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May 14, 2012 09:25 AM

Porchetta Hog E. 5th St.

Looks like Sara Jenkins has a new place, Porchetta Hog, on E5th, a couple of doors east of Soba Koh. Not sure if they're open for lunch; if so, I'll definitely check it out today.

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  1. I havent seen anything to indicate Sara Jenkins is involved in this place? I havent done any research, but I think I would have stumbled on something by now, just by virtue of being a fan of her, and living in the area.

    Regardless, this place should be worth a shot, and I think are having like a 2 for 1 special now.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Hey19

      You're right, I spoke too soon: I assumed that it was a Jenkins place, but it's not.

      Very small menu for the moment: Italian sausage, porchetta, hamburger, roast beef, some veggies, and that's about it. Two-for-one sandwiches until June 8.

      I just ate there, had a porchetta sandwich and a sausage and pepper sandwich. The porchetta is not like what we've become accustomed to: it's thinly sliced, deli-style, without that crispy skin I love so much. It's salty, a bit fatty, pretty tasty, though unevenly heated on the grill. The sausage was pretty good, nothing to rave about, but solid. Both served on good-quality Kaiser rolls, as their regular bread delivery didn't show today.

      Nice young Italian guy behind the counter; he told me that in the near future they'll be baking their own bread, and probably have pizzas, too. It'll be interesting to see how this place develops.

      1. re: howdini

        Probably only a matter of time before Jenkins sends them a cease-and-desist letter. Given the Graffiti / Graffit business of last year - and they weren't even in the same neighborhood - I'd suspect a name change is forthcoming.

        Really shows a lack of foresight on the part of whoever owns this new place - or, perhaps, shadiness in trying to glom onto another place's popularity.

        1. re: sgordon

          Yeah, I thought it was pretty ballsy [stupid?] of them to name it that, esp. given their proximity to Jenkins' place ; my guess is that they'll drop the "Porchetta" and just call it Hog.

          1. re: sgordon

            Porchetta is italian for whole roasted pig. There is no reason they can't use that name, with the word Hog after it. If you named a restaurant Pasta, then someone named their place Pasta Pasta , they wouldn't have a problem using it. Hey even Ray's pizza, had original ray's, famous rays, etc etc. I love Porchetta on 7th St. i will try Porchetta Hog on 5th St. much like 7th St. , 5th St is becoming quite the food street. with Lavagna, now this and some good ramen places, and more.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Actually, there's one rather large legal reason they can't use that name: trademark infringement. See the Graffiti / Graffit case for the most recent example of the law in action.

              I mean, by your argument, I could name a restaurant "Jean-Georges Kitchen" across the street from Jean Georges. Or "Del Posto Annex" next to Del Posto. Or I could start a band called "The Paul McCartney Project" and go on tour.

              As to Ray's Pizza - in 1991 a couple of the original Ray's (I think the first and third Rays, if I remember right) got together and actually threatened to sue all the Original Famous and Famous Originals. They had two options: change their name or buy into a franchise. At this point, every "Ray's" in NYC actually IS franchised, those that didn't buy in changed their names.

              1. re: sgordon

                But all of your examples are proper names, not common words. If there's a restaurant called Pork, I'm sure there could be legal variations on this such as Pork Heaven, Pork Place, etc.

                1. re: Peter Cuce

                  First, "Del Posto" is not a proper noun. It means "of the place" - it's a more commonly spoken term than "Porchetta"

                  (Also, "Graffiti" is obviously not a proper noun either...)

                  When applying for a trademark, one must sign off that "to the best of the declarant’s knowledge and belief, no other person has the right to use the mark in commerce, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance as to be likely, when applied to the goods or services of the other person, to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive;"

                  In trademark law (which, like copyright law is kept intentionally vague) there are a few different concepts that one can apply as a test - "confusing similarity" and "dilution by blurring" are two I can remember off the top of my head that would be appropriate in this case. Heck, if an experienced 'hounder like Howdini was confused... I think the case has been made.

                  (In British law they have a concept called "a moron in a hurry" - as in, would only a moron in a hurry mistake the two? Any less than that, it's an infringement...)

                  As to the Meatball gang - IIRC, the boys from The Meatball Shop chose not to go after The Meatball Factory - they might have had a case, they might not have, maybe they didn't want to spend the money - but for whatever reason they didn't pursue. Hard to say. "Meatball" is a much more common term than "Porchetta" - also, they were twenty blocks apart rather than two. I think they might have had a case - given that Graffiti and Graffit were miles apart, not just blocks - but it'd be a little less cut and dried.

                  I don't know if Jenkins is going to threaten legal action, or if she has the money to - court costs can be pretty high. I think Danny Meyer should foot the bill for her, just in case these guys plan on opening "Maialino.Pig" or something.

                  1. re: sgordon

                    We will see what happens. when it's not totally clear ,who wins ,is he who is most persistent and spends the bucks. I have too much experience in these matters, it's not even known if porchetta filed for a trademark,

                    1. re: sgordon

                      BTW the Meatball Shop may not have to worry about the Meatball Factory anymore ...

                      1. re: howdini

                        "Pork Place is an excellent name!"

                        That's my favorite property in Monopoly! ;)

                      2. re: sgordon

                        Trademark infringement is tricky and there are ways around it. I don't think Porchetta Hog is an infringement. some of it might depend on how good a legal team they have. How many Ryan.s bars are there. How many Lennys,theMeatball shoppe, the meatball factory, the Meatball etc all on east side below 14thstreet. Very much same as Porchetta. What about Spice, Spice market, etc etc. We shall see what happens.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          I agree, Sarah may have a pretty tough time getting them to change their name. She has some brand recognition with Porchetta, but I cant imagine there is any way she can keep it as hers. Will be interesting to watch.

                          1. re: Hey19

                            Funny thing: the guy working there, when I asked if the place was related to Jenkins', was very dismissive of it, like "oh, they don't do real porchetta." He seemed to be at a loss when I was asking him about the delicious crispy skin I was expecting, but which they do not was kinda weird.

              2. First, Sara Jenkins doesn't make any porchetta. That's like a roasted pork,but not real porchetta. The way how is cooked,cutted, and served, is not the right method for "porchetta". Then,I went to this new little place called Porchetta.hog and I feeled like I was in Italy! I'm Italian,and believe me,that s an authentic Porchetta!!

                11 Replies
                  1. re: howdini

                    Always be wary of first-time posters filing on new restaurants, claiming they're the best or most authentic anything...

                    I'm not even a big fan of Porchetta, but I feel compelled to defend Jenkins nonetheless. The new place - regardless what a court might say, if Jenkins decides to pursue it - was pretty obviously trying to cash in on the name of her restaurant, and confuse customers. They could very easily have gone with 1,000 other names, but the went with one that was nearly identical to a place two blocks away that serves a very similar product. Legal or not, as it may turn out, they're still shootin' dirty pool, and pretty brazenly at that. Lame.

                    1. re: howdini

                      I didn't say anything bad about Jenkins'store,I was just saying that I have tried both of them.and I prefer the new place. Why? Because as I explained,Jenkin's place is a good version of roasted pork,but nothing to do with an authentic porchetta. Unfortunately,I'm not the guy that owns the new store nor do I work there,but after I lived 27 years in Italy( I'm 28 years old) I think I have a better idea than you about authentic porchetta and the recipe and cooking methods it requires. Howdidni, you're right to be wary of first time posters, however there's a first for everything. Porchetta.hog was worth subscribing and posting.

                      1. re: Samu8419

                        Jenkins' Porchetta took me back to Antico Noe in firenze, It seemed pretty authentic to me. Im also not a huge fan, it seems kind of expensive for what you get. I will have to try the new place for comparison. I wouldnt call wiki the last word in anything, but even in the article it notes a few different versions.

                        I agree w sgordon regardless, this new place is clearly trying to cash in on Jenkins' brand. Unfortunately, as I noted above, there prob isnt much she will be able to do about it.

                  2. re: Samu8419

                    Does any of the porchetta, i.e. Jenkins or Hog, look like these?

                    I've no dog in this fight. just want to get a sense of which one I may want to try.

                    1. re: RCC

                      They're cheap enough. Try both. Let us know.

                      1. re: sgordon

                        Price doesn't matter, quality does .. to me.

                        Have you tried any of them? Do they look similar to the photos?

                        1. re: RCC

                          Jenkins' Porchetta looks like those pics, I haven been to the Hog yet.

                      2. re: RCC

                        No, it looks much more like deli case meat: wrapped in plastic in a refrigerated deli case, then sliced thinly on a slicer.

                        1. re: howdini

                          Thanks. That's helpful to know.

                    2. The Local weighs in with some ownership details - and quotes some of you guys ... http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.c...

                      1. From the picture, it looks like the kind of prochetta looks like the kind they have at Dipalos that is not the fresh made one. Its like the deli-syle kind of porchetta.

                        despite the trademark issues or "authenticity" for those that have gone there, do they have awesome tasty pork in a sandwich and is it woth going to?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jester99

                          Well, like I said, their pochetta is ok, but in the same way that a decent-to-good deli meat is ok. The sausage and pepper sandwich was serviceable, but nothing to write home about. I wouldn't call what I had "awesome" by any stretch.