Boudin’s in Santa Ana’s Main Place Mall

Sorting through my mail one day I ran along an offer from an old San Francisco establishment that I hadn’t thought of in a long time. Boudin San Francisco Sourdough conjured up memories of my visit to Fisherman’s Wharf many years ago. They had opened a cafe in the Irvine Spectrum back when it first opened and that was the last time I was ever in one. That cafe closed after a year or so but here I was…some 20 years or more later gazing at this direct mail piece. I could swear I smelled fresh sourdough bread when I cracked the seal! The offer included several coupons for a buy-one-get-one-free for sandwiches and salads. That was reason enough for me….and I booked a lunch date on my fathers busy calendar for the following week.

We took Pop’s car as it included the key-to-the-kingdom for any trip to the mall….a handicap parking permit! Working as intended…we landed in a prime parking spot just steps away from Boudin’s front entrance. It was still pretty early and the lunch crowd hadn’t showed up just yet. We walked in and found a nice young lady behind a counter on the phone….so we continued into the restaurant and took a seat at an open table. Our table faced a large window where we could watch shoppers coming and going from their appointed duties at the mall. We did this for several minutes and made small talk as diners do while you wait for a waiter or waitress to show up. After several more minutes we realized something was amiss. We got up and headed towards the front and that’s when we saw the “order here” sign over the counter!

Now this isn’t entirely our fault. The counter girl was pretty cute and she was standing right next to a display of freshly baked sourdough bread. Just too much stimulus for us to notice the sign! After that…things went more smoothly. I ordered the Turkey Melt with a side salad and Pops ordered the Jalapeno Pulled Pork Sandwich with chips. I was handed a dining card with a number and with our water cups in hand…we headed back to the tables like we knew exactly what we were doing!

About five minutes later our food arrived and our dining card vanished. My Turkey Melt came with turkey breast, apple wood smoked bacon, Havarti and Swiss cheese all on grilled multi grained bread with cranberry Dijon mustard. Pop’s sandwich came with roasted pulled pork, pepper jack and sharp cheese with chipotle raspberry preserves on grilled jalapeno cheddar bread. Both sandwich appeared to have been prepared with a panini press and were grilled perfectly crisp. It seemed both of these new sandwiches all shared a common flavor theme…savory…sweet and spicy. As you would expect…the bread was excellent. By today’s “super size” standards these sandwiches were pretty modest but so was the price so we can’t complain (with coupon our total bill was under $10).

Overall….we were both pleased with our lunch and I give Boudin’s a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Boudin’s menu offers far more than these grilled sandwiches. Burgers, Salads, Pizza, Grilled Cheese and bread bowls with different soups and chili are popular items with the regulars. I have to admit I’m a little apprehensive about going back to Boudin’s as I suffer from a sourdough dependency problem that isn’t covered on my current health insurance. Be that as it may…I’ll probably take the risk and return after New Years. That’s when salads usually start to appear more frequently on my menu….how bout that?