Pork confit is not a driving food. It is rich, tender, moist and, yes – as the term confit would indicate – greasy. The good kind of greasy. The melty, warm-in-your-belly kind of greasy.
And so, if you're in Orlando, and you happen into This N’ That Eats – Ivanhoe Village’s cozy new sandwich shop – on your lunch hour, and you order the Torta (comprised of said confit, queso fresco, refried beans, avocado, tomato, Mexican creme and a smattering of dark green lettuce on a soft Semita roll), you should consider eating in.
Not merely because the restaurant's a friendly place to camp out, but because if you get that sandwich to go, you may find yourself opening the box to snag a bite. And pork grease is a heck of a lap stain to endure at the office for an entire afternoon.
The Torta's soft roll actually makes it a stellar handheld, but if you can, sit and savor it at This N' That Eats — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Of course, you could opt for an easier option if you’re insistent on this unsafe practice. The Cheese Dream’s a good one. For $5, you’ll enjoy gooey Vermont cheddar and tomato jam on some super-crusty rustic bread. Or you can just belly up at the lunch counter and sit awhile.
You may even meet Chef/Proprietor Jason Schofield, who crafted the eatery’s small menu based on sandwiches he’s enjoyed during his travels abroad.
“I like taking something ordinary and trying to make it better,” he says. “For example, with our Cuban, we cook the pork confit-style instead of lechon, which is slow-roasted, but with all the same spices and marinades. We then take the oil and fat from the pork and make our Dijon aioli, cure the pickles and use La Segunda Cuban bread from a 110-year-old bakery in Ybor City.”
The menu will change some, he says, both seasonally and weekly, even being shaped by the customers’ preferences. The doors, after all, have only just opened.
Salads – kale, spinach and more – along with sides like the cucumber-avocado salad, which melds creamy with crunchy, help round out (and lighten up) a deliriously decadent roster that’s rife with pork in all its forms, from thick-cut bacon to fat-laden belly.
The Verdura sandwich is notably greener, combining fennel, roasted veggies, arugula and achar sauce.
Chef Jason Schofield calls Orlando a culinary hot spot. "The food scene is ever-changing, and that is very attractive for young, passionate chefs," he says. — Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
It’s a neat, little addition to the area locals sometimes call the “Ivanhood,” smack in the middle of some excellent drinking establishments – both tony and not-so much – and just the sort of place you might want to visit for a reasonably priced sop-up meal that’s better than anything you’d have the Uber driver hit the drive-thru for.
They’re open ‘til midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, but back in early to brew coffee and serve a limited breakfast menu for locals and visitors who come to peruse the area’s plethora of boutiques, home furnishing stores and specialty shops. Not to mention those heading out for a paddle on its eponymous lake.
"The neighborhood is vibrant," says Schofield, who’s looking to be a community participant, with pop-up gallery exhibits and traveling boutique shows in the future, and offer something of a Cheers-like vibe. “We just want to stake our claim as the cool, little coffee and sandwich shop where people know you.”