Borsch Mobile owners Igor Teplitsky and Anna Flider at Iggy's Place, their new venture in San Francisco. (Photo/Courtesy)
Borsch Mobile owners Igor Teplitsky and Anna Flider at Iggy's Place, their new venture in San Francisco. (Photo/Courtesy)

Borsch Mobile owners go brick-and-mortar with Iggy’s Place

Last year, J. covered Borsch Mobile, a food truck offering Russian and Ukrainian specialties by the husband-wife team of Igor Teplitsky and Anna Flider. Now they’ve opened Iggy’s Place, their first brick-and-mortar restaurant, in San Francisco’s Richmond District, where they offer soups such as their signature borscht and matzah ball. But sandwiches are the main attraction.

After immigrating to Chicago from Kyiv, Teplitsky “loved the culture of sandwiches and lunch and always complained there were no good sandwich places” in the Richmond District where they live, Flider said. “One day, I said, ‘Why don’t you open one?’”

They are sharing space with the wine bar Cassava, which is only open in the evenings.

While one of their signature Jewish items is a beef tongue sandwich, the fact that it has garlic sriracha aioli is less than traditional. They are brining their own turkey, beef and pork, and rather than a tuna sandwich, there’s a sardine sandwich, because of Flider’s personal preference.

The truck is parked for now while the couple decides whether to invest in some expensive upgrades. Meanwhile, they are focusing on their new endeavor.

In the coming months, they plan to start offering breakfast and brunch items at Iggy’s such as the pancakes they grew up with, made with kefir, a fermented dairy beverage.

“We’re so happy to be in our own neighborhood and see a lot of familiar faces,” Flider said. “It feels more homey in that we are near our own house.”

Iggy’s Place is at 3519 Balboa St. and is closed on Sundays.

Earlier this year, J. covered Berkeley’s Homemade Cafe, where diners can pay forward an extra $5 that will cover a hot breakfast for someone who can’t afford it. Chef and owner Collin Doran said he was inspired by his grandfather to do so. J. was far from the only publication to cover it, and the attention got him an Oct. 26 appearance on “The Today Show.”

Town Hall closed recently, just shy of 20 years in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, according to Marcia Gagliardi’s Tablehopper newsletter. J. never featured its owners but should have. Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal, who are brothers, have been behind several restaurants in the city.

I have a copy of “Cooking My Way Back Home,” Mitchell Rosenthal’s 2011 cookbook, sent to me by a publicist. Its introduction reads: “From the time I was 15 and washing dishes in a Jewish deli in Jersey until today, my entire life has been spent wearing kitchen whites.”

Though it was more known for its Southern food, Town Hall served chopped liver, a recipe of the brothers’ paternal grandmother, Helen.

According to Tablehopper, celebrity chef Tyler Florence will take over the space with a new menu but keep the name Town Hall.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."