A Sandwich A Day: The Pork Rabe Saturday Special From Cutty's in Brookline, MA
In this great country 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 country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. --The Mgmt.
If you haven't noticed yet, we're big fans of Cutty's, husband and wife team Charles Kelsey and Rachel Toomey's sandwich shop in Brookline. It's the epitome of a neighborhood lunch spot: super friendly service, talented, smart, and hard working owners, staff that seem genuinely proud of their work, and of course, awesome food. Their Spuckie is New England's answer to the muffuletta, and they've definitely got a way with greens (I promise, you won't even notice that the braised kale and shallot sandwich has got no meat).
Their roast beef sandwich with fried shallots, cheddar, and thousand island dressing may get most of the attention ("I should have called this place Cutty's Roast Beef," says Charles), but my new favorite on the menu is their Saturday-only slow-roasted Pork Rabe ($8.95). Based on the Philadelphia classic, it starts with pork shoulder that's cured overnight in a salt and pepper rub before being slow-roasted. Charles then lets it cool and rest for another night in its own liquid—an important step, as the fat and juices are reabsorbed into the meat, only to be slowly released again as they warm up while you eat your sandwich.
It's rich stuff, for sure, but not overpowering, the bitter bite of the broccoli rabe dominating the flavor profile. The rabe is sautéed with a bit of garlic and left bright green and slightly crisp. Sharp provolone finishes it off, and it's all piled on a crisp but giving fresh sesame seed scali, a Boston Italian-immigrant twist to this updated Philly classic. (And yes, those homemade chips are good too.)