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 23rd & 24th, 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.
Though it seems to be popping up like piggies after a slop storm, I can’t help but swoon for the carnitas at Canal Street Bistro. Crispy, fatty pork “debris” is crammed onto a dish with a large serving of Mexican rice and wondrous, house-made black beans topped with crumbly cotija. Offered with a roll of fresh, warm corn tortillas, you may just be full before you finish the plate.
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 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 fried breaded 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?
*Article originally published in the March 2018 issue of Where Y’at Magazine
**Angeline is closed, but Chef Alex Harrell is still cooking at The Elysian Bar inside the Hotel Peter & Paul