January 21, 2012

Get Lucky at Lucky's Puccia's

You've driven by it - the flame-kissed trailer by the Tiniest Bar across the street from Whole Foods downtown.  Lucky's Puccia's opened in August of 2010, founded by Chef Lucky himself.  Lucky came to the states in 2007 for love, he says, and brought with him the puccia (an Italian bread) from his childhood. "Aunt Maria was the only one who had a traditional wood burning oven in my hometown in Italy.  I loved the smell, and the consistency of softness so I learned how to make it by working for them in the summers," Lucky shares.

He's been baking bread for over twenty years and with his culinary expertise has attracted loyal customers that will eat his sandwiches three or four times a week.  The puccia bread is the foundation of his concept.  Innovated in the Southern part of the boot, this type of dough is made fresh daily and Lucky bakes it to order in his wood burning oven (he uses Oak here, but in Italy they use Olive wood).  He let me in the trailer and I literally watched it raise before my eyes.  He split it in two, and made the "Lucky", which is his best seller.  It contains Boars Head prosciutto di Parma (from Italy), arugula, mozzarella, tomato and a really incredible aioli.

"I miss the flavors of Italy," Lucky said when I asked him how often he visited home.  "I need to go connect with the flavors.  I miss the beach too.  I used to go snorkeling every morning at 7am and I could recognize the schools of fishes.  It's been five years since I've been back."

While I was there, he let me sample the lemon artichoke pesto (incredible), the basil aioli (delish), the nutella (whats not to love), and the olive tapenade (finely ground with simple ingredients).  He knows many of his customers by name and yells "Ciao bella!" at the ladies walking up to get their 'Vegetarianas', or "Comestai?" at the guys returning for another puccia.  One of his pride and joys is the pastrami, which he melts with three Italian cheeses in the oven before topping with grilled mushrooms, peppers, onions and chipotle aioli.  You're going to love whatever you get, so I suggest planning on going with friends to split some items to share - or - just making several visits.

I also met Jimi, delivery-guy extroidinaire.  He's been pedi-cabbing for over 6 years and can swing you a Southern Italian fresh baked puccia sandwich if you're in the downtown area.  Call your order in at: 512-739-8785.