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Food & Drink

Will free sandwiches bring Shohei Ohtani to San Francisco? We tried one to find out

A close-up of a cheesy steak sandwich.
Ike's Love and Sandwiches made a sandwich in honor of the San Francisco Giants. Ike's also plans to create a custom sandwich for Shohei Ohtani if he signs with the team. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

As hubbub mounts around what team baseball superstar and free agent Shohei Ohtani will sign with, one Bay Area business owner is trying to bring him to San Francisco with a creative pitch.

Ike Shehadeh, founder of Ike's Love and Sandwiches, promised in a video posted to Instagram to rename his restaurant to Shohei's Love and Sandwiches, to give Ohtani free sandwiches for life and to work with the baseball player to create a custom sandwich based on his tastes—if he signs with the San Francisco Giants.

To cap off the video, Shehadeh made what he called "the ultimate 'orange and black' sandwich," although whatever sandwich he would make for Ohtani would be different.

"It'd be according to his tastes," Shehadeh said.

It's unclear what kind of sandwich the Japanese-born Ohtani—who began playing for the Los Angeles Angels in 2018 and has twice been named the American League's MVP—would prefer.

You normally can't walk into an Ike's and order the "orange and black" sandwich, as it's made with a barbecue sauce that Ike's Love and Sandwiches locations don't regularly carry.

However, The Standard was able to get two "orange and black" sandwiches. The O+B is a steak sandwich served hot that has orange barbecue sauce, cheddar and gouda cheeses, and aioli between two whole wheat bread slices, with jalapeño potato chips crammed inside.

Rachel Scheier, a Standard editor, enjoyed the sandwich but felt it could use some improvement.

"It's good, but it could stand to have some vegetables," Scheier said. "After a few bites, I feel like I need to take a shower."

A close-up of a cheesy steak sandwich.
Ike's Love and Sandwiches created the "orange and black" sandwich in honor of the San Francisco Giants. If Shohei Ohtani joins the team, Ike's promised to develop a custom sandwich named after him. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

This reporter also tried the sandwich—at least half of one.

As soon as your teeth crunch through potato chips, you taste the saltiness of the steak and the brown sugar in the barbecue sauce. The sauce's smokiness is complemented by the smoked taste of the gouda and rounded out by umami cheddar cheese.

It's good, but you might want to go for a run the next day.

Those who want to try the sandwich themselves can do so by going to the new San Leandro Ike's location at 155 Parrot St., which marks its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Shehadeh will be there with enough ingredients for 100 sandwiches and will make you one for $8.98.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at garrett@sfstandard.com