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A Sandwich a Day: The Barrigona from Barriga Llena in Seattle
In this great nation 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.
Barrigona means "pot-bellied" but the sandwich seems more like a sloppy beer belly, spilling out messily from its bun like a drunkard's gut trying to escape the confinement of a too-small t-shirt. A house special at Barriga Llena (translation: "full belly"), it is a mind-and-body-boggling array of meats, loosely woven together by a thin layer of cheese.
Along with the traditional fixings that come with every sandwich (tomato, lettuce, beans, avocado, and mayo), the Barrigona packs on pretty much the full menu of meats: a milanesa-style breaded and fried steak, pork leg steak, their own chorizo sausage, and hot dog. The grilling process condenses all of this and melts the cheese, in a last-ditch effort to hold the thing together, but the crisp bolillo roll it's piled into just can't contain the meaty mess.
If sausage slipping this way or that isn't quite enough challenge in getting this sandwich into a mouth and not onto a shirt, it comes together best when drizzled with (or, for the daring, dunked in) smoky richness from the chipotle-based hot sauce, made in-house. Like the old man at the bar who has long since given up getting his clothes to contain his paunch, it's best to give into the Barrigona. Just make sure you know where your next napkin is coming from.
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.