/Mordi e Vai in the Testaccio Market

Mordi e Vai in the Testaccio Market

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Sergio Esposito preparing a panino all’allesso.

When the new Mercato di Testaccio opened in July 2012, vendors and shoppers did not universally rejoice. Higher rents, a less convenient location, a sterile atmosphere and a competing weekend farmers’ market nearby were among the complaints. But in the two and a half years since the structure’s inauguration, the market has proven to be a success on many counts, especially for the new opportunities it has created for vendors: Da Aretnio (Box 90) sells biodynamic wines selected by Jonathan Nossiter and wood fired baked goods from Lariano; Dess’art (Box 66) sells Sicilian sweets and savory snacks, including cannoli filled to order and panelle, generously salted. But the single most important innovation can be found at Mordi e Vai (Box 15), where Sergio Esposito, a retired butcher, serves sandwiches and side dishes made from family recipes.

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Panino alle polpette di Nonna.

The formula is simple: choose from an assortment of classic Roman main dishes (tripe, oxtail, coratella, braised beef, meatballs, to name a few) and Sergio will slice open a roll and fill it with the selected item. If you go for the panino all’allesso (and you should), the bread will get a generous dunk in a viscous, lardy oil before being filled with tender beef slices. If you are after something with a splash of acidity, the panino con l’allesso alla picchiapò features beef simmered in a carrot-rich tomato sauce. There is also an assortment of fried snacks, like polpette fritte, deep fried patties of seasoned shredded beef.

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Panino con l’allesso alla picchiapò

Visit Sergio in the Testaccio Market from Monday through Friday from 8:00am until 2:30pm. Get all the meaty things and whatever you do, don’t wear white.

Mordi e Vai
Mercato di Testaccio Box 15
Via Beniamino Franklin 12E
Tel: +39 3391343344
Open: Mon-Sat 8:00am-2:30pm

8 Comments

  1. Selina November 24, 2014 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Thanks- looks yummy!

  2. Hounddogman February 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I missed this when it was first published, I don’t get to Rome as often as I used to (not least because I’ve moved to Nice) but when I do I get down to Mordi e Vai whenever I can. The only bummer is the guided tour groups that now seem to infest this market all day, members of which block the approach to the stall and taked AGES to decide what they’re having.

    • Katie February 3, 2015 at 10:55 pm - Reply

      those big tour groups are the worst. but as far as I have seen, they only feed the shittiest available food at the market to their unsuspecting guests and dont take them to worthwhile places like Mordi e Vai

      • Robbin April 20, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

        The tour group went to the bakery across the way today and I was rather surprised!

        In the crush, I forgot to ask for my amatriciana all’allesso. Dang it.

  3. Hounddogman February 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    YMMV. Life’s too short to follow somebody else’s umbrella

  4. […] Mordi e Vai Although there are one hundred and three vendors in the bustling Mercato Testaccio, Mordi e Vai’s epic lunch line makes it quite easy to spot. Owner Sergio Esposito has made a name for himself by reinterpreting the potentially boring sandwich, offering combinations like veal cooked in white wine with chicory, braised beef known as allesso, and for the more adventurous eaters, tripe. The best news of all? Sergio’s panini go for only 3-4 euro each. Via B. Franklin 12E […]

  5. […] Mordi e Vai Although there are one hundred and three vendors in the bustling Mercato Testaccio, Mordi e Vai’s epic lunch line makes it quite easy to spot. Owner Sergio Esposito has made a name for himself by reinterpreting the potentially boring sandwich, offering combinations like veal cooked in white wine with chicory, braised beef known as allesso, and for the more adventurous eaters, tripe. The best news of all? Sergio’s panini go for only 3-4 euro each. Via B. Franklin 12E […]

  6. […] offers the example of Mordi e Vai, a stall in the Testaccio Market that was the first in Rome to serve prepared foods for takeaway. […]

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