Tag Archives: great pork dishes

Pig Candy

Pig Candy – Lou on Vine, Hollywood

Pig Candy, Lou on Vine, Hollywood CA
Pig Candy, Lou on Vine, Hollywood CA

Lou on Vine provided my first experience with pig candy. And I can’t wait for another one. This is a fantastically simple and terrific appetizer, especially because Lou smokes and cures all his meats.  A small pile of God’s (favorite, most sinful) meat laced with brown sugar and cayenne, then chilled and served like hammered down Lincoln Logs by a drunken father…yeah, that’s the spirit. This stuff is awesome.

The bacon’s texture, hardened by chilling, is very similar to brittle. So pig candy becomes just that, an opportunity to casually snap off bits and idly crunch away. It’s fun, delicious, and yet another incarnation for bacon. This will likely catch on as the catchiest pork appetizer in the U.S….just you wait and see.

The Grade: Awesome/Exceptional (my highest grade)

The Damage: $5

The Skinny: Lou on Vine,724 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (323) 962-6369
Website: http://www.louonvine.com/

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Pork Chop (Town Hall, SF)

Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop – Town Hall, San Francisco CA

Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop, Town Hall, SF
Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop, Town Hall, SF

The Dish: Peanut Tasso Crusted Pork Chop

I’m not a huge peanut fan, to be frank. Peanuts are like the chickens of nuts; you might enjoy eating them, but you probably don’t want to know where they’ve been before entering your mouth. But the peanuts reinforcing the crust of this Town Hall version of the pork chop are well suited. They provide sufficient Southern crunch and a mild, earthy undertone to the smokiness of the tasso (a Cajun dish enhancement staple that has a smoky, cayenne-bolstered pork flavor).

So the pork chop itself comes somewhere betwixt medium and medium-rare, the thick cut pork showing just a blush of pink. The soft, juicy interior’s textural contrast to the nutty, crunchy crust is a balanced counterpoint. It’s one of the best pork chops in San Francisco, to be lauded both for its flavor and its originality.

But another reason for this dish’s power is certainly the crafty selection and rendering of the accompaniments: wonderful, subtle, and smart. Town Hall acknowledges familiar and classic pork partners like fruit and winter vegetables, then reinterprets their presence entirely. Rich, dark apple butter swirls around the plate instead of the expected dollop of baked apple compote. A sprinkling of pomegranate , the crunchy, juicy seeds relating directly to both the sweet apple and the crunchy peanut exterior on the chop. The flavor relationships between the ingredients become as a whole deeper, more vibrant and, somehow, altogether correct, like a symphony. Described on the menu: peanut tasso crusted pork chop, butternut squash, apple butter.

The Grade: Excellent

The Damage: $24

The Skinny: Town Hall, 342 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA

Phone: (415) 908-3900

Website: http://www.townhallsf.com/

Town Hall on Urbanspoon