*** Update: Sadly, both of these places have closed.
A couple of porky sandwiches for a Sunday. I tried to make this a trio, but could never get to Bencotto on a day when they had the layered and rolled swine. I'm hoping to try it in the near future. Still, I did have two nice sandwiches recently.
Well, being named Ariccia, the "home" of porchetta gives it away....you pretty much better have said rolled swine. There's actually a Porchetta festival in the town of about 20,000 every year in September. I had visited the market a couple of times before trying out the porchetta, I like the brand of French Harissa they sell.
Finally, a couple of months back, I had a chance to try the Porchetta Sandwich ($9):
I really enjoyed the balance of the sandwich, the moist pork worked well with the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the acid of the balsamic based sauce. The peppery-bitterness of the arugula really cleared out the richness and the lightly yeasty, almost rustically crackly bread made this a joy to eat. Nothing fancy here, just a combination of ingredients prepared properly, used in perfect context and proportion. Very nice. Consumed at 9 in the morning, it's a heck of a way to start your Sunday, I'll say that much.
Ariccia Italian Market
7441 A Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
There's one other tidbit about Ariccia you might not know. Ariccia has the distinction of being one of the places whose mention is banned by Chowhound. From what I recalled, this very sandwich was mentioned in a Chowhound post and the owner posted to thank them...and boom, any mention of the the place is removed by the moderators. I know, it's hard to believe....though CH does have a policy - noted here. I think the one thing that bothered me about the whole deal is that there's another restaurant owner, who has replied to posts on Chowhound, using his own name, defending policies, etc..... So he goes totally free while other one gets life in solitary. If you're going to have such severe policies, at least be consistent with them. 'Nuff said. CH has a way of being quite vengeful and condescending....it once called Ed from Yuma "one of those idiots and miscreants" when he questioned why a post was deleted. So I'm wondering what'll happen to me the next time I try to post on CH?
About a week after the porchetta from Ariccia, we dropped by Roseville so the Missus could get Her cioppino fix. I hadn't realized that they had a version of porchetta on their menu as well. So of course I had to order it ($10):
In terms of heft and price, this was a nice deal. Even though the classic porchetta sandwich is a panini, I love the way Roseville simply salts, brushes with olive oil, then grills the wonderful breads from Con Pane. This ciabatta is no exception. The addition of fries made this a bit more than I could eat.
I can't say that the sandwich had the same harmonic balance as what Ariccia serves, but it sure did satisfy me.
Sadly, this was off the menu during our last visit....but hopefully they'll have it back on the menu periodically.
2750 Dewey Rd Suite 104 (Liberty Station)
San Diego, CA 92106
So there you go! Do let me know if you see more porchetta popping up elsewhere....so I can get my weekly dose of swine!