M O RTA D E L L A H E A D
At Mortadella Head, sandwich ingredients are often crossutilized for other menu items, including pizzas and gourmet French fry creations.
• Strut your sides. Mortadella Head adds value in the form of included sides—and they ain’t your typical bonus bag of big-brand potato chips. Instead, each sandwich comes with housemade chips (tossed in Pecorino-Romano, rosemary, garlic butter, salt and pepper) and a choice of the pizzeria’s own giardiniera or pasta fagioli soup. For those who crave French fries, there’s an entire menu subset of gourmet options at a premium price: think Rhode Rage Fries, topped with fried calamari, banana pepper rings, garlic butter and lemon aioli, and Shepard’s Pie Fries, with ground beef, shredded carrots, sautéed onions, gravy and cheddar. • Cross-utilize ingredients. With two types on offer— traditional round and Roman-style rectangular pies— Sillari can use many of his sandwich ingredients on pizzas, too. “For example, we have a pizza right now with grilled steak, peppers and onions, like a Philly cheesesteak,” he says. “We can cross-utilize so many things on our fries, sandwiches and pizzas: meats like mortadella, capicola and salami; vegetables like arugula and potatoes; and add-ons like rosemary and garlic cream sauce.” • Encourage social media salivation. Sillari ditches traditional advertising and focuses strictly on social media to spread the word about his sandwiches and other menu items. Mouthwatering shots of Mortadella Head creations fill his restaurant’s Instagram and Facebook pages, accompanied by localleaning hashtags like #bostoneats, #somerville and #davissquare, as well as general ones such as #foodie, #foodporn and #cheatmeal. “We have a lot of college students here, so we search to find what hashtags we know will work for that demographic,” Sillari explains. “We’ll even direct-message people on social media and say, ‘Come in Friday night to try this!’” • Lighten up with LTOs. Limited-time sandwiches, often a result of sudden inspiration that leads to kitchen experimentation, are a regular feature at Mortadella Head. Recently, an off-the-cuff trial was so popular it made the permanent menu: the Porco Dio!, with porchetta, broccoli rabe, caramelized onions, provolone and Calabrian chili mayo. “There are no set rules, so we have a lot of fun with it,” Sillari says. “As we grow, we’ll probably get more systematized, like having a sandwich of the month. The sky’s the limit!” Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.
76 PMQ PIZZA MAGAZINE | THE WORLD’S AUTHORITY ON PIZZA
1/28/19 1:37 PM