Location: Seattle, WA
Meal: Salami, Mozzarella, and Sweet Pepper Sandwich and Porchetta Sandwich
Seattle is home to a number of great restaurants and meals but you wouldn’t assume that would include world-class charcuterie. The mythos behind the restaurant is that it is run by Mario Batali’s father who, after retiring from Boeing, wanted to learn the art so he traveled to Italy and trained with a master. He returned and opened up shop; a master in his right now. There is no debating that Salumi is now on the short list of Seattle foodie attractions. I had heard stories of the lunch lines (entire store hours 11am-4pm) so I walked over from my hotel and arrived a half hour before they opened their doors and was already third in line. By the time the doors would open, 25-30 people would be queued up to pay their respects to the pig.
There is limited seating available and could have had it but I opted to walk back to the hotel (for photos sake and I was flying home in a few hours). Being only one person, my plan was to get the house salami sandwich but fear of missing out convinced me to order a porchetta sandwich as well. Still being only one person I made peace with the fact I would have to discard a half of each sandwich but then again divide and conquer isn’t the worse battle plan.
The salami sandwich starts on a crusty ciabatta roll that gets a basil spread and parmesan bread crumb spread. Freshly sliced house salami is then piled on, followed by fresh buffalo mozzarella, and sweet peppers and onion. This is a firm sandwich that rewards each bite with a salty, meaty, sweet taste.
The porchetta sandwich, a last minute addition, would turn out to be the star of the show. Unwrapping the paper let out the full aroma of savory slow cooked pork. Sensing this would be a memorable moment I quickly pulled up a soundtrack for my sandwich, O Fortuna from Carl Orf’s Carmina Burana. As embarrassing as it sounds after the fact, I did indeed listen to cliche classic music as I ate a pork sandwich in my hotel room; and it was magical. The porchetta is just amazing, tender, loaded with fennel, and just the right bit of fatty juice to it.
A great meal all around, Salumi should be shortlisted for anyone who enjoys a good cured meat. More than just for fans of charcuterie, Salumi shows what can happen when someone sets their mind to developing the best technique and using the best ingredients. When you do that you can’t help but deliver a great product; something I keep seeing along all my stops as the Hungry Traveler.
O Fortuna by Carl Orf