Niners-themed food finds niche in SF and beyond 

click to enlarge A seven-layer cake from Caroline’s Cakes tastefully displays the 49ers’ red and gold. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • A seven-layer cake from Caroline’s Cakes tastefully displays the 49ers’ red and gold.

Ike’s Place — the famous sandwich shop in the Castro neighborhood — has Alex Smith-, Jim Harbaugh- and 49ers-themed sandwiches, but they are all outsold by the Eli Manning.

The restaurant’s assistant manager, Eriq Martin, insists that’s only because it’s the one sandwich “officially” on the menu.

Martin said the Manning — complete with chicken, cheddar cheese, mushrooms and avocado — is one of Ike’s original 40 sandwiches, but he’s doing everything in his power to get any other one to outsell it Sunday, when the 49ers take on the real Eli Manning and his New York Giants at Candlestick Park in the NFC championship game.

“I’m a die-hard Niners fan,” Martin said. “I’m telling all my people to do what you can to not sell Eli ... especially on Sunday.”

Like Ike’s, many food purveyors in San Francisco are changing things up and offering 49ers-themed food in preparation for the highly anticipated game.

From 49ers happy hours at downtown bars to Whole Foods cookies donning the numbers of key players, everyone is gearing up for food and the big game.

If pizza and subs aren’t enough, there’s a seven-layer caramel cake decked out in red and gold.

Richard Reutter, the son of Caroline of Caroline’s Cakes — which makes the seven-layer delight in Maryland — said football-themed cakes are some of the most popular items sold by the family business these days.

“Since football is closely associated with tailgating, we’re getting into it one slice at a time,” Reutter said.

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