September 14, 2011

Disappointment @ Porchetta & Co

I've read so, so many great reviews on Porchetta & Co that I can't believe how badly it failed to meet my expectations. I really, really thought that I'd love it! I love sandwiches and I love roasted pork, so I thought that the combination must be a winner! In the words of my friends, "It was a complete waste of a Saturday lunch", and I couldn't agree more. 
I was delighted to see the Spanish proverb used on my blog featured on the sign outside the restaurant. Sadly, this also meant that there weren't any specials for the day.
By the time we arrived, my friend and I were starving, having just taken a stroll through Urban Eatery at Eaton Centre. . Upon reflection, we should've just eaten at the food court while we were there. The restaurant was tiny and only had around 6 stools, but luckily we were able to snatch a spot. According to their website, the chef marinates a piece of pork shoulder for 24 hours in a medley of spices. Then the shoulder is wrapped in prosciutto, and the whole thing is then wrapped again in cured pork belly. Thereafter, the mound is roasted at 400 degrees for half an hour or so to give it a nice crust. The oven is then turned down low, and the pork is slow cooked for several more hours. Finally, the meat is carved and put on a fresh sourdough bun from Caldense Bakery across the street. 
My friend opted for a classic porchetta sandwich without any additions. After one bite, she commented that it tasted exactly like Chinese roasted pork, or siu yuk (燒肉).
I added mushrooms to my sandwich for 75 cents, thinking that they would add moisture to the pork. The sandwich looked gorgeous and promising. However, after taking my first bite, I couldn't help but agree with my friend- it tasted exactly like Chinese roasted pork, except less fatty (which is not a good thing in my books). Despite the mushrooms, I couldn't get past how dry the overall sandwich was. Where was the juiciness that I read from all the online reviews? Maybe I should've added some sort of sauce instead of mushrooms.
In an attempt to make it "less" Chinese, I added some grainy mustard and Tabasco sauce onto my sandwich. Unfortunately, that didn't really help much. After chowing down a little more than half of the sandwich, I gave up and packed the rest for my mom. She thought that the meat was super dry and only ate the mushrooms with the bread. So after being all hyped up over this porchetta sandwich, my friend and I were utterly disappointed. We wished that we had had lunch at Urban Eatery, or anywhere else on Queen Street West, for that matter.
Porchetta & Co on Urbanspoon
After lunch, I hopped across the street to Caldense Bakery to check out their Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata) . The custards tarts here are voted the second best in all of Toronto on BlogTO. Being a huge fan of these lovely pastries (I eat one a day for breakfast when I'm in Macau), of course I had to try it out. So how did they compare to the ones from Macau? For one thing, they're more custardy and less eggy in flavour. The one I had here wasn't fresh out of the oven, so the taste and texture might have suffered because of that. But all in all, I think I still prefer the Macau versions better, because they're less custardy! That said, the cold tart was still a lot more enjoyable than my porchetta sandwich!
Caldense Bakery on Urbanspoon


  1. You are correct... not a good sandwich.



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