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Where's your fave porchetta?

I was struck by Melanie Wong's comment (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/662892) that "just a few years ago we were whining on this board about our unmet cravings for porchetta. Now it's everywhere, so many that I haven't been able to try them all yet."

I haven't seen a thread bringing all those porchetta picks together, so thought I'd start one. Where are the top temples of roast pork?

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  1. Oliveto, Camino, and Corso all do great roast pork.

    Some of the best I've had locally was, ironically, at Sea Salt. For a while they were doing it every Friday. Maybe the chef will do it as a special.

    Why is only Oliveto Cafe in the places database?

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    Sea Salt
    2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

    Oliveto Cafe
    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

    Camino
    3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

    Corso
    1788 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    1. I love kitchenette's porchetta sandwich. Did not like 54 Mint's porchetta (bland, not cooked that well).

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      Kitchenette
      958 Illinois Street, San Francisco, CA

      54 Mint
      54 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1. Had a great sample at Fatted Calf, Napa.

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        Fatted Calf
        644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

        8 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          I've had his roast pig at events, he's a master. Per their newsletter, those were 4-7 lbs. each at $13.75/lb.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Fatted Calf!

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            Fatted Calf
            644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

            1. re: mick

              Agreed - Fatted Calf is Amzaing - great selection of others meatsa as well and take a look at the classes that they offer - been to a few you learn a great deal and you get to leave with some amazing treats - the Truffle and Foie Class was to die for.

          2. re: wolfe

            We were sampled generously on the porchetta at Fatted Calf in Napa. I liked the flavor, but the piece of meat was quite dry and lean on the cut we tasted. Also, the skin was too tough to chew. Another slice of the pig might be better.

            I had the porchetta sandwich at Il Cane Rosso on Sunday. I asked for some of the skin when I ordered, but didn't get any on my plate.

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            Il Cane Rosso
            1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94105

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              What did you think of the sandwich?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I cooked a Fatted Calf Porchetta (well, half of it--the other 7+ lb. chunk is in my freezer) for Thanksgiving and it was excellent. The loin section was not dry at all. It even reheated well for hot pork sandwiches over the weekend. The skin was, however, definitely very crunchy and a bit chewy. It would have been a disaster in a sandwich, but it was great on its own.

                2. re: JasmineG

                  I actually liked the porchetta sandwich at Il Cane Rosso. It was both tender and tasty, at least the day I got it. And I loved all the additions in the sandwich.

            2. Hehe, I've had it at A16, Delfina, Roli Roti (napa), Santi (geyserville), Mark Malicki catering, and Fatted Calf in Napa. So far, Rolli Roti's my fave. Not mentioned yet, haven't tried Poggio in Sausalito. And, I heard from Tootsie's in Palo Alto that a source of small suckling pig has been located, so it will serve it too soon.

              Actually, while waiting for our local restaurants to come around, I learned how to make it myself at home using a 8 to 10# pork belly, salted/seasoned for two days in advance, rolled up. My homemade is my favorite, actually.

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              A16
              2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

              Delfina Restaurant
              3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Roli Roti
              , Hayward, CA

              Fatted Calf
              644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

              Poggio
              777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

              10 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Sounds more like pancetta than porchetta. Other recipes appear to use shoulder or loin.

                1. re: wolfe

                  The traditional porchetta in Rome is a whole boned pig (maybe minus legs and trotters, usually with the head), so one part's no less traditional than another.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I see, there is a company with Tronchetto di, Pancetta di and even Proscuitto di along with whole pig di porchetta. Mouth watering pictures of the products.
                    http://porchettaprimata.com/index.html

                  2. re: wolfe

                    The belly is called pancetta. The porchetta trucks that roam Umbria truss up an entire suckling pig from head to tail. Since the belly is the best part and our pigs are bigger, I use just that. The skin crisps up much more evenly. For a big group, rolling the fresh uncured belly around the loin also works, but I don't need more than 10 lbs of meat at my dinner table.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      In Rome, they're not suckling pigs. I'd say some of the ones I saw at the Festa di Noantri and at the Sunday evening market in Frascati were 300-lb. hogs.

                      Can I get porchetta in the East Bay around 9:30 tonight? This is making me hungry.

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                      Frascati Restaurant
                      1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I'm pretty sure the porchetta I bought from a stall at a fair in Rome was from a suckling pig. And the lamb in the butcher was real spring lamb. Is there anywhere in the Bay Area that serves *real* lamb and not young sheep (I had a lot of it on my recent trip to Patagonia)?

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I've seen real lamb in halal butchers.

                          Here are some pictures of a porchetta stand at the market in Frascati. That's one's only about half the size of the biggest pigs I've seen there.

                          http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/05/fr...

                          Suckling pigs max out at around 20 pounds. A porchetta made from a little pig like that would be gone in a few minutes at a busy stand.

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                          Frascati Restaurant
                          1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Here's a photo of the porchetta at Poggio from the restaurant's website.
                            http://www.poggiotrattoria.com/images...

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Interesting, I think I prefer the mobile version. (g) Maybe cooking it on a van's small spit calls for the smaller size. The hanging roast pigs in our local Chinatowns are about 150 lbs, so the Romans go twice as big?

                  3. Tried Rolli Rotti at the Oxbow Market a few weekends ago and waited forever...more than an hour..kept telling us it would be ready in 15 minutes. Now it's nice to get something freshley cooked, but they ought to be ready for business by 1pm -- not nearly 2:15. We walked around and took care of some shopping but when they finally had our sandwich ready, didn't even apologize or offer a free glass of water. Maybe we'll go back, but it was good, not great, and after waiting all that time, it was even dry.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MRMoggie

                      I've had the porchetta sandwich from the Roli Roti at the Thursday FB farmer's market. Meat not particularly tasty, huge hunks of fat, the skin tough as leather and unchewable. The carmelized onions are a nice touch, but I won't bother with this sandwich again.

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                      Roli Roti
                      , Hayward, CA