joint is top notch and high quality fare. The menu changes daily (of course it does) and we last ordered the tuna salad sandwich, which was definately not your mother’s tuna. Red peppers, olives, basil, hard cooked eggs and butter lettuce all on a nice soft seed encrusted bun made it something speical…mmmmmm. Also on the menu that day: a sweet corn, spinach and fish chowder, an open faced corned beef on rye with guyerre and mustard and a roast beef salad that we have on good authority came with a dollop of thick chocolate mousse for dessert.
At $8 a sandwich this may not be your everyday go-to spot, but it’s certainly that place you hit up once a week (for us probably twice) just to revive your faith in the working lunch. In addition to sandwiches, they also occasionally serve entrees and the pork shoulder, having been raved about all last week, remains something we’re sad we missed while on vacation.
Photo via Alexis Wright