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Roasted Suckling Pig at Amada or...Culinary Nirvana Achieved

I have been waiting for years to try this roasted pig. What took so long? I could never find 2 other people to join us. And since the pig is for a minimum of 4 people I had to wait, and wait, and wait.

Well, the wait ended last night when we managed to convince my sister-in-law to co-celebrate her birthday and mine at Amada and all I can say is that it was possibly the best dining experience I've had in Philadelphia (maybe anywhere!).

When we arrived for our reservation, the maitre'd seemed totally thrilled for us that we had ordered the pig (It has to be ordered in advance with the reservation secured by a credit card). He told us that our pig had been slow roasting all day. We were then seated and our server also seemed genuinely happy for us as well.

We ordered a pitcher of sangria and few tapas to start things off. Our dining companions had never been to Amada, so we ordered some of our favorites (grilled octopus, shortrib flatbread, clams and chorizo). Then we tried some new things (enslada de jamon and crab stuffed peppers). As usual, everything was wonderful.

Then...the main event.

First, the side dishes were brought out. Bowls of chick peas with spinach in a red sauce, grilled green onions, roasted fingerling potatoes, and white beans with rosemary were placed on the table.

Then, a large marble topped table was rolled out next to our table. The pig was then carried out and placed on top. The chef followed and proceeded to carve it down and add some last second seasoning (my wife saw him dust it with salt and pepper). The meat (and crackly skin!) was placed on a serving dish and the chef served each of us.

OH MY GOD.

Without a doubt, the best pork I have ever eaten (and everyone at the table concurred). The skin was crispy and crackly, yet still managed to melt on your tongue like a Communion wafer. The sides were wonderful as well.

The pig was rolled back into the kitchen and the rest of the meat was brought to our table piled high on a plate. To me it looked like a Pyramid of Pork, and I was ready to kneel at that altar. Although, a woman seated at an adjacent table looked totally horrified at the sight of it (maybe she was a vegetarian).

As for the price, we found this to be an incredible bargain at only $32/person (that was for the pig and the side dishes). After adding in all of the tapas, the pitcher of sangria, and dessert (yes, we managed to squeeze it in) the bill came to $250, before tip.

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  1. wow--this sounds wonderful. Has anyoe tried to do a pig at home in a average kitchen?

    1. Sounds fantastic! I've also always wanted to do this and never have. You may have just motivated me to get a group together. Thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

        I always wondered if the pig was worth it. Did you have any leftovers or was it a piglet?

        1. re: bluehensfan

          I think it was a piglet, but we did have leftovers. But I think even if we had not ordered the tapas before it came out, we still would have had leftovers. There was a lot of meat.

      2. Philly Ray you are killing me!

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I'd like to revive this thread and hear about any recent Garcian porcine experiences. We are planning to feast on the swine sometime next week.

            Philly Ray and bluehensfan, yes, by definition, a suckling is a 'piglet.'

            3 Replies
            1. re: foodadelphia

              We did wind up doing the pig eventually. The sides were great as well as all of the tapas we ate, but the piglet tasted a bit gamey to me, even a bit sour tasting.

              1. re: foodadelphia

                Thought was excellent, beer from Ferran Adria was great as well. Grilled scallions that came with was the best thing on table, pig was a bit salty and the place was way past noisy.
                But would do again in a heartbeat.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Sweet. I like gamey. Some of the most tender and delicious meat I've ever eaten was at a pig roast at a farm that had large stone pits. We would walk up to the pit and pulled and cut out meat right from the carcass still on the spit.