Porchetta sandwich, Eataly
  • Mike Sula
  • Eataly’s porchetta sandwich: Simplicity itself

Eataly’s Rosticceria, which slow roasts a different hunk of flesh every day, is an island of approachability in the stormy ocean of possibilities that the all-Italian superemporium offers. There’s no need to wait for a table, no need to dither over choices—there’s a single sandwich of the day and a daily prime rib sandwich—and if your only goal is get something and get the hell out, you can just tuck a sandwich under your arm, juke for the escalator and exit.

On Tuesdays the sandwich is leg of lamb, Wednesdays it’s brisket with salsa verde, Saturdays it’s fennel-rubbed turkey breast, and on Thursdays they offer porchetta. Porchetta is the classic Roman pork roast that can take on different forms but usually includes skin-on belly wrapped around pork loin or other pig parts (or, if you’re serious, a whole boneless pig).

Eataly’s porchetta is a low-fat version. The only evidence I saw of any belly was the occasional scrap of crispy, lacquered skin mixed in among the slices of pork loin. For each order the sandwich man sprinkles it with sea salt, then gives it a few grinds of black pepper and a few squirts of olive oil before wrapping it in butcher paper. It’s simplicity itself—despite the lack of belly, this is a juicy sandwich that’ll stain the paper before you get a few steps away. My real complaint is with the thick, crusty bread that occasionally overwhelms the otherwise ample filling. A more-than-hefty regular size goes for $11.80, while the large edition sells for two bucks more.

Eataly, 43 E. Ohio, 312-521-8700, eataly.com