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My Grub Street newsletter email arrived and with it a craving for pork. Guiding readers to San Francisco’s best spots to get a pork fix, they mentioned one of my favorites — Roli Roti‘s porchetta sandwich. I pulled out my external hard drive and looked for photos of my porchetta experience. There they were, hunks of pork; skin sweating over potato chunks while roasting on the mobile spit, glistening under San Francisco’s morning sun.
I can still remember that day at the San Francisco Ferry Building, when my eyes caught their sheen. I walked towards the tables where a chef was dressing the porchetta into sandwiches, talking them up like a good matchmaker. Porchetta. Even the name resounded something like that of an aria composed by a romantic period musician.
The porchetta found its way to my lips by way of the chatty chef and I succumbed to a bite. It crunched lightly and greased my appetite for an entire sandwich. The chef complimented my hat, but my eyes were on the porchetta.
I paid my exchange and walked my prize across the pier where I shimmied from sheer joy with each bite. It was a perfect moment. My first porchetta! My San Francisco! My morning!
The chef noticed I had sat across the pier from the Roli Roti truck. I saw him wave with a fat-slicked, latex-gloved hand. He walked out from behind the tables and made his way across the pier to feed me more crispy skin. There I sat, one hand clutching my love-filled sandwich and the other pinching pieces of crackling. My heart surged. I was falling in love all over again with San Francisco by discovery of porchetta. ♥
For good pork in New York, see: The 35 Best Pork Dishes in New York