Serious Eats: Chicago
A Sandwich a Day: Porchetta Sandwich at Barrelhouse Flat
Editor's Note: In this great city of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year--so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the Windy City. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know
Unlike the ideally proportioned cocktails that come in cool coupes from Barrelhouse Flat, the porchetta sandwich ($15) arrives looking like a big hot mess. This will present a few problems. Mainly, how does one politely dig into a sandwich the size of a football while sipping a cocktail, especially when said sandwich also happens to be dripping with juices and stuffed with heaps and heaps of meat? (Depending on how many cocktails you've already had, this can easily feed two.) Luckily, the restaurant has cut the sandwich into sections, so that you don't have to pick the whole thing up like an Italian beef. First problem solved.
Actually, the whole Italian beef comparison works well, since the dish the sandwich comes out with contains a liquid, but instead of beef juices, the bracing sauce is fragrant with capers and herbs. This happens to be a great counterpoint to the rich porchetta, which is tender but still holds together. The crackly exterior of the bread stands up admirably, while the warm and soft insides do their best to soak up as much of the liquid as possible. This is one well crafted and shockingly flavorful sandwich, and even though it doesn't much look like the sort of thing you'd eat with a fine cocktail, the two work exceptionally well together.