Three-week-old Piggyback Deli is housed in a most unlikely place: a gas station convenience store on the eastern edge of Lynnwood. Our news partner, the Seattle Times, reports that the gas pumps aren’t quite working yet but Alderwood Food & Deli is open. It sells the typical sundries but–surprise!– where a tired array of fast food warming under heat lamps would normally be there’s a deli case filled with house-made sausages, hot dogs, bacon, porchetta, pastrami, paté and more. There’s also a real kitchen with a couple of chefs grilling those meats for made-to-order sandwiches.
Piggyback’s proprietors are Michael Laroche and Nathan Thomas. Thomas was a chef for NOAA and cooked at sea for six years. Then he met a girl, fell in love and wanted to come ashore. Laroche, whose resume lists several Seattle restaurants, trained with an old-school German butcher in New York City, and worked with Miles James at Dot’s Delicatessen in Fremont. (Piggyback’s “Spicy Pork Sandwich” owes a debt to Dot’s.)
Of the eight sandwiches ($4.99-$8.99) on the menu, one of the bestsellers is porchetta, a liberally seasoned rolled roast made of pork tenderloin wrapped in pork belly. The sandwich is made with three thick slices topped with arugula and a tangy green herb sauce. It’s superb. Tuesday’s special was a winner too: supremely tender Painted Hills rib-eye with melted gruyere and garlicky chimichurri sauce. Both sandwiches came on a toasted Essential Bakery ciabatta roll (Paleo and gluten-free eaters can have the meat with an herb salad, pickled vegetables and sauce on the side.).
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