Porchetta Sandwich at RoliRoti

by foodhoe on September 20, 2010

RoliRoti has one of the longest lines at the Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Plaza in SF.  I always walked past thinking the crazy long lines were rotisserie chicken fanatics, but it turns out the line is really for their fabulous Porchetta Sandwich.  According to the schedule posted on their website, they can be found at many locations throughout the week, but the porchetta is only served Thursday and Saturday at the SF Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

Porchetta (por-KET-ta) is a savory, fatty and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition. The body of the pig is gutted, deboned, arranged carefully with layers of meat, fat, and skin, then rolled and trussed, put on a spit and roasted.  You can see potatoes cooking on the bottom griddle which are augmented with the drippings of the pork (and knuckles in the basket) which revolve slowly while being transformed by the heat.

Almost everyone ordered the porchetta and the line  for that is long and moves along slowly.  And I’m just saying that you should expect to stand in line for an epic twenty or thirty minutes, and that yes, it really is worth the wait.  There is a much shorter line if you want the rotisserie chicken.

It’s really mesmerizing to watch the intense work going on behind the counter. I climbed up a convenient wooden beam in front of the counter to get a better look where I was able to watch the process of my sandwich being assembled. Roliroti’s version of porchetta is organic pork loin rolled up with herbs and spices and pork belly which is surrounded by a layer of skin that becomes crispy from the heat.

The sandwich maker hammed it up and placed the bread on top and bottom of the porchetta log.  You can see the layers of different cuts of pork laced with fresh organic herbs and spices.

Each sandwich is made to order, and the meat is cut in thin slices.  The bread is used to swipe up juice and herbs from the cutting board.

The sandwich is garnished with onion marmalade and curly cress/arugula.  The porchetta has an irresistible combination of textures, all of it is rich and juicy but the crispy bits of skin really add an extra dimension of delectable surround sound to the experience.  It is so good, so worth standing in that line…

This is Thomas Odermatt, the master rotisseur.  He and all of the crew were working with quiet and intense efficiency, cranking out delicious and addictive porky sandwiches.  I would gladly stand in line again and next time I hope to try the knuckle sandwich.

Roli Roti on Urbanspoon

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa September 20, 2010 at 8:18 am

What an awesome sandwich!




Mike September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm

You can avoid the line for Roli Roti by visiting the Alameda Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays. Never seen a line there. The chicken and potatoes are excellent!


Hayley September 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I have always wanted to try their amazing roasted meats! Next time I am at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market I will definitely try some!


PS: Blue Bottle Coffee is to die for!


Carolyn Jung September 20, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I love Roli Roti. And Thomas is such a riot! My first taste of his food was when he had that counter-cafe inside the Oxbow Market in Napa. I think he even had baby lamb that day. That and the pork were just outrageously good, as were his simple, yet wonderful veggie sides.


Michelle September 21, 2010 at 9:58 am

yum! looks mighty juicy!


Gastronomer September 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I tried this sandwich at last year’s foodbuzz conference. Unfortunately, I was kinda stuffed and didn’t get a chance to really enjoy it. Your photos make it look so juicy and irresistible! Love how they clean the cutting boards with the bread. Mmmm!


foodhoe September 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

Rosa, it’s my favorite sando of the moment!
Mike, I haven’t been to the Alameda farmers market yet – I really want to try those potatos, thanks for the tip
Hayley, you should! I avoided the line too, but it’s worth waiting for
Carolyn, baby lamb! ooh…
Michelle, oh yeah
Gastronomer, yes, mmmmmhmmmm


grace September 30, 2010 at 7:21 am

of course everyone ordered the porchetta–you’d be foolish not to try it out! good stuff–excellent pictures!


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