Are you a fan of bacon? What about pork cheek?
Well, that escalated quickly! But hey, we’re not here to judge. Besides, eating nose-to-tail is the ultimate win-win situation. Less waste AND more to eat. So if that sounds like something you can get into, you’re in luck. Pittsburgh is filled with places to try each and every part of the pig, from more familiar items to overlooked cuts. And with this article in hand, you’ll know exactly where to find them all.
Looks like there’s only one thing left to do. It’s time to pig out.
BACON: After curing their meat in-house, Proper takes a thick slice of their bacon and glazes the meat with a glossy coat of brown sugar sauce. Legitimately finger linkin’ good. A black pepper crust provides balance and keeps the dish from going over the sweet edge.
LARD: Cure is charcuterie-heaven, and their salumi platter is like experiencing Costco for the first time: with wide-eyed and open mouthed delight, you realize all the things that you want to have and didn’t realize you needed. We’d specifically like to direct your attention to the generous slice of their housemade ciccoli. Lard is key in making this luscious country-pate/pork rillette/terrine hybrid.
RIB: This Homewood BBQ joint will make you a loyal follower of their smoky, tender, and juicy pork ribs. Make no apologies for how savage you look when you’re chowing down.
PORK BELLY: Carbonara pasta is stunning in its simplicity: cheese, eggs, and a piggie product (like guanciale or bacon) to round out the flavors. Chef Keith Fuller somehow harnessed everything that’s wonderful about that Italian classic for the benefit of your taste buds. You’ve never had a dish like this, starting with the melt-in-your-mouth pieces of pork belly to the house-made gnocchi.
PORK SHOULDER: Eating at Everyday Noodle is like the tastiest kind of twofer: a meal and a musical performance. Between the thwacking and thudding of the noodles being made right before your eyes and your chorus of “oohs” and “ahs” from total satisfaction, Everyday’s delicate pork soup dumplings are a memorable experience.
PORK SHOULDER: We’ve got one more pork shoulder option for you. Because house-made chorizo and a fried egg in a taco is nearly impossible to say no to.
SHANK: Curtis Gamble’s new Bloomfield gastropub serves up a rustic and dreamy plate of tagliatelle. Topped with parm and a 1-hour egg, the al-dente pasta is perfectly accentuated by insanely tasty morsels of smoked pork shank.
WING: Okay, so a “pig wing” is technically a cut of the shank. But this bone-in, lean & tender piece of pork is designed to be eaten like a wing. And to that effect, prepare to get some Thai chili sauce all over your face and your fingers. You won’t regret it.
RIND/CRACKLINGS: There’s still time left to enjoy all the al-fresco drinking options in Pittsburgh! At Sienna Mercato’s rooftop beer garden, Il Tetto, grab a drink and snack on their fried pork rinds. Just like chips & dip, but at the next level.
OFFAL: Needless to say, this item is not for the faint-hearted. You’re on for an exhilarating adventure if you opt for this Sichuan peppercorn spiced dish.
CHOP: Maybe you saw this one coming, us mentioning a place with meat in the name. So no surprise there. The real surprise comes later when your server arrives with a massive cut of meat. This gigantic chop will be cooked to perfection and topped with pork belly. Two parts in one!
CHEEK: If you’re looking for an accessible way of branching out beyond your run-of-the-mill cuts of pork, make your way over to Lawrenceville. PAN, which replaced Tamari earlier in the summer, offers a not so authentic, but still pretty tasty riff on pad thai. For their special twist, the noodles are topped with flavorful, thin-cut slices of pork cheek.
CURED/VARIOUS When you get a hankering for a good sandwich, take matters in your own hands. A great place to pick up ingredients would be Penn Mac in the Strip with its bustling marketplace vibes. Some of our favorite pork-based deli cuts include salami soppressata, hot capicola, and mortadella, which is like bologna but for real people (like, is it just us or is bologna a weird mythical meat only referenced in cartoons?) Trust the guys that are working the counter- their recommendations are always on the money.
You need to add the form code.