With Kansas City still in the midst of a heated bacon love affair (don’t worry, the rest of America is right there with us), it’s easy to miss out on the fact that there are other parts of the pig being used in delicious ways around the metro. In the interest of getting you to go whole hog, we’ve put together a list of five pork dishes that will make you forget about bacon. [We’ve even thrown in a bit of pork belly — the basic building block for bacon — for those who think they can’t just go cold turkey.]
5. The Bahn Mi at Pigwich (2618 Guinotte Avenue). The stationary food truck in back of The Local Pig fills crusty Ciabatta with pillowy pork meatballs, cilantro, a touch of Sriracha mayo and house pickles. It’s $7. You can add on house chips and a can of soda for $1 more.
4. Chicharrones at Port Fonda (4141 Pennsylvania). The pork rinds ($5) at chef Patrick Ryan’s Westport spot crackle in your mouth like salty Pop Rocks. In lieu of sugar, they pop with salt, chile and lime. You have to ask for hot sauce. Definitely ask for hot sauce.
3. Pork Tenderloin at Christy’s Tasty Queen (1405 South 55th Street, Kansas City, Kansas). The sign will tell you that Christy’s Tasty Queen has ‘KC’s Best Tenderloin.’ ($5.80) and the massive sandwich makes a reasonable argument to the jury once you step inside. The sides of the pounded flat tenderloin hang well over the edge of bun (merely there to hold the chopped lettuce, onion and mayo). But the pork inside is juicy and the breading has a proper crunch — you’ll eat more of this than you’d care to admit to Instagram.
2. Duroc Pork Chop at Novel (815 W. 17th Street). Chef Ryan Brazeal’s year-old restaurant on the West Side has an ever-evolving menu, but the one dish that regulars couldn’t do without is Novel’s Duroc pork chop ($21). The tender pork is balanced by crisp rice spaetzle and baby bok choy. It’s served with a pork belly ragu — so technically you’re getting two pork dishes in one.
1. Sage-rubbed Pork Roast at Affare (1911 Main Street). It’s the summer of pork at Affare on the new lunch menu (with five $10 choices) that launched in July. The aforementioned pork roast comes with sauerkraut and dark beer sauce, which somehow beautifully melds the ballpark and the biergarten. There’s also a pork schnitzel topped with bacon, grainy mustard and a fried egg.
Where’s your go to pork dish?