This week I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes of 2007 -- and the absolute worst thing I ate all year.
#5. The "South Side Smoke" Sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café
The "South Side Smoke" is both a sandwich and a marvel of architecture, a great mass of pulled pork (braised for five and a half hours, then smoked over hickory and a little applewood for two and a half more), caramelized onion and creamy, still-melting smoked Gouda that somehow holds together between slices of fresh ciabatta until the moment you try to pick it up. The pork has a gentle, autumnal sweetness -- a little breeze of brown sugar -- and is so luscious you might consider visiting a cardiologist immediately after finishing it.
-- from "The Pasta House, Oh!" (April 5, 2007)