Hungry and on a budget. That’s what I was when I came to Rome as a student in 1999. But back then, my lira went a whole lot farther than today’s euro. With this in mind, Parla Food is launching a “Rome on a Budget” series with the help of two University of California interns, Adrienne Foley and Alston Wen. The first installment comes from Miss Foley, who visited Er Buchetto near Stazione Termini for a taste of their accessible and satisfying porchetta. Adrienne and Alston will also be organizing affordable dining and drinking events for students this fall. Details soon…in the meantime, here’s Adrienne:
“One afternoon last week, I hopped on the H bus after class and headed towards Termini for a highly-anticipated pork-filled lunch. Er Buchetto is a hole in the wall in the best sense of the phrase, but easy to miss. I walked the length of Via Del Viminale three times before realizing the small green banner I had walked past marked my lunch destination.
Upon entering, I was warmly greeted by a knife-wielding man slicing pork. I awkwardly stood in the middle of the small eatery surrounded by locals and tourists alike, and after waiting a few moments, he turned his attention away from the porchetta and blade to take my order: “panino con porchetta”, a roast pork sandwich.
The seating in Er Buchetto is minimal, and communal. I snagged a seat next to a nice German couple, and was immediately offered a glass of red or white wine; I chose white. It took less than a minute to be served my sandwich.
I took my first couple of bites, but was disappointed that the crusty bread overshadowed the porchetta. I took a cue from the couple seated next to me; they were eating porchetta on its own, without bread. The pork on its own, punctuated with crisyp cracklings, melt-in-your-mouth fat, and herb-studded veins, was a thing of beauty. I immediately ordered some sliced porchetta to take away to share with my roomates.
Er Buchetto was extremely affordable, ideal for student budgets. My bill for a porchetta sandwich and a glass of wine was just €4.50 (the panino was €3). The location is prime–just a short walk from Termini and many bus stops–and dining style is flexible; one can eat in or take out.
As an added bonus, this is one of the few places in Rome where the server did not immediately speak to me in English (hence, great practice for my Italian!). In all, Er Buchetto was a tasty, porky delight.”
Er Buchetto di Alessandro Fioravanti
Via Del Viminale, 2F
Photo credit: Adrienne Foley