Another weekend, another trip to Mercato Centrale. There are just too many things to try and taste that to get through them all without inducing a heart attack, you have to go back.
I’ve been wanting to taste a pulled pork sandwich after watching Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence and other Food Network chefs make or eat different versions of this sandwich, all of them looking absolutely delicious (the sandwich, not the chefs, although Tyler is quite cute when he was less chubby than he is now). So when I heard that these were being sold in Mercato Centrale, I made a mental note to give them a try.
Smokehouse Sandwiches specializes in sandwiches (duh) made out of smoked (double duh) meats. Yesterday, they had three sandwiches available: the Coffee Crusted Beef with Strawberry Glaze, the Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Jamaican Jerk Chicken. As you may well know, I love chicken, so I was choosing between that and the pulled pork. But I just put the jerk chicken on my growing “must-try at Mercato” list and remembered why I was there in first place.
My brother tried the beef, which was lovely. They served the sandwich with a very generous amount of the thinly sliced beef, onions, lettuce and bell peppers on a Kaiser bun. The beef is smoked for two (!) days is very tender, moist and has that beautiful flavor that only smoking it can give. Personally, I think the bread drowns the beef a little bit, which is a shame. If I had a full set of cutlery and a plate, I would’ve taken the top bun off and eaten the sandwich open-faced. Just my personal preference.
My Pulled Pork sandwich, on the other hand, was perfect as it is. The pork barbecue is sweet and tangy and the same time and is a little on the spicy side, thanks to the cumin barbecue rub the pork is smoked in. The coleslaw and its creaminess is the perfect counterbalance to the spice. And I’ve got no complaints about the bread drowning the meat here. The pork more than holds its own against the Kaiser bun.
All Smokehouse Sandwiches are sold for 185 PHP. I know that’s an expensive price to charge for a mere sandwich, but do consider that their meats take around two days to prepare. They also don’t scrimp on the fillings, I actually thought they put too much coleslaw on my sandwich, and my brother had four generous slices of the beef. And they fill you up real good. I had one for lunch and didn’t feel like eating dinner at all.
So mission accomplished. Next visit’s mission: find the ultimate burger at Mercato, or get to try that Jamaican jerk chicken.