I’ve been hearing about Chef Matt Hinckley and his cured culinary creations for carnivores for a while now. After focusing on mail-order charcuterie sales, he recently opened Hinckley’s Fancy Meats (https://www.hinckleymeats.com/), a storefront inside Orlando’s East End Market, a small but great foodie destination in the hip-but-family-friendly Audubon Park neighborhood. You can buy his meat masterpieces by the pound there — think bacon, sausages, pastrami, mojo-marinated pork, tasso ham, porchetta (slow-cooked, boneless pork roast), and rustic pâtés, terrines, and rillettes, all on display in a nice glass deli case. But now, you can also order sandwiches featuring that marvelous multiude of meats. If that’s not fancy, I don’t know what is!
(By the way, if you aren’t sure of the differences between pâtés, terrines, and rillettes, as I originally wasn’t, or if you’ve never even tried them, Food Republic has a very helpful guide.)
Last month, I met a group from the Orlando Foodie Forum on Facebook for lunch at the East End Market, and many of us visited Hinckley’s for the first time. I studied the menu in advance, as I always do, but still couldn’t decide, so I ordered two sandwiches. Because I meant to share and let my new foodie friends sample the goods — yeah, that’s the ticket! (Don’t worry, Constant Readers — I got two meals out of them.)
I ordered the porchetta sandwich, which is hard to find anywhere in Florida, as well as Chef Hinckley’s take on the banh mi, those French-inspired Vietnamese sandwiches I love so much.
The porchetta sandwich ($14) includes salsa piccante, broccoli rabe (one of my favorite vegetables, especially cooked with sausage or other rich, salty meats), and roasted peppers on a crusty ciabatta roll. I would have preferred a softer roll, but it was still very tasty, with a lot going on in the sandwich.
The porchetta wasn’t quite as juicy as I was expecting, but it was still very flavorful and tender. All the ingredients worked very well together.
But even though the porchetta sandwich was good, the banh mi (also $14) was GREAT. Banh mi sandwiches are usually served on a French baguette and may be spread with some combination of butter, mayo, or pate, with a variety of pork-based cold cuts, grilled beef or chicken, or other kinds of meat, topped with pickled vegetables (usually cucumber, carrot, and daikon radish), fresh cilantro, and fresh jalapeños or other hot peppers. Hinckley’s Fancy version of the banh mi normally features country pâté and duck liver pâté with pickled carrot, daikon radish, and hot peppers and cilantro on the toasty grilled baguette.
But on the day I went, Hinckley’s offered a special kind of thick-sliced, coarse Cajun terrine of pork, confit duck gizzard and hearts, tasso ham, and smoked turkey sausage as an alternative to put in the banh mi. (I sent them a Facebook message to verify all of this deliciousness, to make sure I got it right.) Here’s a better photo from Hinckley’s Instagram account. How could I refuse, with all the recognizable chunks of different meats to sample? It was AWESOME.
A new friend was magnanimous enough to order this charcuterie board ($22) for the group to share. It came with sliced porchetta di testa (boneless pig head), thick and rich chicken liver pâté (the jar on the right), and chilled spuma di lardo (the jar on top), which is creamy whipped pork fat, sea salt, and honey. It also included toasted baguette rounds to spread the spreads on, and a Dijon-style mustard. So fancy for lunch on a workday! I’d love to see Lunchables (which are essentially charcuterie boards for children) create a culinary masterpiece like this.
We are lucky to have some incredible sandwich shops in Orlando, most of which only opened within the last two years. I’ve already reviewed several of my favorites — LaSpada’s, Stasio’s, Manzano’s — and that’s on top of all the places that serve banh mi sandwiches. A review of another big sandwich joint, maybe the biggest and best of them all is coming, I promise. But Hinckley’s Fancy Meats is doing things nobody else is, curing its own meats and reinventing the classics with creative new twists. It’s a great addition to our local sandwich scene, and all carnivores should check it out.