The most famous tripperia in Florence must be this small stand right outside the entrance to the Mercato Centrale. You can tell by the signs posted in Japanese. Yes it can be swamped with selfie taking tourists, but locals are lining up as well. And well they should, the flavors here are fresh and clear. Not that a Panino con Lampredotto will ever be elegant, but this is probably as close as it’s going to get. And for only 3.50 you get your money’s worth.
It lacks the boisterous conviviality of its like in Via dei Macci or Piazza Le Cure, but it makes up for it in convenience. There is an art to eating a Panino con Lampredotto without spilling, but here, they make concessions. The plastic wrapper is larger and forms a deep pocket, they wrap your panino in four or five layers of paper napkins and they even give you a small plastic fork to spear pieces of meat. This means you get to eat the sandwich, not wear it.
The sauces are vibrant, the salsa verde, the color of a fresh green pesto; the chili sauce, bright red. Both sauces were obviously made fresh this morning, and you can taste it in their flavor. The chili sauce is reminiscent of Asian chili oil. They combine to offset the richness of the meat.
The bread roll is crusty and thick. They don’t hollow it out here, and I wish they would. This is a hearty bread, it stands up well to the meat and sauces, the bottom layer absorbs the juice but holds its integrity better than most. That roll borders on being too much to chew on, until it begins to soften under the burden of the meat.
Get It!: Panino con Lampredotto, Piccante e Verde (with Salsa Verde and Chili Sauce)
Signature Dish: Panino con Lampredotto
Historic stall #75, outside Mercato Centrale (Central Market), corner of Via Sant’Antonino and Via dell’Ariento, Firenze. http://www.lupenemargo.it