When people ask me about traveling, my stock response is something along the lines of “I’m still working my way through Queens.” Lucky for me I have friends who travel that I can live and eat vicariously through, friends like Kristen Baughman, who was kind enough to write a guest post about a certain porchetta sandwich in Florence that goes by the name L’Inferno.
I spent the past two months traveling around the Middle East indulging in giant plates of hummus and late-night chicken shawarma sandwiches. So, when I discovered that a flight back to New York City was cheaper if I did a stopover in Italy, I had to extend my trip for two more weeks. Plus, my stomach was ready to be filled with as many pork products as physically possible. I was ecstatic to enter the land of unlimited amounts of porchetta, culatello and prosciutto!
While walking through the cobble stone streets of Florence on the way to my favorite coffee shop Ditta Artigianale, I noticed a fairly long line outside of a small sandwich shop. In bold red letters the sign read “All’antico Vinaio” with at least 30 people waiting patiently to order a giant sandwich. Forget the cappuccino, I wanted one of these sandwiches!
Patrons were walking out of All’antico Vinaio with sandwiches smelling of truffle oil and overflowing with freshly sliced charcuterie. While I waited in line I even noticed an employee crossing the street from their kitchen to deliver freshly baked schiacciata bread (aka: Tuscan salty flatbread that is likely baked by angels). I knew this sandwich was going to be worth the wait.
Once I made it to the front of the line, I ordered the porchetta sandwich, better known as the “L’Inferno.” This sandwich is a staff favorite and included a large portion of Porchetta Toscano topped with spicy cream made of meat, eggplant, zucchini and arugula. At only 5 euros, I could see why All’antico Vinaio was quite the popular spot.
I devoured every last bite of my sandwich on a small bar stool cozied up to a wooden counter. Loyal patrons bumped into me as they ordered from the counter and sausages hung over my head. Of course, I had to wash down the delightful meal with a small bottle of Tuscan red wine. I waved and yelled, “Ciao!” to the employees busy shaving salami and helping hungry customers.
If you find yourself walking down the streets of Florence, All’antico Vinaio is a quaint sandwich shop not to miss. The sandwiches are prepared with quality, homemade ingredients, and won’t break the bank!
Kristen Baughman is a social media and public relations consultant with Gadabout Food based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kristen is also a freelance writer and her work has been featured in Bushwick Daily, The Mason Jar by Swig, New York Street Food, Visit Raleigh Blog, Raleigh Beer Guide, Wake Living Magazine, Visit Austin Blog and OUR State Magazine.