Introducing: Porchetta and Co., the new sandwich shop that’s turning Dundas West into a carnivore’s carnival
Like Ossington and Harbord before it, Dundas Street West keeps surprising us with new cafés, bars and restaurants. The latest is Porchetta and Co., which opened this week; its specialty is Italian pork. Owner Nick auf der Mauer wanted to start his own food joint without hopping onto the poutine or gourmet burger bandwagons. The result is a minuscule takeout-focused shop that tries to do one thing well: porchetta, natch. The menu consists of porchetta sandwiches ($6), porchetta plates ($9), two types of soup (small bowl $4) and that’s it.
Let’s be clear: this is not the familiar pulled-pork sandwich, in which the meat is smoked and then literally pulled onto a bun. This is slow-roasted, hand-carved porchetta. First, auf der Mauer—who earned his culinary stripes in the kitchens of Canoe, The Fifth and The Drake, to name just a few—marinates a piece of pork shoulder for 24 hours in a medley of spices, including rosemary, sage, garlic oil and lemon zest. Then the shoulder is wrapped in prosciutto, and the whole thing is wrapped again in cured pork belly. The mound is tied off and roasted at 400 degrees for half an hour or so to give it a nice crust. Then the oven is 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.
While auf der Mauer suggests first-timers enjoy his four-ounce sandwiches au naturel, extra toppings are available, including homemade tomato sauce (25 cents) and a mayo-based truffle sauce (75 cents). Tabasco and two types of mustard are available for free. He’s opted to eschew factory-farmed pigs for ones raised at the family-run Beretta Organic Farms, located just outside King City. That should sit well with eco-conscious west-enders, as should the decor, which, like everything else that opens this side of Bathurst, is heavy on reclaimed wood.
With the Black Hoof (auf der Mauer and Grant van Gameren are buddies) and its sister the Hoof Café just down the street, this little patch of Dundas is on the fast track to becoming the go-to spot for carnivores citywide.
Porchetta and Co., 825 Dundas St. W. (at Palmerston Blvd.), 647-352-6611, porchettaco.com.
Take a tour of the place using the slide show below »