One more local joint....and this one, I don't think, has ever been mentioned by others - here, or elsewhere.Rolli Pork Loin Extraordinaire
is a permanent roadside stand on New Haven Avenue in Melbourne. It is on the way from I-95 out to the beach - right across the street from the Melbourne Municipal Golf Course.
Any good Roadfooder knows that a happy anthropomorphic pig is usually a sign of top-notch grub, and Rolli is no exception. As you can tell from the first photo, seating here is pretty limited, so a lot of the business is take-away. There is also a stand-and-eat section on the side of the building, which is usually occupied by a few hungry folks.
Here's the system...
Simple enough...but, what I like is the open kitchen concept. You can see right inside (or you could if I didn't catch such a wicked glare off the glass) and watch your food being prepared. So, what exactly is a "Rolli?" It is the self-proclaimed "Greatest sandwich in the world!" Hey...if you got the goods, why not let people know?
Unfortunately, it is not the best picture, but the pork is well-seasoned loin that is prepared on a rotisserie - again - you can watch it being done. The seasoning, to me, reminds me of a Caribbean influence - it seems to have some elements of a jerk seasoning. I don't really care what it is - it's good. The standard sandwich also comes topped with provolone, onions, peppers, mayo and mustard. If you have ever read any of my posts before, I get the sandwiches with no goo - but, the flavors from just the onions, peppers and cheese makes for a fabulous sandwich.
The Rolli (~$6) is a seriously good sandwich, but, for me, the real reason that this place is now in my regular lunch rotation is because they produce the best hand-cut, fresh-made fries in town!
I will periodically bring these back to the office with lunch, and my co-workers know from the aroma that I have been to Rolli - and most of them stop by to steal a fry or two - which is fine, because a "small" cup is more than any one person should eat anyway.
They do make good burgers and a few other things....but, one of my favorites is the very authentic Philly-style cheesesteak sandwich (~$6).
This is made from a full ribeye steak, which is seasoned and then chopped (but not too finely) and mixed with onions and peppers. Add a few slices of provolone, and this makes for pretty good eats.
While I obviously can't make much of a habit of eating such heart-attack inducing foods, I have also discovered fabulous breakfast sandwiches at Rolli, too. One of the things I really miss from living in NY is the morning stop at the deli for a bacon and egg sandwich on a hard roll - a ubiquitous special on Long Island and around the City, too. This is a pretty good specimen...
I have taken a bunch of people from work to Rolli, and each time I go there, I discover something new. On one recent visit, one of my co-workers wanted to order one of their breakfast sandwiches - the Rolli, egg and cheese (~$4). Wow!
Again...this is REALLY good. But, it still doesn't give you a really good idea of just how much food is on this sandwich.
Rolli is located in a former ice cream stand, and they still serve some pretty good and inexpensive soft-serve, too. The place is run by some really good people. The owner is a Johnson and Wales-trained chef, by trade, and has worked in some upscale establishments around town previously. Personally, I am glad that he chooses to show off his culinary expertise with some plebian roadside meals.ETA 8/23/08
- I just got back from another visit to Rolli
and the food and fries are as good as always. I now pretty much get the Rolli, egg and cheese most of the time when I go or the cheese steak. Whenever I have friends in town (or students who have never been) and we go out for lunch, this has been my go-to place to take them. I noticed when I was there today that they had a sign up encouraging people to contact Guy Fieri
of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives
, and it reminded me of a great Rolli story that you guys would appreciate - and perhaps the story that I will email to Guy.
On one of my first visits there, I ordered their burger. They make pretty good hamburgers. I believe that the meat is fresh, and they have cooked it to preferred temperature when I remember to ask! I asked for the burger to be topped with lettuce, tomato - remember, no goo for me. Jay, the owner, who was preparing my food, looked up at me and said "Hey...sorry, I'm out of lettuce." I gave him a hard time about being out of lettuce and think I joked about running down to Publix to pick some up for him. He turns around again and says "Instead of lettuce, how about I throw a couple of slices of Rolli meat on the burger for you?" Hmmmmm....lettuce, a green thing that my body is likely to reject as a foreign object - or PORK? Of course. And, thus was the makings of a fantastic burger - beef, Rolli-style pork, and a tomato slice.
It's a shame that they never added that burger to the menu. I would order it. It should at least be a periodic special. For that matter, for as many people as I have turned on to this place....they should name it after me!
In case anyone is interested, I started a collection of photos in my Flickr account called[url='http://www.flickr.com/photos/81181002@N00/collections/']Dining Around Florida[/url]. It will update automatically as new items are added.