Before our Philly pork extravaganza, a quote from “The Simpsons”:
Homer: Are you saying you’re never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
Pigs really are wonderful, magical animals. Much like Homer Simpson, we can’t imagine a life without bacon, ham, sausage or pork chops. After the jump, a guide to the best swine-centric eats in Philly.
• John’s Roast Pork: This tiny South Philly shack is located, as the Inquirer’s Craig LaBan puts it, “between a train track and a chemical plant” in a waterfront industrial neighborhood. But their roast pork sandwiches, topped with sharp provolone cheese, are the things dreams are made of. They also supposedly have Philadelphia’s best cheesesteaks.
• Syrenka: Polish food might just be one of the most pork-obsessed in the world. Syrenka is one of those places that specializes in what we’ll call “Polish soul food”: kielbasas, stuffed cabbage, pierogies and stews. Kielbasas are a menu constant but the rotating steam table items always seem to include a pork-based item or three.
• Caribou Cafe: This longstanding Center City bistro make’s some of Philadelphia’s best cassoulet: A bean and pork stew topped with sausage and duck confit.
• Vietnam Restaurant: Although Vietnam makes an amazing barbecue platter, it’s a bit too beef- and chicken- focused for our list. But the pork broken rice redeems Vietnam. Although it’s your standard dish of rice topped with charbroiled pork, Vietnam does one of the best renditions we have seen.
• Abner’s Authentic Barbecue: We’re fans of Abner’s in West Oak Lane for the simple fact that they do ribs the right way: dry-rubbed, Charlie Vergos-style. The pulled pork is pretty damn good as well. Abner’s recently opened a second location in Jenkintown.
[Image via Sugar Mountain Farm]