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Pirolo's Panino Pop-Up at Macchialina: Great Sandwiches, Good Prices

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At Pirolo's Panino pop-up at Macchialina, you can pick from sandwiches that are conventional or playful. Order the Jive Turkey sandwich. Get house-roasted turkey breast, tomato, and Dijonaise thronged by thick bread, which is toasted and smothered in butter. Although the menu listed lettuce as an ingredient, I won't mutter any complaints.

Because this lunch cost $12 -- and it's a fabulous turkey sandwich.

Chef Michael Pirolo's classic sandwiches include meatball parmigiana ($13) and a lobster roll that costs a whopping $22. But the latter seems to be worth the expense. During my visit, many diners were caught trying to wrap their mouths around the enormous brioche.

There are salads, too. Pirolo's summer salad combines escarole, pistachios, peaches, and goat cheese with a lemon vinaigrette for $10. There's also the 305 -- pancetta, butter lettuce, radicchio, hazelnuts, craisins, and provolone in a sherry vinagrette ($10).

But maybe you want a more creative sub. Try the Banh Mi(lano), a fun take on the voguish Vietnamese sandwich, banh mi. Pirolo's rendition ventures from Hanoi to Milan with Italian-inspired fillings: mortadella and testa. What's testa? Testa is an Italian version of head cheese. What's head cheese? Head cheese is a terrine made with flesh from the head of a pig or calf. Sure, the Banh Mi(lano) could use more pickles to cut through all the fat. But it's still a fine sandwich.

Plus, you get to eat pig head for lunch.

Sides include housemade pickles ($5), waffle fries ($6), cabbage slaw ($5), and roasted potatoes with burnt ends ($8). Waffle fries seem to be a popular option. From the kitchen window, Pirolo can often be seen sprinkling salt on these fries. Someone outta tell him to keep at it. Although Pirolo's Panino is just a pop-up, it's clear that this chef can do more than pasta. He also rocks at the panino.

Pirolo's Panino is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. For deliveries, call 305-534-2124. Sandwiches are served in to-go containers, but Macchialina's dining room is available for use.

Follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyCodik.

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