RoliRoti Porchetta Sandwich: Yes, It’s That Good

29 May

Last Thursday was one of those days so beautifully sunny that it’s actually painful to go back into the office after picking up lunch. Especially because it was a Thursday, when the farmers’ market transforms the Ferry Building into even more of a food paradise than it usually is. I could just wander around the tents all afternoon, sampling food and enjoying the sun… working next to the Ferry Building is a foodie’s paradise, but so financially and calorically dangerous!

Beautiful day!

I decided to try the RoliRoti truck, whose porchetta sandwich I have been longing to try. It regularly gets rave reviews, including a spot on the Men’s Health magazine list of the Top 10 Best Street Eats in America and 7×7 magazine’s 100 Things to Try Before You Die (2010 list).

The only reason I was able to feasibly get a RoliRoti porchetta sandwich on my lunch break was because I went at 1:45 PM—otherwise the line is up to 45 minutes long.

[Side note: I came across a 7×7 interview with the owner of RoliRoti, Thomas Odermatt, asking for his comments about the legendary line. One of his more notable responses was, “People are happy to stay in line in SF. We are relaxed about lines, people don’t regard lines negatively. They regard them more as a necessity, versus in New York, it’s a turn off. You don’t wait in lines in New York. On the West Coast we are very orderly and passionate. I don’t know why people are more passionate about it, but I would literally call it a passion about lines. They know where the lines are, it’s good food.” I have to agree with him—people in San Francisco seem to almost seek out the lines because it’s validation of the quality of the food, and usually wait patiently. Case in point: Off the Grid.]

Fortunately for me, I only had to wait less than five minutes. Though the rotisserie chickens looked and smelled so wonderfully tempting, I had to stick to my original mission.

Love how they put the rosemary roasted potatoes below the chicken to catch all its rotisserie goodness...

When I got to the front of the line and asked what the porchetta sandwich was, the man behind the counter told me it was pork loin wrapped in pork belly, stuffed with herbs and roasted. It’s then sliced and put between pieces of French loaf, with some arugula.

When I asked about nuts, he very confidently said, “no,” and I didn’t have any problems after eating it. But I would have felt much better had I known the exact ingredients of the herbs and spices, not to mention where the bread was from. This is an even more important reason to go on off-peak hours—you can spend a little more time asking about allergens without holding up the line.

The sandwich, which was $8.50, was worth every good word written about it. It was packed with so much flavor, thanks to the crispy pork belly skin layered into the sandwich. It had just enough salt to have that delicious, sea-salt-esque flavor, but not enough to be overwhelmingly salty. The spice mix rubbed into the skin was impeccable… If you love eating the fatty, crispy, salty skin of a roast chicken, you would be in heaven (as I was). The pork was really tender, and there was just enough of it to be satisfying but not too much to make the sandwich difficult to eat.

I was torn between wanting some kind of chutney, mustard or sauce on there, but not wanting to distract from the amazing flavor of the pork. It really was that simple—pork, arugula, bread. But it punched far above its weight.


I would gladly wait 45 minutes for that sandwich again!

Here’s a fun bonus: Someone made a video of RoliRoti making the porchetta! Check it out:



  • Food: 9
  • Presentation: 6
  • Menu: 5 (just roasted chicken or porchetta sandwich, plus some rosemary potatoes)
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: not sure how to rate a food truck on this!
  • Allergy-friendliness: 6
  • Cost: $

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars


Ferry Building Farmers’ Market (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)
San Francisco, CA 94111
(510) 780-0300


2 Responses to “RoliRoti Porchetta Sandwich: Yes, It’s That Good”

  1. Rick Weiner May 30, 2011 at 10:46 AM #

    Sounds that good!

  2. body cleanse diets September 12, 2014 at 12:16 AM #

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