No. 98: The Roasted Porchetta Sandwich at Brider
Sure, Brider is one of the newest eateries in town, but the culinary team that has already found success with Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn has only needed a few turns of the rotisserie to start rolling out delish deli-style sandwiches (not to mention plenty of tantalizing pastries for the morning crowd). Exhibit A: the menacingly thick roasted porchetta sandwich.
First of all, what is porchetta anyway? Like the word sounds (the "ch" is pronounced like a "k"), porchetta is pork — lots of pork, typically the whole loin and belly rolled into a tight package. Chef Chase Devitt brines the loin with rosemary, chili flakes, garlic and other seasonings and then wraps it in the belly. The cylinder of meat sits for three days before being roasted for three hours in the same oven where whole chickens and lamb legs take their turns.
The porchetta is then layered onto fat slices of ciabatta from the Grateful Bread Co., along with cheddar and a slathering of jalapeño-cilantro aioli. The sandwich may start out Italian, but the cheese and herbs quickly turn it into something else. So why stop there? A mound of housemade kimchi — napa cabbage, carrot, radish, scallion and Korean chilies that ferment together for three days — adds crunch and tang.
The warm, grilled sandwich is tall enough that getting it into your mouth is a bit of a challenge, but don't let the size intimidate you. The bread itself is surprisingly light and the other ingredients combine as a kind of international salad. The meat is full of flavor but isn't piled on too thick, so that all of the ingredients balance well. And as a bonus, a few pickled vegetables arrive on the side to brighten things up. Even if this is the newest kid on the block, it's a dish that exhibits expertise accumulated over the years since Oak originally opened in Boulder in 2010.
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Throughout this year, we'll be counting down the best dishes in the city — from longtime classics that keep us coming back to new additions that have caught our attention. If there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.