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One Sandwich, Many Feels

April 10, 2018

Last Saturday there was a little beer festival in Albany. If you were very lucky, you got to attend one of the two sessions. If you drink beer like it’s your job, then maybe you were able to attend both.

All I know is that I wasn’t the only one at the Albany Craft Beer Festival all day. There were others. And the brews we consumed were an embarrassment of riches. And not only did I get to drink beers that are impossible to find, I got to meet a few of the brewers behind my favorite beers. One of the beers I sampled was from 2004.

It was nuts. And now I have a new appreciation for lambic and spontaneously fermented ales.

Seriously, keep your eyes open for the 2019 Albany Craft Beer Festival, and snag a ticket or two when they go on sale. I highly recommend stacking two sessions together, and then heading to the afterparty, and then meeting up with some other friends for one last beer before bed.

So the beers served at the festival are rare and hard to find. Telling you about them would be pointless. You just had to be there. What I can tell you about is the sandwich that almost brought tears to my eyes.

You know how I feel about sandwiches.

If you remember my modified list, right there in the top ten is porchetta. For some reason Chowhound thought it needed a fried egg to make the sandwich noteworthy. But dammit porchetta is noteworthy on its own.

Well, on Saturday, chef Ian Brower brought his pork sandwich out to play.

The menu description was short. Slow roasted pork with salsa verde and shallot/parsley salad. The toasted bun filled with meat and condiments would set you back $8. But those would be the best eight bucks you’ve spent in some time.

I think the last porchetta sandwich I had was at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. But what Ian does differently is he slow roasts his pork, then slices it, and fries it back up. So what it may be missing in crisp shards of skin, this sandwich more than makes up for in sheer surface area of crispy-edged tender pork-fat filled slice of amazing.

Somewhere recently I wrote the equation to deliciousness. It’s (fat x salt) / acidity. And textural elements aside, this fatty salty meat when put up against the salsa verde and the shallot and parsley salad was out of control good. And then there are the temperature contrasts of the hot and the cold.

How good?

So good I found my eyes welling with tears. The feels were less about how delicious this sandwich was, and more about being filled with regret for not getting to Lost & Found sooner. Not that it’s gone. It’s still down in the warehouse district, and seems to be doing just fine. But every month that’s gone by is a month without Lost & Found sandwiches that I’m never going to get back.

But wait, because there are more feels to come. Shame and regret soon turn to anger and resentment as I learn that the porchetta sandwich was on the opening menu, but was removed because people weren’t buying it.

Seriously?
Seriously!
People!!
What’s wrong with you?!

Maybe Ian makes a sandwich that’s even better? I’m certainly looking forward to trying them all out. Maybe the chef’s porchetta is more amazing when he is making them, and just them, all day long. Did the beer play a role? Maybe a bit.

Still, this sandwich was so good, I became Daniel Porchetta-seed. And when my new buddy Emily L. sounded enticed to try the sandwich, but didn’t want the whole thing, I bought another one just so she could have a bite.

For the sake of full disclosure, I did ask Ian to cut it in half. That way Emily could have a bite of her half and give the rest to her boyfriend, or whatever non-married adults call their romantic partners these days. The other half I considered to be my finders fee.

Hey! I was on my feet, walking around the Armory for like eight hours without sitting down. Do you know how many calories I burned? And there was even some time in there when I wasn’t sampling beer. I also ate a hot dog and a breakfast taco from the other food vendors at the festival. Plus, I had some great conversations.

Will the porchetta come back to Lost & Found? I really, really hope so. Perhaps if you all go, and say you heard about the porchetta, maybe we can start a movement.

If you do happen to see at as a special, please—for all that’s good and holy—let me know.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2018 1:30 pm

    Hope this gets a mention on Lost & Found’s FB page if a special pops up. A truly great porchetta sandwich is difficult to find. I used to love the version at Sara Jenkins’ now-sadly-closed Porchetta (natch) in the East Village, but it sounds like I’ll be able to get a fix much closer to home… thanks, Daniel!

  2. albanylandlord permalink
    April 10, 2018 1:40 pm

    This sandwich was the highlight of the beer festival. Yes you read that right. I also became an evangelist.

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