The other day I popped over to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch; visions of Carmel Pizza Co.'s porchetta sandwich ($9) had been dancing through my head ever since I first heard about it.
This version had less fat than previous porchetta sandwiches I've known and loved — the fresh Acme ciabatta roll remained relatively grease-free, a far cry from the glorious gut bombs of sandwiches past — but that kept it from completely killing my productivity for the rest of the afternoon.
The sandwich featured a nicely textured combo of lean pork loin and pork belly cracklings, and was simply topped with a shower of arugula (tomato, cheese, and roasted garlic were offered as additional options).
Owners Amanda Orloff and A.J. Sanchez got the idea to serve porchetta alongside their wood-fired pizzas during a recent trip to Italy. Making the meat is a two-day process. First the pork belly is trimmed and scored, then Sanchez applies a custom blend of coriander, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, pepper, and other Tuscan spices, along with fresh rosemary, sage, and lemon. After that, he rolls the pork loin inside the seasoned pork belly and leaves it in the fridge overnight to marinate and dry the skin out for optimal crispiness.
The porchetta is ready off the rotisserie about 11:30 a.m. each morning and best when it's fresh — go too late in the afternoon and it might be gone.
Carmel Pizza Co.'s bright red truck has been parked on Jones Street since the beginning of June, a block away from the tourist madness of the Wharf. There are plenty of tables in front, making it it a good option for tourists who want a break from the crowd or locals who want a better-than-mediocre lunch. (Bonus: Locals get $1 off their orders.)
I'll be back for the 11-inch pizzas.