Salumi is Iron Chef Mario Batali’s parents’ highly regarded deli and sandwich shop, tucked unassumingly into Pioneer Square. Never fear, if you are worried about finding it, there is a clue; namely, the line that forms and twists around the block, even before they’ve opened their doors at 11 am each day. I heard about this, but was still shocked at just how many people were there extra early, eagerly awaiting sandwiches and pasta specials. I’ve wanted to try salumi ever since I learned that my boyfriend’s chef sister used to work here, crafting the salami and other cured meats that they are so famous for. Once I realized my window of opportunity was closing, I jumped for it.
See, the thing about Salumi is that it’s only opened from 11 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. So if you hold down a 9-5 and don’t work in Pioneer Square, you may never have the good fortune to try this delectable food. Since I’m about to start a new job and knew I would likely not get a chance to go again, I trudged down to Pioneer Square this Friday to queue up in line. I ordered the Salumi Salami with fresh homemade mozzarella on olive oil bread and the (no lie) best sandwich I’ve ever had, the porchetta. The line moved faster than I expected, and everyone in line was in a great mood, chatty and friendly in that Seattle way, as was Armandino Batali, who rang up my order. I grabbed my food to go and headed down to South Lake Union to meet up with my boyfriend for a picnic at a park near his work. It was a stunning day, and we both just about died over the porchetta sandwich. Imagine the juiciest, most tender and rich pork, marinated in who-knows-what-deliciousness. The bread just sopped up all the juices in the most beautiful way. In case you think I’m just being melodramatic, I’m not the only one taken by the porchetta at Salumi. Esquire Magazine named it one of the best sandwiches in the country, and the porchetta is named in 168 Salumi reviews on yelp, more than any other item on the menu. So if you live and work here and get a week day off to spend in the city, or if you are coming to Seattle on vacation, Salumi is a must try.