A year ago I had not heard of porchetta, now it seems to be everywhere. In case you’ve not yet come across this Italian culinary wonder, porchetta is boneless slow-roasted pork that has been cooked with herbs and is typically served chopped up in a sandwich. I must say it’s absolutely delicious, chunks of tender meat laced with herbs and crunchy pork crackling. It’s my idea of heaven in a sandwich.
My first experience of this meaty delight was at the sandwich shop, Meat and Bread, where it is served on crunchy ciabatta with salsa verde. Then Big Lou’sthe butcher started making them. Now a great new Italian café on Cambie Street called Pronto I’ve just discovered is specializing in porchetta, so I can get my fix without going downtown!
Pronto is located at 3473 Cambie Street, it’s a small Italian joint serving up lunch and dinner. Its classic art deco design with dark mahogany booths is fabulous; it really feels like an authentic Italian café. As well as porchetta, Pronto offers daily sandwiches, sides such as cannellini beans, olives and a daily soup. They also serve daily homemade Italian desserts and excellent coffee.
I’ve been twice now. On my first visit I tried the porchetta sandwich; it certainly lived up to my expectations, really tasty tender meat on soft French bread. Although I’d prefer to have it served with a salsa verde or chimmichurri sauce, I find these parsley and vinegar based sauces help to cut the rich fatty flavor. Next visit I tried the daily sandwich special, steak with caramelized onions. The meat was extremely flavorful and altogether an enjoyable experience.
On both visits Pronto was bustling (a good sign for sure), however the service was a bit muddled. It’s confusing as to whether you should sit yourself or order from the bar. On each visit we sat ourselves, but no one took our order so we ended up standing up and ordering ourselves. Not a big deal, but a little frustrating when other people (who arrived after us) were being served first by the waitress. I reckon these are just teething problems. Once you order the food comes fast and its fun watching the sandwich-maker slice up the roast pork.
I will definitely return to Pronto. I really enjoy the atmosphere and it’s a great destination for a tasty sandwich and a latte. For more info check out their website http://www.prontocaffe.ca/