28 Feb2012

Salumi, Seattle

by Marketman

A few minutes walk from the Seattle train station we found Salumi, the much blogged about and talked about place owned by Mario Batali’s father. There was a line that snaked out the door and down the sidewalk at 1130am! But with “pork cheeks” listed on the side walk menu, Mrs. MM and I got right on line. It’s a tiny place, with just a few tables inside, and most of their business appeared to be take out sales. As I got closer to the narrow counter, I had to decide on just two items to try (we weren’t that hungry yet, and had another place to try an hour later)…

When the lady asked me what I wanted, I opted for the pork cheeks sandwich, and she gave me the second to LAST order of it, then the guy behind me took the last order and a collective groan further down the line was quite audible. Some disappointed folks who had lined up two days in a row got downright vocal, but that’s how they run the place — they make relatively small batches and when they run out, that’s it. Can you imagine running out of your signature dish before noon? Then they close early afternoon and don’t even open for dinner! You can also buy the cold cuts made in-house.

The place was charming, and extremely artisanal in feel. There was love in the food. :) The pork cheek sandwich was to die for. Slowly braised pork cheeks with onions, tomatoes, rosemary, etc. were incredibly tender, probably braised for hours on end, and stuffed into a sort of “ciabatta pocket” that was luscious and messy to eat, particularly since we simply sat on a bench near a bus stop outside the tiny restaurant. A few vagrants sat nearby, and as we kept an eye on our hand carried bags, we wolfed down our sandwiches and juggled our drinks… it was still a little slice of foodie heaven. At $9.50++ per sandwich, you expect a lot, and this was totally worth it. :)

Mrs. MM asked for a spicy sopressata sandwich that was also delicious, though I have to say the pork cheeks one was the slam dunk for me. I tried to cook pork cheeks when I got home and got NOWHERE near the texture, flavor and taste of the pork-cheek-stew-in-a-sandwich at Salumi’s…

Two sandwiches, two drinks, a nice cap and an apron (the last two with their nice pig logo) resulted in a bill over $70! No wonder they don’t need to open for dinner. :)



  1. pixienixie says:

    What a coincidence! I was just reading reviews about this place yesterday! Oh wait, that’s after I read your post about your trip… LOL Not that coincidental after all.

    The sandwiches look amaaaazing!

    Feb 28, 2012 | 6:46 am


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  3. scott says:

    MM, this last summer when you were asking for suggestions of where to eat in the Vancouver/Seattle area, I sent a message recommending Salumi’s..I am happy you were able to make it there and enjoy the incredible sandwiches, I truly wish you could have duplicated the sandwich, for I will be retiring to Cebu in April….: )

    Feb 28, 2012 | 7:03 am

  4. karen says:

    Hi MM! Finally, a post on Salumi! I was wondering if you even got to Seattle since there were no posts on it after your Vancouver trip. Isn’t the food great?! My husband and I went there twice during our four day trip in Seattle since we couldn’t get enough of it. We ordered this really moist melt in your mouth porchetta sandwich. The herbs that they put in there and the hours it took to braise it make the sandwich really worth it. And yes, they’re open only for lunch and once the food is gone they close early!

    Feb 28, 2012 | 7:41 am

  5. PITS, MANILA says:

    the pork cheeks sandwich … is it anywhere like pinoy mascara-estofada? something like stewed pork (face part) in garlic, onions, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and bay leaves?

    Feb 28, 2012 | 10:12 am

  6. Marketman says:

    PITS, the meaty cheeks with less of all the “other stuff”… then I imagine braised or stewed with wine, herbs, tomatoes, aromatics, etc. Not too saucy, and the sauce thick… Slice open a chewy freshly baked ciabatta, make a pocket or hole inside, and stuff with the pork cheeks… scott, yes, I am sure we had that on our list based on reader recommendations, so thank you for that! Several of our stops in Seattle were based on reader recommendations…

    Feb 28, 2012 | 10:26 am

  7. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Salumi..traditional Italian salumeria,a very well known stop on Seattle culinary scene!! lunch only…close on weekend,so you really have to accommodate:)Thanks for the posting!!

    Feb 28, 2012 | 10:39 am

  8. Papa Ethan says:

    I could almost imagine the smell of those two sandwiches pictured above… =(

    Feb 28, 2012 | 10:41 am

  9. Dawn says:

    MM, I am glad you made it to Salumi. For people who plan to go visit, they are closed Mondays and weekends. You can take the bus from the downtown area for free along 2nd Ave (traffic runs south on 2nd Ave) and tell the bus driver to let you off at the stop for South Main Street.

    Feb 28, 2012 | 11:38 am

  10. BessYS says:

    Hi MM,

    My husband and I were in Seattle ( and Vancouver ) in November, 2011. We had lunch at Salumi. We ordered Porchetta sandwich, Gnocchi and some sopressata for take away.
    On the way inside, there was an elderly woman making the Gnocchi and even gave us permission for a photo op, how great was that?! :)
    We took Amtrak Cascade train from Seattle -Vancouver-Seattle. ( I’m sorry that you didn’t like their Amtrak Cascade) It was the best options for us as my husband works for Amtrak.
    Thanks MM!

    Feb 28, 2012 | 11:49 am

  11. MP says:

    MM, maybe you can experiment on that pork cheeks heaven and make that your foodie mission this year (among many). It would be great to have that as part of your Zubuchon menu sometime soon, don’t you think?

    I dunno why, but I find Salumi’s sign board really charming…

    Feb 28, 2012 | 12:04 pm

  12. MP says:

    Sorry MM, off topic:

    Hi Bettyq, I really loved the infusion of garlic in the lobster oil (as you suggested for the breadsticks). Will it ruin the subtle taste of the oil if I soak cloves of garlic inside the bottle and leave it there for the rest of its shelf life????

    Feb 28, 2012 | 12:06 pm

  13. lee says:

    Pork Cheek Sandwich. These three words that go together well.

    Feb 28, 2012 | 12:22 pm

  14. mayk says:

    Now i want to go to seattle for this cheeks :)

    Feb 28, 2012 | 3:29 pm

  15. Joyce says:

    Mr MM i am looking forward of you experimenting on how this is done……….

    Feb 29, 2012 | 9:52 am

  16. Faust says:

    MM can you offer that pork cheeks, cured pork etc, salami in your menu soon in Zubuchon? yummy! ^_^

    Feb 29, 2012 | 10:20 am

  17. GT says:

    Hope you can make lardo!!!

    Feb 29, 2012 | 6:48 pm

  18. Footloose says:

    Indulging in too many pork cheek sandwiches can give you pendant jowl.

    Mar 1, 2012 | 3:36 am

  19. ellen says:

    That was quite steep for $70 for 2 sandwiches. But if it was a slam dunk for you, then it must be good. This will be on my “must try” list when I visit Seattle

    Mar 2, 2012 | 12:09 am


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