The Fickle Pig — The Sandwich Smith, E 1st St, Los Angeles

sandwichsmith-ficklepigIf you recall my earlier trip to The Sandwich Smith, I gave them high marks for concept but found them lacking in execution. Specifically, there was far too much on the sandwich to find any kind of harmony. Well, meet the Fickle Pig. Pulled pork, chipotle lime aioli, cheddar cheese, tomato, bacon coleslaw and red onion on country white, plus a fried egg. That, friends, is too much. In my experience the best pulled pork sandwiches contain little aside from the title ingredient, but even if you’re going to pile things on you have to consider that the pork is going to be rich and flavorful. A fried egg is also rich and flavorful, exceptionally so, and so you end up with two strong forces pushing in the same direction, throwing the sandwich off balance. And that’s not even half of it! Chipotle lime aioli and bacon coleslaw are not quite a natural pairing, the cheese is lost, nobody knows quite what the tomato is doing…it’s all just too much, and the sandwich suffers greatly as a result. Though I can’t claim to know exactly why this happens, I suspect it’s a combination of needing to present a product that justifies the price and a desire to present the sandwich as something significant, maybe even something decadent. Ideally, I think this sandwich is the pork, the coleslaw, and the red onion. That would be swell, but a three item sandwich is a humble attempt at greatness. In a rush to impress the humble trio gets left behind for the shaky symphony, and all of a sudden the music is no longer worth hearing.

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