The New Pig Sandwich

I'm a North Carolina girl. I like a pig sandwich.

Typically that means pulled pork, spicy vinegar sauce, maybe slaw, maybe not.

But lately I've had eyes for a new breed of piggy sandwich proliferating around town. The equation seems to be housemade charcuterie + diner/bar/comfort classic = deliciousness.

Take Bourbon Steak's new pâté melt, chef Adam Sobel's spin on a patty melt. (Clever name. Just saying "pâté melt" makes me smile.)

The dish takes the restaurant's country pâté, made with pork, foie gras and prosciutto wrapped in caul fat, sandwiches it between two pieces of brioche toasted in butter and gilds it with melted American and Gruyere cheeses, cornichons and caramelized onions.

Sobel says the pâté melt was something he'd wanted to do for a while. "It came to me when we were making my country pâté," he says. "I grilled off a small patty and made a little slider with it and thought of how delicious it would be in the form of a griddled burger, which just so happens to be my favorite burger (the patty melt)."
With most top notch chefs these days cranking out their own artisanal charcuterie, it seems only natural they'd start adapting it to homey sandwiches. After all, it's easier to eat pâté standing around a kitchen if it's wrapped in bread.

Also on my radar, chef Dennis Marron's excellent tete sliders (at right) I got to taste at a media dinner at Poste Moderne Brasserie. The appetizer puts tidy fried packets of pig's head between Parker house rolls with red onion and sauce gribiche. 

And then of course, there's the oh-so-hot banh mi, one of the original charcuterie sandwiches, that has made its way from Vietnamese joints to fine dining menus and beyond in DC. But that's a whole other list.