Porano's Panzo

Porano Pasta has closed.

Think back a couple months to my Porano Pasta post—remember that "?" picture?  You may have thought that I was leaving you hanging, like David Chase with the end of The Sopranos, but I wasn't. I was just waiting for the right moment. And that moment is now. The panzo! This Southern Italian classic, formally known as the panzerotti, is nothing short of amazing. Is it a gourmet Hot Pocket? Is it an individual-sized fried calzone? Is it an Italian empanada? Yes. Pretty much all of those things.

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These panzos are motherflippin' ridiculous. Each one is about the size of a hand grenade, except instead of being filled with explosives, they're filled with oozing, gooey cheese (which can be considered explosives, I think, if you're lactose intolerant). Are you drooling? I'm drooling. The standard panzo Porano is offering is filled with mozzarella and basil, served with their pomodoro sauce on the side, but there are daily specials. Yesterday's was a mushroom, fontina, garlic, and chili. Awhile back I had one with meatballs and harissa.

When it hits the table, you already know how good it's going to be. While you're taking in the beauty of its golden, flaky crust, the smell of cheese starts permeating the air. Resistance is futile. Plus, they always come with a sauce to dip them in, and everyone loves dipping.

The panzobilities are endless, but I'm clamoring for one with Salume Beddu nduja, Mike's Hot Honey, garlic, chilis, and cheese. Pomodoro sauce on the side.

Oh, and another Porano secret I've just learned about: ask for one of the tomato based sauces to be mixed with the alfredo. You'll never go back to a single sauce again.

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