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Where's your fave porchetta?

Cicely Oct 28, 2009 01:29 PM

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. Robert Lauriston RE: Cicely Oct 28, 2009 01:51 PM

    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?

    Sea Salt
    2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

    Oliveto Cafe
    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

    3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

    1788 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

    1. c
      carfeng RE: Cicely Oct 28, 2009 03:33 PM

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

      958 Illinois Street, San Francisco, CA

      54 Mint
      54 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1. wolfe RE: Cicely Oct 28, 2009 03:38 PM

        Had a great sample at Fatted Calf, Napa.

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

        8 Replies
        1. re: wolfe
          Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe Oct 28, 2009 03:45 PM

          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
            mick RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 28, 2009 03:51 PM

            Fatted Calf!

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

            1. re: mick
              Cmhylton RE: mick Dec 31, 2009 03:54 PM

              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
            Melanie Wong RE: wolfe Nov 4, 2009 10:47 AM

            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.

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

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              JasmineG RE: Melanie Wong Nov 4, 2009 08:44 PM

              What did you think of the sandwich?

              1. re: JasmineG
                Melanie Wong RE: JasmineG Nov 22, 2009 12:29 AM

                It's a good sandwich but not crave worthy for me.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  lexdevil RE: Melanie Wong Dec 9, 2009 09:35 AM

                  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
                  singleguychef RE: JasmineG Dec 9, 2009 01:27 PM

                  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. Melanie Wong RE: Cicely Oct 28, 2009 04:22 PM

              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.

              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

              777 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

              10 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong
                wolfe RE: Melanie Wong Oct 28, 2009 04:35 PM

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

                1. re: wolfe
                  Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe Oct 28, 2009 04:39 PM

                  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
                    wolfe RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 28, 2009 04:42 PM

                    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.

                  2. re: wolfe
                    Melanie Wong RE: wolfe Oct 28, 2009 04:40 PM

                    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
                      Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Oct 28, 2009 04:56 PM

                      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.

                      Frascati Restaurant
                      1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 28, 2009 06:59 PM

                        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
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Oct 29, 2009 09:10 AM

                          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.


                          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.

                          Frascati Restaurant
                          1901 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 4, 2009 10:44 AM

                            Here's a photo of the porchetta at Poggio from the restaurant's website.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Nov 4, 2009 10:46 AM

                              $16, Mondays only.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Oct 28, 2009 07:09 PM

                          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. m
                    MRMoggie RE: Cicely Nov 4, 2009 05:11 PM

                    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
                      lmarie RE: MRMoggie Nov 5, 2009 12:50 PM

                      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.

                      Roli Roti
                      , Hayward, CA

                    2. v
                      vulber RE: Cicely Dec 7, 2009 02:06 PM

                      I've also found the Roli Roti porchetta to be too salty.

                      1. m
                        Mick Ruthven RE: Cicely Dec 9, 2009 08:55 AM

                        Is porchetta available in any market in Marin? Meaning prepared and ready to cook.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mick Ruthven
                          Robert Lauriston RE: Mick Ruthven Dec 9, 2009 09:21 AM

                          You mean a rolled pork roast with skin on the outside? I think any real butcher that could do that by special order: Mill Valley Market, Bryan's or Paradise Foods in Corte Madera, Santa Venetia or Rocky's in San Rafael. Maybe Mi Tierra, though you might need good Spanish to explain what you wanted.

                        2. lexdevil RE: Cicely Dec 9, 2009 09:30 AM

                          Perchetta tonight at Oliveto as part of the Randall Grahm dinner. Menu:

                          Thin-sliced smoked swordfish with arugula and candied orange peel
                          2008 Ca' del Solo Albariño

                          Bay Shrimp and green garlic ravioli
                          2004 Le Cigare Blanc

                          Porchetta with sauce made from Nero d'Avola jelly, Castelvetrano olives, and olio nuovo from Puglia
                          vertical of 2001, 2003, and 2005 Le Cigare Volant

                          Cheese course with chestnuts, and figs
                          1997 Le Cigare Volant

                          2007 Le Vol des Anges

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lexdevil
                            lexdevil RE: lexdevil Dec 9, 2009 09:59 PM

                            I just need to say that this was among my favorite overall dinners ever at Oliveto. A wonderfully cohesive effort with excellent service throughout.

                          2. Robert Lauriston RE: Cicely Dec 12, 2009 01:40 PM

                            Fatted Calf is taking orders for porchetta-style country rib roasts, ready to cook or precooked. We're taking one to a party tomorrow, I'll report back.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 17, 2009 10:49 AM

                              The Fatted Calf porchetta-style roast was a big hit. $13.75/lb ready to cook, slightly more cooked. This is a really great and easy festive dish for a party, just stick it in the oven. Helps to have good kitchen shears to cut up the crunchy skin. Our seven-pounder took 2.5 hours following their instructions: http://www.fattedcalf.com/cooktips.html

                              Pickup times:

                              Saturday, December 19
                              Berkeley Center Street 10 am-3 pm
                              SF Ferry Plaza 8 am-2pm

                              Thursday, December 24
                              SF Ferry Plaza 10 am-2pm

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                stanbee RE: Robert Lauriston Jan 19, 2010 10:39 PM

                                How do these sandwiches stand up to the Porchetta at the big Sunday Market , Porta di Portese, Trastevere iirc. Perfumes the mind to seek the source of the of browned spit-roasted pork, garlic and rosemary. TDF.

                                We followed the heavenly scent to the source.

                                1. re: stanbee
                                  Robert Lauriston RE: stanbee Jan 20, 2010 08:56 PM

                                  That Fatted Calf roast was one of the best pieces of pork I've had. It's hard to compare with the whole pig where you can point to the piece you want. Probably better. I suppose a head-to-head is probably impossible.

                            2. Robert Lauriston RE: Cicely Dec 30, 2009 10:03 AM

                              Sea Salt is bringing back porchetta for New Year's Eve.

                              1. s
                                srr RE: Cicely Jan 21, 2010 12:02 PM

                                We had a delicious Porchetta at Starbelly last night. Great crisp skin and moist meat. It is served with some salsa verde and and a spicy chili puree. Yum. As an aside, the sardines with preserved lemon were also really good.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: srr
                                  Tony Calgary RE: srr Apr 9, 2010 02:26 PM

                                  So new to the thread (and I didn't see it posted anywhere) -- the porchetta that my fiancee craves is the roast suckling pig that is stuffed with pig innards, giving it a completely different taste than the "pork roast" style one that we've been able to find up here in Toronto (Canada). She had hers in Spain, so I'm not sure if that was a local interpretation or if it exists in the San Francisco area. If so, we'd love to know as we're headed to San Fran for our honeymoon!!

                                  Have a great weekend of eating Chowhounders!

                                  1. re: Tony Calgary
                                    wolfe RE: Tony Calgary Apr 9, 2010 02:32 PM

                                    Check out what's happening at Incanto.and Oliveto those are perhaps your best chances of finding pork and innards.
                                    Incanto example.

                                    Oliveto Cafe
                                    5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                    1. re: Tony Calgary
                                      Robert Lauriston RE: Tony Calgary Apr 9, 2010 02:44 PM

                                      I've never heard of that before or seen it here or in Italy. Seems problematic to me as the innards would tend to end up overcooked.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 9, 2010 03:43 PM

                                        I have heard of including the liver, but not the other organs. But haven't seen it around here.

                                      2. re: Tony Calgary
                                        wolfe RE: Tony Calgary Apr 9, 2010 04:21 PM

                                        Which innards were in this suckling pig besides kidneys and were they in a stuffing like haggis?

                                        1. re: Tony Calgary
                                          Tony Calgary RE: Tony Calgary Apr 22, 2010 10:33 PM

                                          Hi Chowhounders,

                                          Apologies for the slow reply -- I've been busy with wedding planning and doing research for the rest of our mini-Honeymoon trip (as well as life in general!). Upon checking, the fantastic porchetta that she had had was a suckling pig, but with pork loin tied inside the pig, not innards.

                                          Upon reviewing the options listed here, it seems like the best option for us during our Tues-Sat trip is stopping by the Fatted Calf during our day in Napa. Oliveto looked promising, but it doesn't seem to have Porchetta on a regular basis.

                                          Any other options I'm missing? (some of the market options sounded like they weren't up to par). Grabbing some Porchetta for lunch would be perfect as we had Porchetta the day after I proposed in NYC!

                                          Thanks again everyone!

                                          Tony :D

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

                                          Oliveto Cafe
                                          5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                                          1. re: Tony Calgary
                                            wolfe RE: Tony Calgary Apr 23, 2010 07:38 AM

                                            Did she have it here?
                                            The restaurant Botín is located just off Madrid’s Plaza Mayor in calle Cuchilleros (knife makers street). The Guinness Book of records lists it as the oldest restaurant in the world (1725, the building dates from 1590) and it is said that the painter Goya actually worked as a dishwasher here. The restaurant is renowned for its suckling pig...
                                            The baby lamb was not bad either.

                                            1. re: wolfe
                                              Tony Calgary RE: wolfe Apr 28, 2010 11:28 PM

                                              hey wolfe -- she can't remember if it was at Botin, sorry.

                                              Just another Porchetta sandwich question -- found another recommendation for Perbacco -- has anyone had their porchetta sandwich? Thoughts?


                                              Tony :D

                                              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                              1. re: Tony Calgary
                                                grayelf RE: Tony Calgary May 11, 2010 12:07 AM

                                                I haven't tried it yet (more's the pity, next trip I hope), but I think the porchetta sarnie is at Barbacco... at least, I couldn't see it on the menu at Perbacco, and it was recco'd in this Barbacco thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6919...

                                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                      3. e
                                        Ericruo RE: Cicely Apr 9, 2010 08:14 PM

                                        I'd recommend the method taught by the Tuscan foodie meat god, Dario Cecchini, via the accolyte Riccardo Ricci at the swinefest at Viva's place is Sebastopol - this writer lacking the lucre to do so in the holy-of-holies, Antica Macelleria Cecchini. They cut the legs and head off of a side of pork, boned out the meat - the ribs from the inside, covered it up the interior with rosemary, garlic and fennel pollen, a little herb salt if that's what we can with inadequate speech call 'profumo di chianti', rolled it all up, cut the fat the long way, so it would roll tight, tied it up with kitchen twine and tossed it into the oven, first real hot and then down. Wow, it was good. The pig came from a Mormon farmer via Willowside Meats. It was without doubt, the best pork I have ever had, and I've had more than my share. One can get the fennel pollen and the profumo di chianti, expensive but not that bad in such a cause, but the knife skills, that's hard. I can bone meat, but it the ribs from the inside work would look like the end results of a knife fight, Signor Ricci was an artist.

                                        The meat was terrific because of the mix of fat and lean and the seasonings didn't detract from excellent meat.

                                        It was a great event. There's nothing like eating ground up pork back fat mixed with a dropper of balsamic vinegar, and a little rosemary and salt on a crostini. it looks horrible, and is horrible, but it was awful good.

                                        No critter cooking in sight but here's their website: http://www.saiprograms.com/viva/cours...

                                        1. r
                                          rogerspringall RE: Cicely May 10, 2010 01:08 PM

                                          I'm planning to do an Italian style porchetta pig roast in San Jose. Anyone know of any mobile pig roast/porchetta service in the South Bay?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: rogerspringall
                                            wolfe RE: rogerspringall May 10, 2010 02:46 PM

                                            Call to see how far south Roli Roti will go.

                                            Roli Roti
                                            , Hayward, CA

                                            1. re: wolfe
                                              Melanie Wong RE: wolfe May 10, 2010 03:09 PM

                                              Roli Roti sends a truck to the Tuesday farmers market in Monterey, so a catering gig in the South Bay is not out of the question.

                                              Roli Roti
                                              , Hayward, CA

                                          2. m
                                            Mick Ruthven RE: Cicely May 15, 2010 05:22 AM

                                            Has anyone tried the one at Avedano's in Bernal Heights?


                                            235 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                            1. wolfe RE: Cicely May 26, 2010 11:31 AM

                                              New entry as yet untried by me, shrink wrapped mini porchetta, 2-3+ lbs at $8.69/lb at Costco. Can be served cold but suggested warmed 20min/lb. Anyone tasted it.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: wolfe
                                                takuhead RE: wolfe Dec 23, 2010 04:24 PM

                                                I made this tonight - 2.63 pounds about $22 total in cost - put in oven at 425 for 35 minutes - great crispy skin - pretty good flavor - a LOT of White Fat - really a lot of fat - even for me - who loves the stuff - Hubby only ate the herb covered dark meat - Daughter ate some of the same - son and I ate all the skin and a little of everything else...not sure if porchetta always has this much fat to meat ratio....

                                                1. re: takuhead
                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: takuhead Dec 24, 2010 07:45 AM

                                                  If that was the "petite porchetta" mentioned on that Web site, it's rolled pork belly, which has a much higher ratio of fat to meat than the traditional whole pig.

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    takuhead RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 24, 2010 07:56 AM

                                                    it was the petite porchetta - but really there was almost no meat compared to the amount of fat....

                                                    1. re: takuhead
                                                      wolfe RE: takuhead Dec 24, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                      Sorry for the unpleasant experience. The wording accompanying the picture describes the product but the picture suggests white and dark meat not just fat. Thanks for the warning.

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