By Steven Doyle
America has a serious obsession with the pig and that seems to be just fine. In Dallas there are plenty of spots to find the various parts of the little oinker from the tip of the nose to the very tail end. All are lush and tasty. Behold our list of our favorite pig parts:
Where else can you find half a pig head served table side, with its crispy chicharone skin on the outside, and the juicy sweet meat on the inside. CBD serves plenty of parts, but the place wins for the best plated pork in the city. Don’t miss out on the tail, either. Those are served up in a guajillo BBQ sauce, and seriously delicious.
The Blind Butcher
Pig parts abound in this new Dallas pub that serves some serious meat. Look for the pig ears that are thinly slivered and fried to a sweet crispness. The ears are perfect as a starter or simply as a side dish to a beer. You also can find pig tails and tripe that are served crispy and sauced much like chicken wings.
OinknMoo Barbecue Truck
Owner Dave Hunt goes berserk over pulled pork and serves it up in a massive way. Try the quesadilla, tacos, sandwich or what we are recommending at this moment…the pulled pork stuffed jalapeno. How can something be so sweet and succulent, yet spicy as hell’s fire at the same time?
Yes, the brisket is some of the very best around, but the ribs definitely take a prize for their large and meaty ways. Pecan Lodge now serves spare ribs that are tender, yet retain their dignity and stay on the bone. The meat can be coaxed into your belly with very little effort. Not enough smoked pig for your taste? Order the Hot Mess which is a sweet potato canvass, layered with pulled pork.
The newest kid on the block serves up a load of fun in a quasi-soda fountain setting. The cocktails rocked our world, as did the BLT. And you know what the B stands for, and there is plenty of the baconey goodness. Oh, the place also has a dryaged Duroc chop on the menu. Pork fat does rule. You will see the word Duroc on a lot of menus this season, and that is OK by us. It is a wonderful breed of pig that is well marbled with delicious flavor.
Chef Graham Dodds has a way with pork that isn’t even the least bit subtle. The man is over the top when it comes to the way he treats his pig. His current menu at Hibiscus has this amazing pork porterhouse on board served up with pecan-smoked mustard, slow roasted grapes, and watercress.
One of our very favorite restaurants in Dallas, Gemma will supply you with the most savory chop you will ever love. Served with field peas, blistered shishito peppers, and pickled okra relish.
Pho Tay Do
This restaurant is synonymous for a delicious bowl of Bún bò Huế. Whereas the soup contains Bun (vermicelli noodles) and Bo (beef), it also has a whole host of surprise ingredients such as pig’s knuckles and congealed pig’s blood. Do not let these items deter you from one very amazing soup. Located at 1403 E. Campbell in Richardson.
Clark Food & Wine
There is more than enough meat to get your caveman on at Clark, but the Duroc pork that is sold by the half-pound is poised to entreat you to a delicious meal. If that is not enough swine, enjoy a sharable bit of pork rillettes. This is smoked pork that is given a smooth finish of duck fat, and is meant to be smeared and endeared on top of the provided grilled bread.
One of the best deals in Dallas involves pork, and plenty of it. Check out Perry’s Steakhouse on Friday’s for lunch where the people there will serve you a beautifully-roasted double pork chop served with whipped potatoes and house-made applesauce. The chop is served table-side where the wait staff expertly slices the meat before your eyes. The chop is normally $37.95 at dinner, but Friday it is only 13.95. There will be plenty for a leftover lunch.
Not wishing to share any of your pig parts? Order the whole roasted suckling pig and enjoy everything the little guy has to offer. Served with a plum sauce. Located atop Reunion Tower, 300 Reunion Blvd. in Dallas.
Say no more than charcuterie. It is owner Brian Luscher’s passion, and the charcuterie here is amazing. Plenty of spare pig parts to choose from. While you are at it, you can check out Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots. There are some pig parts in those as well. Luscher is the Abe Froman of Dallas.
Recently nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, Casa Rubia is a fantastic tapas restaurant in Trinity Groves. Drive across the bridge for your very own sample of the hand sliced Iberco Jamon. We also adore the paella of the day.
Jimmy’s Food Store
If you are new to Dallas, this should be your first grocery shopping experience. It is the best Italian food market in Texas and has the biggest Italian wine selection. The people there make some of the best sandwiches in Dallas, but also grind their own sausage. You can buy the stuff in bulk, either regular or spicy, and you can find the sausage in most every independent pizzeria in the DFW area. It is that good.
First Chinese BBQ
Look no further than the entrance where you will see whole head-on hanging ducks and slabs of red roasted pork. If you are fortunate, the head will be available. But there always is a supply of juicy meats from a variety of pig sections. Available as a meal or sold by the pound to go.