Porto’s – Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA

portos-roastporkPeople have been suggesting I head to Porto’s from just about the day I set foot in California. It took me a while to get there, but after a visit I’m not sure I can sign on to the consensus must-visit rating. Both of the sandwiches pictured here were good, but neither were as good as they could be, and that’s a difficult thing to deal with. The above is pan con lechon, or roast pork with grilled onions and mojo sauce.portos-pastramiThe second one pictured is the pastrami, with pickles, mustard and mayo. The roasted pork and the pastrami were both quite strong examples of their respective categories, but both sandwiches lacked balance. The pork needed more onion and more garlic flavor in the mojo, and the pastrami needed more pickles. Neither was a bad sandwich, but both had bites that reminded you of what the sandwich was capable of being, and that it wasn’t that. Porto’s was mobbed when I was there, and I’m told that’s generally the case. Perhaps that’s the root of the trouble: the need to turn out countless sandwiches every day with all due expediency leads to sub-par execution. Whatever the cause it’s all the pity when it makes the plate, and that was sadly the case at Porto’s.