In anticipation of the 9th annual Hogs for the Cause at the end of this month, I got to thinking about all the wonderful ways in which we enjoy this delicious animal. Aside from all of the mouthwatering smoked ribs and pulled pork we'll be inhaling March 23 and 24, there's so many porkalicious offerings to choose from in this town; it truly tests the limits of your imagination and appetite.
For example, do you Mangú? If you do, you'd know this Westbank Dominican restaurant has plentiful portions of pork. Grab an order of fried mangú sticks filled with seasoned shredded pork, and a plate of “Yaroa”—a popular street food where French fries are topped with fried sweet plantains, roasted pork thigh, and lots of melted Gouda cheese. Slurp a Morir Sonando or “Dreamsicle” beverage along with your meal, and you'll still stay under budget.
Chef Alex Harrell at Angeline is certainly not shy with his love of all things pig. This French Quarter restaurant offers up plates of house-made bacon, crispy smoked pork cheeks with cornbread puree, and Georgia clams with wild boar sausage. Brunch features dreamy dishes like a fried green tomato and pork belly sandwich with bacon fat mayo and (my favorite) a mound of creamy Coosa Valley grits topped with a crispy fried boudin “cake,” a pan-fried egg, and lots of red-eye gravy.
Over in the Bywater, they're serving up all things “schwein” (among other things) at Bratz Y'all, a German-inspired joint on Piety Street. It's a great spot to pig out on juicy links of bratwurst, schwein schnitzel, or breaded and fried pork loin, and sandwiches like The Drunk Pig (a.k.a. slow-roasted pork marinated in dark German beer and topped with sauerkraut and caramelized onions). One particularly piggy sandwich dubbed The King Brat is a cheddar-stuffed, smoked pork sausage wrapped in thick, applewood-smoked bacon and topped with crispy fried onions and apricot-chili sauce. Best part about Bratz Y'all (well, aside from all of those incredible brats!) is the unshakable, economic fact that if you really wanted to make a pig of yourself, you could easily order two sandwiches and still not break the bank.
What incredible local pork dish pulls you to the trough?