Back to the home of my original culinary inspiration!
I remember always coming back home to San Francisco after an incredible vacation and being struck by the fact that “home” is a place that people come from all over the world to experience. I am so happy to be calling SF home again. This is the place where I arrived as a young Chicago boy and bought a motorcycle in Oakland for $200 and drove it across the Bay Bridge in a T-shirt because 50 degrees was “hot” compared to where I came from. I remember staring at the city across the bay from the bridge excited to be starting culinary school and working in some of the greatest kitchens in the world. What a great journey it has been! I am back and re-discovering old favorites as well as feeling like that young kid on the motorcycle discovering new places. One of those new places was yesterday at the Ferry Building Farmers market. Culinary heaven!!! The building itself is full of one pleasure after another from Chris Cosentino’s Boccalone (“tasty salted pork parts”), to Far West Fungi (I never knew there were that many mushrooms!) to my crack like addition Blue Bottle Coffee. Outside on the weekends is a farmers’ market and stand after stand of the greatest restaurants and food carts. Yesterday’s discovery was Roli Roti. A mobile rotisserie truck that puts out the most succulent, juicy birds and Porchetta.
My daughter spotted it from across the dock. As you approach the 40 minute long line you can see these beautiful birds slowly spinning in front of a perfect flame. They look like showgirls drawing you in. As you look right you see these long cylinders of juicy pleasure spinning slowly. It is the Porchetta (essentially the best parts of the pig seasoned and rolled up like a sleeping bag in the pork belly and roasted to perfection). We sat down on the only available ledge of the pier and cuddled our chicken and Porchetta in our laps as if they were newborn babies. The chicken was so moist and juicy is could barely keep itself on the bone. The skin was crispy and had the perfect balance of rosemary and garlic as if the bird was wearing a seasoned blouse that just melted into the skin as it roasted. The Porchetta was in the form of a sandwich. The guy uses the bun to mop up the cutting board! That is your sauce! He then slices the juicy pork into thin strips and lays it across the flavor-laden bun. He makes sure that every sandwich gets a nice even strip of crispy pork belly fat down the center. With every bite of the sandwich you get a crunch and then a chew of the pork belly skin that douses your mouth with the perfect amount of pork fat. The candy like caramelized onions give you a sweet break from all the rich pleasure and a touch of arugula adds a peppery bite and makes you feel like you are not eating 100% fat. I am so happy to be back in the tasty city by the bay!!!! Enjoy.
Sorry to not get better pictures. By the time I realized I should take some food close ups my face had the remains of the pleasure on it and I was in search of napkins!
Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy!