Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 75

Pork Belly Bun: When the GF called this morning and said she wanted to take me to a surprise lunch, I knew I couldn't say no. She loves food as much as I do, so I knew it wouldn't be an ordinary choice. We ended up at Hector Santiago's Super Pan Latin Sandwich Shop, which we both have been wanting to try since they recently opened. I like Pura Vida (Santiago's other restaurant), so I knew this would be good. The menu is comprised mainly of Latin-style sandwiches and sides, but I saw what I wanted pretty quickly: the pork belly bun. Pork belly is one of my favorite things, but I noticed a few ingredients on the sandwich that I wasn't familiar with.

The menu listed the ingredients as "smoked pilon sugar pork belly, shaved cabbage, tamarind sauce, aji coban "sambal" on coconut steamed bun." I wasn't sure what sambal was, nor was I familiar with the construction of a coconut steamed bun. We placed our orders at the counter, and the server brought them a few minutes later. I took my first bite, and was immediately blown away by the perfection of the pork belly. Each bun was stuffed with a huge portion, and it was just as good as any pork belly I've had in any restaurant. Awesome.

Now, on to the unusual ingredients. The coconut steamed bun was completely different from any bread I've ever had, and it's springy texture was the perfect pairing for the pork. I didn't detect a coconut flavor immediately, but there was a definite hint of sweetness. The sambal provided some heat, and I later read that it's a spicy sauce usually served in Indian/Asian countries. This one was made with aji peppers, and it definitely resulted in a little burn after eating. I have a low tolerance for heat, so my forehead is sweating even as I write this.

One of the best sandwiches I've had in a long time, and it luckily featured some new ingredients for me. Check out Super Pan ASAP, you won't be disappointed.

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