Boozy luncheon with Sherman #1 – “Arlequin”

Sherman is my lunch companion. Once a week we have a long boozy lunch to soften the bitter edges of life. Usually it’s somewhere moderately nice; on occasion it’s a dive. The destination is dependent on our moods and, to a lesser degree, whether or not Sherman has a groupon for the place. A beer and wine license, however, is the one absolute requisite.

Sherman is a big deal in the media industry. Media, you ask. Which medium? I’m not going to tell you. He’s also a lascivious old fuck. That, on the other hand – sex is infinitely more interesting than work – is completely within bounds.

Arlequin Cafe & Food To Go
384 Hayes St. SF 94102
At first he wasn’t too keen on me blogging about our boozy luncheons but when I told him I’d disguise him, his deep-rooted narcissism took hold and he slurred me his blessing. We’d polished off a nice bottle of Sonoma rosé by that point and had progressed halfway into a curious central coast Monastrel, so technically he was drunk and in no condition to make agreements.

How could I not take advantage of a golden opportunity like that?

Reuben-esque perfection

For years I’ve been trying to find a decent reuben in San Francisco. Not too diligently, mind you; mainly when it came to mind. Having found a supreme incarnation of the reuben at Arlequin, in Hayes Valley, I went on and on to Sherman about the corrupting tenderness of the beef and its sublime bookends of toast.

Arlequin entrance‘Coupons be damned,’ he said briskly and insisted we make a visit to sot ourselves on the patio last Friday afternoon, resplendent as the City was in the early shimmerings of Spring.

Unfortunately – and to Sherman’s blessedly short-lived annoyance – when we got to the counter we were told they’d run out of light rye. But would we like the reuben on a levain… Levain?! Sherman looked at me as if someone had just keyed his new Mercedes S-class.

Compensation in the most serendipitous of forms…

Blessedly, it only took Sherman about 15 minutes to get over his disappointment at not being able to savor such a well-endorsed reuben – we decided to defer such a tasting until they had the proper bread – at which point the rosé had begun its soothing effects. Food arrived and in no time Sherman’s fingers were dripping with tomato sauce from his meatball sandwich, served on a soft baguette-like roll.

‘This is damn good,’ he marveled, having forgotten his dismay over the reuben with nearly the mental dexterity with which he’d forgotten that he’d ever been married to his first wife.

2 thoughts on “Boozy luncheon with Sherman #1 – “Arlequin””

  1. Oh the joy of a good reuben. Finding one is like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow without the drama of a leprechaun. I prefer mine with corned beef.

    1. Agreed. Speaking of leprechauns, remind me to tell you a story about a real-life one my brother and I met in Longford County, Ireland, once. They’re much taller than the caricatures would lead you to believe.

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