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May 25, 2011 03:40 PM

Porky is as Porky cart does

On Monday we were in downtown Oakland and stopped to try the porchetta sandwich from the Porky cart out in front of Plum. It was fabulous. A big Ciabatta roll encases a pile of moist, fatty (in a good way) roast pork. Shaved fennel and what tasted like an herbed aioli complete the picture. It was not the hot sandwich I expected but was better for being served slightly cold, premade and pre-wrapped, straight from the cart. $12 also got us a fresh lemonade and a tasty chocolate chip cookie. We split everything between the two of us and were very happy for the experience. While it is not the hot, dripping, porchetta sandwich found elsewhere (Italy!) we will be back for more when we are downtown. Thanks Porky!

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  1. I never saw porchetta hot in Italy, always room temperature.

    I was sitting at the bar and saw the guy making a batch. The buns were warm from the oven when he started, then after he split them and laid on the meat he toasted them very briefly in the salamander before adding the vegetables. He gave us a sample, very tasty.

    I think it's $9 without the lemonade or cookie?

    2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

    3 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        "I never saw porchetta hot in Italy, always room temperature."

        But you haven't been to Italy in 20 years, so don't you think things could have changed?

        It's like someone saying they only saw dim sum rolled out in carts in Hong Kong. 20 years ago perhaps, but any respectable dim sum house in Hong Kong today would not do such a thing.

        1. re: hong_kong_foodie

          In Italy, porchetta is usually street food. They partially bone a whole pig, roast it, and take it to the fair or market, where it's sliced to order from a truck or cart. Nothing's changed about that.

          If you lucked into a butcher shop or norcineria at the right time, you might get it hot from the oven.

      2. I was told it's a roasted garlic aioli. It was *really* garlic-y so seemed not *that* roasted, but I'm a Korean garlic lover so I didn't mind it.

        I found the meat by itself to be under-seasoned, but with the aioli, fennel, and arugula a really good combo.

        The guy at the cart said they sometimes put in some crispy skin like Roli Roti does. Not yesterday, though. That would have pushed it up a notch for me.

        It *is* fatty with the mix of pork loin and belly. While they were ringing me up (they were nice enough to take my credit card inside because it wasn't busy) a woman returned her sandwich because of the fatty consistency of the pork belly. Refund provided with no arguments.

        Roli Roti
        , Hayward, CA

        1. This sandwich wasn't an immediate "wow," but it kind of grew on me with each bite - I think it's the (generously slathered) aioli that takes it over the top. The meat is nice and moist. There were SOME little bits of skin, but I would have liked more.

          FWIW, the chocolate chip cookie is excellent and makes the $12 "all together" combo well worth the extra $3.

          2 Replies
          1. re: abstractpoet

            I thought the cookie was fine but was a bit too salty tasting for me. I realize adding a salt component to sweets is the "in" thing to do but it was noticeably salty tasting.

            1. re: Scott M

              Really? I tasted a little bit of salt, but I wouldn't call it "salty" by any stretch. And while I do enjoy that sea salt + chocolate combination, I'm definitely all about moderation ... So for instance, the much-lauded burnt caramel gelato at Perbacco? WAY over the top with the salt, to the point that it was pretty unappetizing.

              Anyway, I thought this cookie was pretty close to perfect.

              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          2. I grabbed another sandwich here earlier in the week. As AP notes, a little bit of pork skin, but since the sandwiches are pre-made earlier in the day, it wasn't very crispy.

            Also, there was a spicy kick to it which definitely wasn't the case last time and I could see some flakes of red hot peppers mixed into the meat.

            1. After seeing that the Porky sandwiches would be available at the Jackson Street Cafe in SF, I decided it was time to give it a shot since I can't get the Oakland cart on weekdays. Mom had tried it in Oakland and said she couldn't get through the sandwich due to texture. I thought she was exaggerating or just not okay with a little fat, but wow, this has a lot of very soft, squishy fat on it and nothing crispy. For reference, we both enjoy roli roti porchetta sandwiches and have devoured a heaping plate of porchetta before. I gues I'm just not into this texture. The flavours are nice, but very garlicky. The roll is great. $9 here in SF, too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: selectiveomnivore

                I got the Porky sandwich from Jackson Place Cafe as well and I loved it! The pork was sliced thin... perhaps through a meat slicer. Didn't notice any squishy fat, but I got slivers of crispy skin. Each lil piece was like a treasure within the sandwich.

                The fennel slaw was spicy. I don't think the Oakland version has the spiciness. Crunchy fennel, crispy skin, tender pork, chewy bread... really thought all these textures were so complimentary. Aioli was lovely and the baby arugula added that peppery bite.

                I'd definitely eat this once a week. I'd like to compare this to Roli Roti's... it seems their version is entirely different... it being fresh off a rotisserie and hot.

                1. re: Keesey

                  As noted above, the last one I had from the Oakland cart about a month ago definitely had a spiciness which was new. Sounds like you didn't get much pork belly which is where the fattiness is from. It's been apparent in all of the ones I've had.

                  1. re: drewskiSF

                    Ok, I had another Porky sandwich today and definitely got the globs of fat. But... I got a lot more crispy skin. Like chip size worths.