HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Must eat pork for a fallen vegetarian

My girlfriend has recently returned from vegetarianism, and to celebrate her newfound options, she has decided to eat pork at least once a day for the month of November. She's documenting her progress here:


I feel that her choices so far have been, how shall I say, satisfactory but forgettable. Lots of bacon, a few slices of pizza, spam musubi, tonkatsu.

She has 10 more days for this experiment, and Thanksgiving will probably be difficult. If you had 9 days to live and had to eat pork each day, what would you choose?

I'm sure she'll be eternally grateful...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hmm, that is really odd, but also cool. Here are some good pork things I've had lately:

    tacos al pastor from Taqueria San Jose on Mission/24th

    BBQ Pork banh mi from Latte Express, 5th St/Market

    The meat sauce at Cordon Bleu, California St. w/ the excellent Vietnamese chicken. Not sure if this is beef or pork or both...

    Dim sum would also be a good idea, if she eats shrimp.

    1. The plate of amazing pork products at Incanto is dreamy. Their charcuterie plate now has something like 6 items on it, all of which were quite different and absolutely outstanding. Of course, if your girlfriend is the type to overthink what type of pork products might make it onto the plate at Incanto, a few items on the plate might be a hard sell. Make sure you have a robust wine to cut through the gelatin, and ask for extra mustard (house made, of course).

      I suggest eating at the bar to avoid the table waiters, who I've found to be really hit or miss over the years.

      Fatted Calf also makes some good pork products, but while I love some of their items others really don't do much for me. Every item on the plate at Incanto was superb, even if the serving size was almost too much for 3 of us to eat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SteveG

        She already ate SPAM, I'm sure she's not worried about what parts of the pig she's eating... :-)

        Anyway, to help the threadstarter, get some pork and cheese pupupas, especially if they're from El Tazumal in El Cerrito.

        Also, pork pate with truffles from BevMo. Spread on your favorite sliced baguette.

        Then try Niman Ranch thick boneless center-cut chops from Trader Joes wrapped with Niman Ranch bacon and rosemary sprig (it comes packaged like this). Hit it with a little Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, then sear at high heat for 2 minutes on each side (I like cast iron for this, since I have no outdoor grill), then cook through to a pale pink on medium heat.

        All of this stuff is really affordable, too.

      2. A three-course pork feast at Incanto: salumi platter, handkerchief pasta with rustic pork ragù, and braised pork shoulder.


        "Steamed Bacon with Dried Mustard Greens" (梅菜扣肉) at Ton Kiang:


        1. Welcome back to the bright side.

          Get thee to Oliveto for the wild boar ragu and Incanto for the braised pork.

          1. Looks like many of the "major pork groups" have been covered. Here's a few more:

            kalua pig

            Best of luck.

            1. The pork ribs at Mistral in the Ferry Building are super yummy.

              1. Does it have to be in SF? If not, I highly recommend the wild boar at Binh Minh Quan that you cook yourself at the table in copious amounts of butter.

                Binh Minh Quan
                338 12th St
                Oakland, CA 94607
                (510) 893-8136

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hunicsz

                  Nope, points eastward and southward are just as valid!

                2. A bit of a road trip, I know, but for me a pork-fest would not be complete without the Mongolian pork chop at Mustard's in Yountville. I'd also have to have pork pot stickers! Everyone's got a view on which pot stickers are the best...

                  1. Petit Jambon and Pork Rillettes from Fatted Calf.
                    Meatballs from Pizzaiolo.
                    I third the Incanto recs.

                    1. The number of recommendations for Incanto have put it on the agenda for tonight. I'm sure there will be some photographic evidence to follow...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cameronfactor

                        Though not pork, if they still have the cod roe on the menu you simply must try it. I've never eaten something with such a curious, yet wonderful, texture.

                      2. I'd say you have to hit Taqueria La Bamba in Mountain View for the carnitas. It will be worth the trip.

                        1. Smoked pork chop at Bacar.

                          1. Ribs at Henry's Hi Life in San Jose.


                            Best barbeque in the area. That's right, I said best.

                            1. Brined pork chops from Cafe Rouge. I made these last night with au gratin potatoes and sauteed romano beans. Little gem lettuce salad with crab and green goddess dressing to start off. Quite satisfying; seemed like something I would order out in a restaurant but was delighted to be at home eating this meal wearing sweatpants. The shopping part was not fun though; too many stores!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: EileenPearl

                                Cafe Rouge does a really nice job with pork. My favorite is when they'll have an entree with pork three ways, for example some spit-roasted shoulder, some braised belly, and a sausage. The sides are usually great, too. The menu varies daily so you never know if they'll have that, but there's almost always a pork dish.


                                1. re: EileenPearl

                                  How'd you cook the chops? I have two waiting for me in the frig and likely to go into the freezer.

                                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                    We grilled the brined pork chops outside on the Weber (using indirect heat method so they don't get too charred). We used hickory and some charcoal with sprigs of rosemary on the pork chops.

                                    1. re: EileenPearl

                                      I ended up frying mine in a cast iron skillet. I loved the slightly sweet cinnamon note. I thought Cafe Rouge's brined chops were far superior to Fatted Calf's smoked, brined chops.

                                2. Soup dumplings were how I broke my pork fast when I started to eat meat again.

                                  ETA: What am I thinking? This is San Francisco! With the possible exception of bacon, al pastor is pork at its finest...

                                  1. crispy carnitas tacos - la taqueria
                                    carnitas burrito - el metate
                                    roasted pork shoulder - delfina
                                    meatballs - pizzaiolo / delfina pizzeria
                                    ribs - oola

                                    1. I can't believe I'm the first to say this, but at least one meal should be at the Pork Store Cafe. Preferably a large breakfast to fight a hangover. I mean come on, the symbolism is too rich.

                                      I'd also say look for braised/crispy pork belly around town.

                                      1. Grubbjunkie beat me to it. Get that girl some pork belly!

                                        1. Don't people eat ham on Thanksgiving?
                                          Honey Baked Ham !!!!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: monku

                                            And sausage is pretty traditional in stuffing. I make a cornbread/apple/sausage stuffing that's yummy.

                                            Carnitas is "porkier" than al pastor. You didn't specify location, but my favorite carnitas tacos are from the El Novillo taco truck at the corner of Fruitvale and E. 12th in Oakland. Otaez in Alameda has a great carnitas plate as a special on weekends.

                                            Speaking of pork shank, try a Shanghai-style braised pork shank. In fact, Shanghai restaurants are good for pork: you could have a meal with soup dumplings, Lion's head meatballs and pork shank.

                                          2. I liked the pork belly app at Redd in Yountville. It seems to be pretty cocnsistantly on their menu. I haven't found much in the pork belly line I don't like!

                                            1. Korean bbq pork, yum.

                                              And go to some German place for a big succulent pork shank with sauerkraut.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                Schroeder's specials board regularly has pig knuckle, which is about a foot long and five inches in diameter.

                                              2. Sweet Smoked Pork sandwich from Memphis Minnies on Haight St.

                                                1. I have personally converted two non pork eaters from their ways with an al pastor super burrito from tacqueria cancun (Mission/19th).

                                                  I recommend following up the initial al pastor burrito salvo at Cancun with the al pastor tacos at la altena on Mission/22nd to solidify why she should keep eating pork. :-)

                                                  1. "Memphis Pork" at Big Nate's on Folsom. Smokey, charey and if you like it hot, their spicy hot sauce has a good bite.

                                                    1. Fried pork. Definitely fried pork.

                                                      Try the deep-fried buta kakuni at Himawari on 2nd Ave. in San Mateo. It's a good-sized appetizer for 2, or a generous meal for 1 with a bowl of rice.

                                                      Then there's the crispy pata at Tribu on El Camino in San Bruno.

                                                      1. Just to add to the porky carnitas discussion, my all time fave is the carnitas plate with corn tortillas at El Taco Zamarano in Oakland (corner of High St. & International). You'll get a plate of Spanish rice, refried beans, guacamole (very, very good) and carnitas. What I like about ETZ's carnitas plate is that they don't chop it all to bits and serve it to you. The entire portion of carnitas will come to you in its "whole" form (meaning all that crispy goodness from being deep fried then thrown under the roaster is not lost amongst the tender, juicy inner meat). Grab a freshly made, medium thickness corn tortilla, slather on the carnitas with a few dabs of beans and lots of guac & salsa/pico de gallo, roll it up and consume. If I could be promised these carnitas were available in heaven, I would be tempted to plan my "accidental" demise in about 10 or 15 years.

                                                        1. Get thee to Bistro Jeanty in Yountville where they have a lentil & pork belly appetizer that will melt in your mouth. The pork that is... the lentils aren't *that* tender...

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: bcheng23

                                                            They have that dish at Jeanty at Jack's in SF, too.

                                                          2. Does Le Cheval still do 7 courses of beef? I had that "a few years ago" at their previous location.

                                                            To this exemplary list I'd add pork shoulder at China Village, just to cut the mexican / texan axis.

                                                            1. Simplicity - Best baguette you can find, good french butter and prosciutto. What a sandwich.

                                                              1. I recommend going down to Sun Lan Ting (aka Pork Chop House) on Jackson and Grand Ave in SF Chinatown and have their roast pork with brown gravy.

                                                                Here's a recent thread:


                                                                1. Day 28 now of the 30 pork days of November.

                                                                  MaboDofu (ground pork, small cubed tofu, and Szechuan peppercorns) is a classic homestyle dish.