Saturday, September 12, 2009

Travel Mini Dish: Porchetta

Continuing reports of “The Single Guy and The City” as I blog about my vacation in New York.

Pigs Rule in this Sandwich Spot
110 East 7th St., New York
East Village
PH: 212.777.2151
Sun.–Thu., 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri., Sat., 11:30 a.m.-–11 p.m.
No reservations, major credit cards accepted

Roast pig is big these days, and in the Bay Area I had a really great porchetta sandwich at the relatively new Il Cane Rosso at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. So when I was in Manhattan, I heard about Porchetta and decided to see how the pork compared coast-to-coast.

Porchetta has been open for more than a year, and it’s got some die-hard fans. And I guess you have to because the tiny shop is way on the edge of the East Village (east of 1st Avenue), so you have to really love it (or live in the area) to make your way to Porchetta.

The shop has some outdoor seating, which was perfect for the wonderful summer weather we were getting last week when I was in New York, and then just six stools inside. When you walk in, you see the slabs of roasted pork sitting in the warmer.

The menu is pretty simple since they sell primarily porchetta and some sides. I visited Porchetta after a day at the U.S. Open, so I was ready for dinner instead of just a sandwich. So I ordered the porchetta plate ($14), which came with the roasted pork, beans and cooked greens.

The plate looked like a nice helping for dinner. The porchetta was tender, but I felt that it was slightly dry. That could be because it’s been sitting in that warming bin all day. I liked the taste of the pork, but it didn’t have any unusual flavors, just subtle hints of herbs. The skin could have been crunchier, instead it was thick and slightly chewy.

The beans were on the bland side, but I did enjoy the cooked greens, which on this night was broccoli rabe and swiss chard.

Overall, the plate was filling and satisfying, but I wasn’t wowed by the flavors. I have to say, Il Cane does a much better porchetta sandwich and I’m happy I can always visit there for my roast pig fix, traveling only across the bay instead of across the country.

While Porchetta is cute, friendly and a great neighborhood spot, it’s not a place I would travel a long distance for. If you’re in the neighborhood and hunkering for pig, then you might try it out but don’t go out of your way.

Porchetta on Urbanspoon

One more pig post:
Casual Sandwich or Epicurean Delight at Il Cane Rosso?

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