Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Oinkster

I have to admit I’m on the fence when it comes to The Oinkster ( I enjoy the atmosphere of the Eagle Rock restaurant especially dining outdoors underneath its sign which proclaims to the world they serve “slow fast food.” And it’s always crowded when I’ve gone so it’s obviously popular with the locals. As for me, I’ve eaten there twice and both times it left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. The food was pleasant enough but nothing that made my taste buds beg for more.

The first time I went I had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Full disclosure: I love BBQ pulled pork. When I still lived in Philly, the main reason I went to Phillies games was to eat the amazing pulled pork sandwich at Greg Luzinski’s restaurant, Bulls BBQ. It was tender and juicy with a sweet, tangy sauce that wouldn’t quit. You never needed any peanuts or Crackerjacks once you had that sandwich.

On the other hand, The Oinkster’s BBQ pulled pork sandwich was dry and if there’s anything I hate, it’s dry pork. I like a lot of BBQ sauce on my pulled pork and if the Carolina BBQ sauce the menu says is on it was actually there, I barely tasted it. If you prefer your pork dry, then this is the sandwich for you.

The Horchata shake. Quite the yum.
I decided to get a burger on my second visit. Every June, the restaurant has a burger fest so I figured I’d get a head start and give the burger a try. I got the 1/3 pound burger. It’s made from fresh Nebraska Angus beef, with their own Thousand Island dressing, dill pickles, onions, tomato and lettuce. I also added cheddar which was .75 extra. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good burger but it was nothing worth bragging about. In N Out is far superior and it’s a lot cheaper. For me, the best part of this burger was the caramelized onions. But I didn’t pay $6.25 (well $7.00 with the cheese) for yummy caramelized onions did I?

Classic 1/3 Pound Burger. It was good but no In N Out.
But I have to give The Oinkster mad props because there is one thing they do kick ass at and that’s pastrami. It’s absolutely magnificent. It’s cured for two weeks, rubbed with their secret spices and smoked with applewood. They put it on a roll with red cabbage coleslaw, caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. It is the bomb. You may even remember seeing it on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Both visits I’ve taken a bite of it from my dining companion and thought “I should’ve gotten that” but ended up trying something else. I don’t know why. Maybe I was in denial. Maybe I just wanted to be adventurous. Who knows? Now I know what you’re saying: “You tried it, you liked it, and you should’ve gotten it the second time. You have no one to blame but yourself. It’s your own damn fault.” And you’re absolutely right. A little harsh but right nonetheless.

The pastrami. Now THIS does kick ass.
So I have finally learned my lesson. If I go to The Oinkster a third time, I’m definitely getting the pastrami. Although each time I’ve been there, I’ve seen a lot of people getting the rotisserie chicken so maybe I should try that. It seems to be as popular as the pastrami.

Damn you, Oinkster. Every time I think I’m done with you, you pull me back in.

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