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The Best Pork Dish in SoFla?

I gotta admit, like Emril says: "Pork Fat Rules!" Was wondering what the hounds would vote for as the best pork dish in SoFla. Does not have to have fat, but then again, some probably wouldn't be bad either!

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  1. I know it may be on the simple side but I love a good Cuban marinated pork. Even more so if they cook the whole cuban style like for Noche Buena. The flavors are fantastic.


    3 Replies
    1. re: RibDog

      Quite honestly Rib, thats my fav too. Lechon asado, or better yet, the whole pig done right in a caja china. Oh my, die and go to pig heaven lol.

      Gotta admit that good baby backs rank up there as well but not easy to find down here. Hopefully will hear from other pork hounds and do a 2008 pig fest tasting trip :).

      1. re: eatnbmerry

        I too am craving for the Cuban pork that comes out of the caja china! I wonder if there's any restaurant in Miami that sells pork done this way, especially considering it is Cuban Noche Buena season.

        1. re: mialebven

          Wow Mia,

          Would love to know if anybody does do it that way (its so juicy)! Would reserve my piggy right now :). Lets hope a fellow hound comes to the rescue.

    2. Let see, for me the roasted Berkshire pork at Michael's Genuine in the design district is pretty good. It's a nice twist on Chinese pork stew with five spice. It certainly brought back a memory of my childhood in Thailand.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Rimtalay


        From what I hear from other hounds it sounds like Michael is very hot and good right now. Might have to breakdown and head over to the DD(only kidding Net, Frod, et al). W

        1. re: eatnbmerry

          Take a taxi. You wouldn't want to park your car in that neighborhood.

          1. re: lax2mia


            How did you know I drive a pimped out Bentley :)!

            BTW, just for the record, I've "hounded" Monterey Park, Pomona, Inglewood, TJ, the Tenderloin and Mission Districts, Hunter's Point, both Harlems, Washington Heights (go Yankees), etc.. Usually only to be able to enjoy "authentic" multi-cultural cuisines (which for someone who hates to fly is one of the few ways to experience the diversity in our world's foods).

            So neighborhoods don't scare or turn me off, overpriced/overrated food/bad and indifferent service do. Michael's doesn't appear to fit that bill based on what I have read thus far from other hounds, so power to him. May he keep it going as the neighborhood hopefully "gentrifies" like Netmover stated in a thread "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away":).

            As for me, it's always nice to find another area where me and my Bentley can hang and chow!

      2. I meant to mention that along with traditional lechon, Masitas de Puerco Frita (literally fried pork chunks (so much for cubans dressing up the menu language LOL)) and Paticas a la Andaluza (Pig's Feet) are right up there for me as well. The last two are done reasonably well at Islas Canarias on Coral Way and 130 something in SW Miami (which I like better than the original place on 27th Ave).

        1. I know I mentioned this in a prior post but the pork loin in port sauce with pears at Grazianos is wonderful. Yeah...can't resist Cuban lechon with the crispy skin!

          1 Reply
          1. re: cubelle

            Will have to try the loin but dang I'm salivating thinking bout that cripy skin!

          2. I love all of these. I just depends what mood I'm in.
            Jerked Pork Chop
            With Guava Bacardi Spice Rum Sauce and South American Moros,
            Topped with Drunken Raisins and Tropical Fruit Flambé
            SIAM LOTUS ROOM
            Nam Sod
            Minced lean pork infused in a sauce of fresh ginger, lime juice, onions, hot pepper
            and roasted peanuts. Served on a bed of green salad
            BEACH BAR-B-QUE
            The Carolina 'Piggie' Authentic & tender 'Carolina Style' pork, mixed with our peppered vinegar 'Piggie' sauce then topped with spicy chopped slaw
            Roasted baby suckling pig, with mirto and rosemary

            5 Replies
            1. re: 2top

              Nice suggestions! TY 2top.

              How is the Sardinia piggy presented?

              1. re: eatnbmerry

                Sardinia gives you the ribs and the area below, served with a salad I recall. Have not had it in a while. It is good, but I would eat other things there.

              2. re: 2top

                Where is Beach Bar-B-Q? I'm dying for some Carolina style pork!! TY

                1. re: kmills9408

                  1555 Washington Ave, Miami Beach; 305-538-7201
                  and soon to be also located @ 125th Street on Biscayne Blvd.

              3. I have not been in a while, but the shredded pork extravaganza at New Chinatown in S.Mia used to be a good dish. Basically shredded pork tenderloin stir fried with shrooms and other veggies in a spicy sauce.

                1. Au Pied de Cochon (At the Foot of the Pig) is probably one of the best names ever for a restaurant IMHO.

                  I saw a show recently where this Montreal restaurant was doing a full ham hock (foot attached of course) stuffed with foie gras! Talk about decadent! They roasted it in a wood burning pizza oven (the place was a pizzeria before) and it comes out crispy skinned and falling off the bone. Oh My, book the Cardio honey cause I'm going down tonight baby (not the worst way to check out you gotta admit:).

                  Now to the crux de post, is anyone doing anything like this in our neck of the woods? A high end (food wise more important than formal as APDC is very casual) place dedicated to the pig with foie gras to boot?

                  I read some posts about pork belly and such but I want more, don't you? Please help. TY.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                    I believe that Schnitzel Haus on 79th St. just W of the causeway does a pork shank pretty regularly - though not stuffed w/ foie gras. Their schnitzels are also quite solid.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      La Esquina de Lechon (the corner of pork) in Doral (NW 58th St) has pork shanks for $18 a plate in their menu (their most expensive pork dish). I've heard that they were good but I've not tried them myself. My experience there is that the more I spend, the better the food turns out to be - so I'm hoping the pork shank there is good!

                      1. re: mialebven

                        Ty Mia!

                        Gotta go give them a try. But probably will have to bring my own fois gras LOL.

                        1. re: mialebven

                          By the way Mia,
                          La Esquina de Lechon is a really great name too!

                        2. re: Frodnesor

                          Frod, I really like that place. Have you tried their duck in cherry sauce? Crispy, crispy skin and very moist flesh...really good with their mashed potatoes w/ hint of nutmeg.

                          1. re: lov2trav

                            Save your money, go to Segovia, Spain, and have the best Cochinillo in the world. Makes the pork in Florida taste like shoes.Order a Vega Sicilia with it by the way.

                            1. re: Whitefooted

                              You are definitely right from what I've heard. But alas, I'm stuck in NA for foreseeable future. Although I got to admit that just the word cochinillo makes me dream :).

                            2. re: lov2trav

                              Good pork fat AND duck fat under one roof! TY Frod and lov2 sounds like a winner to me.

                        3. Scorch does a Pork Shank "Osso Bucco". Standing straight up in a pile of mashed potatoes and a mushroom gravy. It's over the top!

                          Jaguar had a special they called Cochino Adobado that was sick!!!

                          I always liked the Pan con Lechon at the Oasis in Key Biscayne, but it's been years + that I have had one.

                          There's a Pan Con Lechon institution in Allapattah called Papo llego y Pon or some such name? 17th Ave NW +/- 25th St. (west side).

                          Flanagans Baby Backs....sorry folks I have not had better down here!

                          I got to beleive they're cooking up some good stuff over at the Georgia Pig...that's what I have been reading right here anyhow.

                          S&S Pork Chop special used to be solid...I heard they are taking over Allens out on Bird Rd? Charlie the old owner used to do a POrk special he slow cooked over night that was off the charts! I must admit, I have been a little leary of the place since he sold umpteen years ago. Anyone had decent lunches there lately? I did breakfast there the other day and it was good.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: netmover

                            TY Net,

                            As always, your wealth of knowledge has given me more places to put on my to do list.

                            The Osso Bucco sounds "outta this world" and a good pan con lechon is worth driving anywhere for. I agree that the Flanagans on little bird in the grove does a solid job especially if you have a few cold ones with them. And honestly, who can refuse beer and ribs?

                            As to Allens, I gotta admit that when in that area I usually stop at Delicias de Espana for a fix of some authentic spanish food (great serrano hams, queso manchego, chorizo, tortillas espanola de papa, and the list goes on and on) and BTW they also serve great breakfast combos as well.

                            If not there and more on the run, I can't resist stopping across the street at Gilbert's, the premier high end cuban bakery in all of Miami. From their croqueticas/ crangejitos de jamon/ other pastelitos and menesier de pollo to their superior dulceria (sweet) treats. Oh my, goods eats for sure!

                            BTW, from reading the FLA board, I realized that I have been overlooking another hidden gem in this shopping center, Matsuri. I am a self proclaimed sushi/japanese/asian cuisine nut and I can't belief my good fortune that this place which is held in such high regards by the local hounds happens to be a few doors down from Gilbert's. I must have passed it many times and just didn't notice cause of Gilberts tunnel vision or not thinking that top notch sushi would sit here. If it turns out to be as good as advertised, what a nice Christmas present for me :)!

                            No doubt that discoveries like this is what makes this site so wonderful, and of couse, there would be no discoveries except for the likes of you Net, Frod, sobe, Blind Mind, and all (ok most :) of the other hounds.

                            Sorry if the above was somewhat off topic, but hopefully between the serranos and jamon specilaties there was still enough pork to keep it rolling!

                          2. The Georgia Pig on 441 In FtL has been around for over 50 years and serves great smoky BBque pork with their own tangy mustard vinegar sauce to boot. Definitely ranks at the top of the BBque pork chain in SoFla that I have tried.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: eatnbmerry

                              Get to the Pig early for breakfast and have their biscuits and gravy - some of the best in SoFLA.

                            2. Hard to say which is "best"...but the suckling pig at Casa Juancho in Little Havana is spectacular.....One of their specialties.....and it's a very good spanish restaurant....best to make reservations at night / weekends......


                              3 Replies
                              1. re: LargeLife

                                I definitely enjoy Casa J very much if more for their ambience than any particular food, although I like their tapas well enough and yes the cochinillo is also above average and deserves mention on this thread.

                                Having said that, aside from the hispanic community (mainly cubano at that), I don't really hear alot of people touting the place since its not haute cuisine I guess, sorry no foam here :).

                                1. re: eatnbmerry

                                  Actually it's the haute Spanish that has never gained traction here - witness the failure of La Broche, Mosaico ... Ideas is too quiet for a place so good, though sort of in between traditional and "alta cocina".

                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    You make a good point and I think the major reason is that the dominating latin community has been til now Cuban. The Argentineans have definitely made a stand recently (its all relative) but I think you will agree that most of their quasi-italian places are solid but not alta cocina and while I love Graziano's it is in the end a solid steak joint.

                                    So the "refugee mentality" makes it difficult to support a Victor's, Yuca (was good while it lasted but had to reincarnate in a touristy locale in the end), OLA, and even a Norman's to a lesser extent since the feeling is that Mom may not do it better but definitely does it cheaper. And yes you can also throw in all the other places that abound in the SW area (the Vals' lineup, la casita, islas canarias, and on and on).

                                    Admittedly, this a widespread generalization but if you talk to the 40 plus set it is usually the response you most hear. OTH, they are perfectly willing to pay for a Nobu, Michael's, etc if, like anyone else, the perceived value for flavor is there.

                                    BTW, with the third generation now starting to take roots, I think you will find that Cubanos may be more inclined to support higher end spanish/cuban if only because they don't have Abuela or even Mami cooking for them anymore.

                              2. Any one had the "disconstructed" pork sandwich at bin 18. Don't ask me why it's "dis" constructed, but it's reallll good.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Icantread

                                  No, but Fernandez of the Herald named it one of his best bites for 2007 I had previously asked for rec and now I have one thanks. BTW, do you mind describing it a bit?

                                  1. re: eatnbmerry

                                    I have not been in a while but the baby back ribs at river oyster bar of all places are amazing.

                                    1. re: tpigeon

                                      Thanks TP,

                                      I definitely have to check this place out based on what I've heard from you hounds. Fresh shellys, great ceviches, and baby backs to boot; I may think I died and went to heaven!

                                2. Piggy Piggy Piggy can't you see sometimes your tastes just hypnotize me! by Piggy Smalls aka notorious P.I.G. RIP!

                                  I had some Baby Backs at Flanagans the other day and although the meat fell off the bone, I'm over their sauce it seems.

                                  Who serves the best Lechon? Sometimes I try it when I see it as a special on Cuban menus and it really has been rather disappointing. There has got to be a place here in Dade that specializes in slow cooked sow! Someone must have a Caja China out back 7 days a week! Who and where???

                                  Heck at this point, I'd settle for some Puerto Rican Pernil!

                                  Oh, I must say the Pork Burrito I had the other day at Taco Rico on SOBE wasn't bad. And Chipotle's is awesome, as is my beloved Dona Raquel's Tacos al Pastor straight off the spindle up in Pompano.

                                  27 Replies
                                  1. re: netmover

                                    enriquetas on fridays for lechon. also the best deal in town

                                        1. re: genuinechef

                                          menupages.com says 6am - 4pm (2pm on Saturdays).

                                          1. re: Frodnesor

                                            Get out of town before the sun goes down LOL!

                                            Hey guys, what do you think of this triple? A pan con lechon at E's followed by a stroll around the DD (zipping a drink or two maybe Grass) and ending up with the Berkshire pork (rec'd above) at Michael's for dinner? Or do you rec another porky dish at M's?

                                            1. re: eatnbmerry

                                              I was actually unimpressed with the berkshire pork @ michaels, but I only had it once about a month after it opened.

                                              1. re: tpigeon

                                                Was it you that mentioned a good pulled pork sandwich? If no better porky dishes you think I should try the touted roasted chick instead?

                                                1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                  Don't get me wrong, the pork was good, it just did not rock my world. It was me that mentioned that River Oyster used to serve an outstanding pulled pork sandwich. I got the tip originally here from our missing AG.

                                                  I never tried the roasted chicken @michaels so I can't say, but have heard (lets not get into the value of hearing again) that it was amongst the best things there. I am sure Frod can check in with a first hand appraisal :).

                                                  1. re: tpigeon

                                                    Interesting how familiarity of a sort breeds better understanding which in this case means I trust what you hear TP. You've shown me that you have integrity and more importantly passion about chow! Great Combo! BTW, if I'm a little more flowery than usuaul its cause I've been celebrating the demise of the Cowboys!

                                                    1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                      What I do to find out where a poster is coming from, is go through their prior posts. It is a quick way to find out what peoples tastes are, where they are from, etc.. I often do this for out of towners before I give recs to avoid recing a type of food that is strong in their home town.

                                                  2. re: eatnbmerry

                                                    The pulled pork sandwich on MGenuine's lunch menu is very good.

                                                    1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                      Haven't had it, but I suspect it's yesterday's slow-roasted pork shoulder (which would be a good thing)!

                                                      1. re: The Chowfather AKA sobe

                                                        yeah i thought the pork sandwich at Micheal's was delicious. unique flavor.
                                                        my favorite lechon asado (outside of my mom's or abuela's) and probably my favorite pork dish in town is at Little Havana restaurant in north miami. IMO the best and most consistent cuban spot which is pretty funny considering its location. i am staying by FIU south now and haven't found any lechon asado nearly as good.
                                                        i hate to list a chain restaurant but i always enjoy the crackling pork shank at Smith and Wollensky on the beach.
                                                        also, there is a taco place on calle ocho as your are approaching I95 that has a delicious cochinita pibil soft taco. very yummy with red onions on top.

                                                        Little Havana Restaurant
                                                        12727 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

                                                        Smith & Wollensky
                                                        1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                                        Taqueria El Mexicano
                                                        521 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33130

                                                    2. re: tpigeon

                                                      Count me as a fan of the pork shoulder dish at MGF&D - reminded me of a good cochinita pibil. And the pork belly w/ kim chee, peanuts and a little honey glaze is even better.

                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                        TY Frod,

                                                        With your recs the chicken will have to wait!

                                                        1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                          Yeah, frod and I have a thing going back and forward about michaels. He likes it much better than I did. I found it merely good and well priced but nothing to write home about.

                                                          He believes (along with most hounds) it is amongst the best Miami has to offer. I will try it again soon, who knows, I could have just had an off meal.

                                                          1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                            If you like good simple food, well prepared, don't miss the wood-oven roasted chicken. But do the whole chicken with a friend, not the half. I'm not saying the half is bad, I haven't had it, but the whole chicken is the way to go.

                                                            I had MGF&D's chicken within a month of having the famous roast chicken at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco (which Michael's recipe is based on) and liked Michael's better.

                                                      2. re: eatnbmerry

                                                        I don't think they make a Pan con Lechon at Enriquetta's. The menu is limited and their specialty is Bistec al Caballo, which I can honestly say I have never even tried. That whole egg thing over beef never tickled my toes. Friday's Lechon Lunch will require a siesta, so you may want to plan accordingly!

                                                          1. re: tpigeon

                                                            Wow TP,

                                                            Who knew your palate could be so expansive! A BIG ChowOut to you!
                                                            Steak and eggs with some arroz blanco and I'm definitely singing in the rain!

                                                            1. re: tpigeon

                                                              Ya I know, it just doesn't rock my world like bacon, ham or sausage and eggs....heck, I even prefer smoked salmon and eggs?

                                                              1. re: netmover

                                                                Like they say you can take the kid outta New Yawk but you can't take New Yawk outta .......refers strictly to the SS and eggs which I assume you mean combined like I had once ages ago at Rascal House (long before Jerry's took over) and quite honestly never again. I love SS and I love eggs just not mixed together so much.

                                                                1. re: netmover

                                                                  Nothing wrong with any of that either. Funny, you used the rock my world metaphor just before I did :).

                                                              2. re: netmover

                                                                Well Mi Amigo Net,

                                                                I guess I'm gonna have to pull a Nicholson like in Five Easy Pieces:


                                                                Cause they have Lechon, and they must have some nice garlicky mojo, and they must also have onions, and of course they have pan cubano. So if they give me a hard time I'll just tell them to squeeze......:)

                                                                1. re: eatnbmerry

                                                                  Go for it! I think you'll be quite pleased with the Lechon Special though...it is the best pork dish I know.

                                                                  1. re: netmover

                                                                    Salivating thinkin bout it quite honestly. Then again could just bypass and do the double up Taft way if you know what I mean!

                                                      3. re: genuinechef

                                                        I knew I was forgetting one! That's the one...awesome!

                                                        Their soupy Paella Special ain't bad either...this place should be on the cubano list for sure. Try to avoid the lunch rush and it is a little less chaotic. Those chicken sammies are very addictive! Breakfast there is also very solid.

                                                    3. Try the pork sandwich at Bahama Breeze/Kendall pulled pork with carmalized onions and mojo sauce. Grilled on cuban bread.

                                                      1. There is a German restaurant in Pompano Beach call Checkers Old-Munchen that serves a 2lb. Roasted Pork Shank. The pork shank is on the bone and they slow roast it for 6 hours. It is crispy on the outside and very moist and juicy on the inside. It is their house specialty and they only make 8 of them a day. I usually call them a head of time and reserve on for myself. They also serve Pork Stroganoff which has a wonderful sour cream and wine sauce. It's a hidden treasure.

                                                        They are located in Pompano on Atlantic Blvd. one block east of Federal Highway. Their phone number is 954.785.7565.