I’d been eagerly awaiting Sanguchon’s brick-and-mortar restaurant to open for eons, it seems like. An interminable amount of time. Ever since I first tried a delectable pork sandwich from one of their trucks in the Financial District, I’ve been dreaming of the day… and, lucky us, they opened in the Mission!
Such a tease, watching the storefront sit shuttered during all the pandemic months. What I didn’t know is that Chef Carlos Altimirano is also the owner of Mochica and Piqueo in San Francisco, and La Costanera in Half Moon Bay, so I’d already sampled some of his wonderful food. Chef Altimirano has certainly added to the Peruvian landscape in the Bay Area, and I welcomed this new addition to his realm with open mouth. “Sanguchon,” by the way, is basically slang for a big-ass sandwich.
We started out with a chorizo empanada, oddly sprinkled with powdered sugar; it totally worked. Loved the slightly spicy filling with the light, sweet dough. Very tender and delicious. A rocoto chile (Peruvian chili) aioli came on the side that we used on everything (unfortunately, it wasn’t spicy, dammit.)
For my main, I ordered the pan con adobo: pork shoulder slow-braised in an adobo of aji panca, another Peruvian chile. Also super tender and quite tasty, although the adobo rather overwhelmed the flavor of the pork. BF got an aji de gallina bowl, which turned out to be a rather bland preparation, I must say. But, to be fair, Sanguchon’s aji de gallina is very like what I’ve had at other Peruvian places: a creamy mush of chicken in aji amarillo sauce, with rice and potatoes. Not at all spicy, and not always very flavor-forward, this is still total comfort food. The BF shoveled down his entire plate.
We also had an order of anticuchos, a favorite from my childhood: skewers of marinated beef heart. Yes, I said beef heart. Put your big-boy/girl/kid pants on and give them a try! They also have anticuchos made of pork belly and chicken, but those don’t really count. BEEF HEART.
I’m dying to go back and try the pan con chicharron, the papa a la huancaina (another childhood favorite; a cold dish of potatoes in a creamy cheese sauce), arroz chaufa (Peru’s wonderful version of Chinese fried rice), and alfajores, those delectable, tender cookies sandwiching a dulce de leche filling. Fair warning: while there are a couple of salads, there aren’t a lot of vegetarian options here. But they have yuca fries! I can’t believe we didn’t get the yuca fries! Next time …
Let’s give our newest Peruvian spot a warm welcome!
1182 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110