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A Sandwich a Day: The Roast Pork And Triple Cheese Panino from Craigie On Main, Cambridge
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.
I may be accused of writing about Craigie on Main, Tony Maws' farm-to-table restaurant in Cambridge, a bit too often. Fair enough. But let me assure you, it's well-deserved. Heck, the burger alone should have a site all to itself.
While Craigie on Main may be better known for its animal parts and tasting menus than its brunch, I recently discovered what might be the best cake doughnut I've ever had hiding on that Sunday-morning-only menu. And sitting next to it on the menu, a little bit more conspicuously: the Triple Cheese and Pork Panino ($17).
It starts with not-too-fat, not-too-thin slices of excellent pain au levain from Iggy's (the best baker in the 'hood by a long shot), then gets piled high with slices of pork collar that's brined and slow-cooked in a fancy-pants CVap steam oven. The resulting meat has the salty juiciness of a great ham, but the meltingly tender texture of a perfectly roasted pork shoulder.
Sweated leeks, shallots, and pickled ramps get added to cut through some of the porky fattiness before being stacked with Comté, Shelbourne Cheddar from Vermont, and a sharp aged Provolone. The whole thing is grilled panini-style to a crisp melty, golden brown. The fat fries on the side ain't half bad either.
Roast pork, three cheeses, and it's toasted in butter? Overkill you say? Please. This is brunch. There's no such thing as overkill.
Craigie on Main
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.