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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


For my December restaurant pick, I wanted someplace that was similar enough to Albert's choice of 5 Tacos so we could make a fair [enough] comparison between the two.  It didn't need to be tacos or even Mexican, but I did want it to be someplace casual with only a few chairs that served simple, authentic food.  With a total of six chairs and only about two items on the menu, Porchetta seemed to fit the bill.  The pork sandwich has appeared on many "best of" lists so it gets packed, but since I don't live around the corner, it's preferable to actually sit inside.  The solution, apparently, is to go at 5:30.  That's octogenarian supper time and those old fogies aren't frequenting small East Village sandwich shops so you'll score a stool.

The greatest compliment I could have received was Albert telling me I won the December battle of the restaurants.  I had a feeling he was going to tip his hat to me when I looked to see him hunched over his porchetta plate, inhaling his food.  He went silent as he stuffed pork, greens, and beans into his mouth with fervor.  Porchetta is basically Italian bbq and since bbq is Albert's fave, I should have known it would be a hit.  He stopped only when he realized there was a bowl of porchetta salt (made with herbs and fennel pollen) that he could sprinkle over his plate.  Side note: porchetta salt is used just like regular salt, but it tastes so much better.  While Albert got the porchetta plate, I went with the sandwich and was very happy with my decision because the ciabatta bread was perfect.  I guess it just depends on what you're in the mood for that day.  If you order to-go, your sandwich will be wrapped in butcher paper and if you eat in, you'll be eating off toile patterned china.  Both options will leave you feeling like you just had a meal prepared by your nonna.

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