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The Sandwich: El Lomito
Where: Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW
Bread: Ciabatta roll
Stuffings: Pork roast, avocado, ’nduja, lettuce, tomato
Thickness: 4.5 inches
Pros: Inspired by the popular Chilean sandwich, the Lomito brings together juicy pork and creamy avocado in a haze of fatty richness that would surely lead to a food coma on its own. The bottom bun is slathered with ’nduja, a spicy spreadable Italian sausage that provides a fiery contrast to the cool veggies and salty pork. By itself, the ’nduja can come across a little strong, but when blended with less bold ingredients, it yields a pleasantly smoky taste.
Cons: The only quibble with the Lomito is its texture. Pork, ’nduja, and avocado are already squishy on their own, and when combined, they’re even squishier. Don’t let that deter you, though. Crisp iceberg lettuce and a toasted roll add enough crisp.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. A sandwich like this is inevitably a dripper. But the kitchen at Compass Rose anticipates that, serving the Lomito in a paper-lined basket and skewering the contents with an enormous toothpick in order to prevent a complete structural collapse.
Overall score (1 to 5): 5. If this is representative of Chilean street food, book me a seat on the next flight to Santiago. The simple ingredients, while tasty on their own, become more than the sum of their parts when combined. Were he still alive, Pablo Neruda would surely compose an ode to this El Lomito.
Photo by Caroline Jones