Saturday, January 12, 2013

Porchetta Truck: Best Thing to Happen to Ciabatta

I wish I never tried the porchetta sandwich by chef Evan Funke.

Now I can't stop thinking about that little sandwich - and craving it like that perfect stranger that you've only met once, but had such an intense 'moment' with (which may or may not have been completely arbitrary) and who you wish you would have held onto because you're more sure than anything you've ever been sure about in your life, crazy as it sounds, that you're meant to be.

Fresh back from a cruise around Europe/ the Mediterranean with my family, I found myself:
  • Going through Post Foodgasm Depression (miss the fast and furious amazing foodie experiences we had while on vacation)
  • ...made worse by the fact that I had depleted my already meager bank account on the trip, meaning no mind blowing food excursions for the foreseeable future
  • Quickly and necessarily ramped back up to the daily grind (love my job, but hard to go back to 50-70 hour work weeks after living in foodie fantasyland for 'so long')
Then I somehow came across articles on the Porchetta Truck, a temporary mobile kitchen for chef Evan Funke and his partner until they get the necessary permit to open their highly anticipated restaurant, Bucato, at the Helms Bakery in Culver City. Chef Funke had previously headed up kitchens at Rustic Canyon and Milo & Olive - unfortunately I had never gotten around to visiting either one. But I was intrigued by this pork sandwich (they had me at fried pork skin) that was getting so much buzz - it's apparently the only thing sold from the truck besides sodas, it's only $5, and this week it was going to be right down the street from my office!!! So I grabbed a food-loving co-worker and set out to chase it down.

The white, barely marked truck (only identifiable by the red pig silhouette that I'd seen on Instagram) was near the end of food truck alley, and Chef Funke was there personally to greet guests.  You could smell the deliciousness as you approach the truck.

And then there it was...in our eager hands - the Porchetta Sandwich ($5) perfection between crusty pieces of locally baked ciabatta - juicy, flavorful 'Umbrian style' roasted pork (apparently, made from the belly and loin), thinly sliced with gorgeous streaks of fat, fragrant with pesto 'modenese' (paste made of lard!!! garlic and rosemary), counterbalanced by lemon juice, arugula, and this amazing, crisp, super flavor-rich piece of chicharron (fried pork skin).  The only way I could describe the porchetta is with an analogy to beef...you know when you've been eating mass produced steak forever, and then the first time you bite into a grassfed steak, it feels like every other piece of beef you've ever had before was not even....real? That's what the porchetta tasted like - except it was pork. Mmmmmm.....instant addiction.

Probably easily the best pork sandwich I've ever had in my life, and my coworker loved it too.  We just wish we had bought two (while an amazing deal for the quality of food you're getting, portion size is not enough to be a filling lunch even for average sized Asian girls). Apparently you can get the sandwich topped by an egg fried in duck fat too.  I'm so trying that next time.

Thank you, Porchetta Truck, for saving this foodie back on a budget from the everyday mundane.
Today is Saturday, and the truck is not out and about.  Not until Tuesday, I think.  I will be in absolute agony in my cavernous need until then (yes, I am in fact a bit of a food geek, if you didn't know that already).

Can't wait til Bucato opens so that there will be a permanent space to get my fix!  (I hear it will be a matter of 6-8 more weeks, and that this sandwich will be served there!)

Update: Had the version with duck egg (+$2) and it was even more mind blowing!


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Porchetta Truck
All over LA - check Twitter or Instagram for latest location
Twitter: @bucatola
Instagram: @evanfunke @bucatola

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