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Aug 11, 2011 11:12 AM

Lechon/Lechona/Pernil, Caja Chinas and Using a Panederia's Oven to Roast One's Pig....

Knew that would getcha'

Anyhow, I am planning to have a Pig-centerd party here at my house in September. I called a bunch of pitmasters and seems that the going rate for a 70 pound heritage hog is going to set me back about 1K. I like my family, but not that much :)

I know how passionate people are about BBQ and I've eaten various kinds through out the south, and I know this will not be apples to apples yada yada, but virtually every single Hispanic friend of mine tells me to go to either El Mundo on Junction or Hispanoamerica on 37th and 89th down the block from Urubamba. Thirty pound roasted whole baby pigs are 165 and 160 respectively. And the caballeros at Hispanoamerica even said I could bring our Peruvian friend into the place ( she's the one wqho uses them all the time) and she can season it to her liking with all of our condiments and citrus juices. They'll let it sit over night and then roast it the next day. El Mundo said we could bring the stuff to them and they'd do it for us but wouldn't let us do it ourselves. They also offerd a Columbian style 25 punder stuffed with rice and chicharon.

Anyhow, I know that using a spit, bbq or Caja china, will yield different results.

I've also been told that if I buy the pig raw I can pay almost any Laina American bakery about 30 bucks to roast it in their horno. Has anyone ever done this?

Would you spring for the thousand? WOuld you use the above places? WOuld you get a Caja China?

Any thoughts are welcome....

86-20 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

El Mundo
42-16 Junction Blvd, Queens, NY 11373

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  1. Here is a video of one of my office mates roasting a suckling pig in his caja china.

    looks like a lot of fun. but living in proximity to all those restaurants, I think Id pursue one of those alternatives. Id certainly go for the suckling pig, not the huge heritage hog.

    Another good thing to do if you dont want the nose, ears etc. is to roast a whole leg of fresh ham. You can have it boned out and stuffed with the cuban seasoning paste. It will have the crackly skin and magnificent flavor without the muss and fuss of the suckling pig and boned and tied it slices easily.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jen kalb

      Thanks, Jen! The leg of fresh ham idea sounds great :) I am going to see if they do that. They sell pernil...

    2. a 70 lb should not cost 1k... sorry, there are many many places that can get you some beautiful piggy raised on a wonderful organic farm somewhere in PA or the Berkshires... call the guys from Ottomanelli on Bleeker or Paesanos on Smith if you don't feel like looking on line for farms in the Berkshires..

      I bought a 40 pound pig last year in upstate ny for about a hundred bucks.. i'm sure the farmer would have delivered it for another 100 bucks or so...

      1. No, I would not spring for a thousand.

        $1000 for a 70 lb hog is staggeringly high. Though I suppose you're paying for the pitmaster to come over and do it for you, something quite easy to do for yourself (or, like, you said, have it done on the cheap locally)

        Creekside Meadows - - has whole pasture raised hogs for $3.80/lb, plus $100 for butchering (if you want it broken up) per half-hog.

        Happy Hooves Organic Farm, $3.89/lb (includes butchering):

        Autumn's Harvest Farm has Duroc, Hereford, and Tamworth roasters for $2.75 - $3.00/lb -

        Also worth checking out is Arcadian Farms - we got a whole lamb from them earlier this year, delicious.

        Probably a good two dozen farms upstate with similar pricing.

        Then just roast it yourself - it's ridiculously easy, as long as you've got the space to do it. Low & slow.

        1. you can also get the roast sucking pigs in chinatown. I think they run about $200.

          1. Although this post is probably too late for your pig centered party, our response is basically an addendum to “FattyDumplin’s” reply about Flushing roast pigs costing “around $200,” and a “plan Z” for alternative roast pigs for future reference, as the Chinese roast pigs (generic non-heritage pigs) have a different taste than the “Heritage hog” BBQ pigs mentioned in your original post.

            We have not been in the Flushing Chinatown for a number of weeks, but finally made a trip to the Flushing Chinatown this past weekend and we checked the prices for whole roast pigs at the “Pho Hoang” Vietnamese Restaurant (the one with hanging ducks and roast pig in the window) on Kissena Blvd across the street from the Flushing Library and at the “Corner 28” restaurant.

            The whole roast pig prices are:

            a. Pho Hoang: $7.50/lb for 25 to 30 lb pigs; $6.50/lb for 35 lb and up pigs (all weights after cooking). Require three days notice and deposit.

            b. Corner 28: $8.00/lb for 21 to 30 lb pigs; $6.00/lb for 31 to 40 lb pigs; lower cost/lb for pigs larger than 40 lbs; will deliver with no extra charge except for tip to driver. Forgot to ask when they weight the pig, but would assume that it would be after cooking. Requires one week’s notice and deposit.

            And there are a number of other BBQ places in Flushing, but these are among the better ones. Another good Flushing BBQ place is at the “East Buffet” restaurant on Main Street on the first floor Street level.

            Now we did not ask the Chinatown BBQ places if they will roast a pig that you bring to them, but they might do this also. One can only ask and be told no, but then they could also say yes.

            A Chinese roast pig would not set back the Zenfoodist family anywhere near $1K, however the pig would be a generic non-heritage pig and would be Chinese BBQ flavored.

            P.S. For someone planning possibly to hand out Macarons just for the party favors at one party you had posted about previously, we would think that $1K for the main entrée attraction at another soiree would hardly cause a ripple in the Zenfoodist’s budget. (LOL)
            P.P.S. We will have to remember to try the cream puffs at the Red Lotus Bakery if we are in the Little Neck area. Your Chowhound posting on the Red Lotus Bakery cream puffs sounds very inviting.

            Corner 28
            40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

            Pho Hoang
            41-01 Kissena Blvd, Queens, NY 11355

            East Buffet & Restaurant
            42-07 Main St, Queens, NY 11355

            Red Lotus Bakery
            255-07 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11362

            3 Replies
            1. re: lwong

              LWong. you always bring so much to the conversation. In the end the Pig Roast was cancelled thanks to Hurricane Irene. However, I will look into your suggestions for the next one I plan. Also, some exciting food news will be coming from the owners of Corner 28 in my neck of the woods...North Flushing....very soon! As for the macarons, each pack was 6 dollars and given to each couple as they left my son's Communion Luncheon. I used Cannelle. I didn't think that was too pricey? ;)

              Corner 28
              40-28 Main St, Queens, NY 11354

              1. re: ZenFoodist

                Sorry to hear that your party was spoiled by Hurricane Irene, but that was probably better than being advised that Hurricane Irene had caused your roof to be blown off or a tree to fall on your house. That was our worse fear, which did not lead to much sleep during the night of Hurricane Irene, but fortunately our family escaped unscathed, unlike many unlucky families in the path of the hurricane.

                Sounds like “Corner 28” might be opening an annex soon in your neck of the woods.

                We had ordered a mere 24 Macarons from the Cannelle Bakery earlier this year, which we thought was quite costly for such a small package of pastries, but while ordering our Macarons, we were told by one of the employees that someone had ordered a considerably larger order of Macarons than ours. When we were told how large the order was, we thought that was one “well heeled” customer. (LOL)

                From your tidbit about ordering Macarons from Cannelle, that customer must have been the Zenfoodist family.

                Did you know that ordering the Macarons without the fancy box from Cannelle will save money as Cannelle charges $1 for the fancy box with the ribbon? But we do have to say that it is much nicer from a presentation perspective with the box and ribbon. But you have heard the adage, “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

                Have you heard about the recent opening on the upper eastside of Manhattan of a branch of the famous Maison Laduree Bakery, which invented Macarons over a hundred years ago. Laduree is selling their Macarons for the eye-popping price of $2.70 each. And at the opening of Laduree, there were lines of an hour plus of people waiting to hand over tons of money to the Laduree Bakery for Macarons baked in Paris and shipped over to NYC. According to the “Eater” website, many of the customers “were Laduree pros, knowing exactly what quantities and varieties of flavors they wanted,” and “One woman with knuckle-sized diamond earrings bought five $55 boxes.” And we would have to assume that Laduree charges considerably more than $1 for their fancy boxes.

                We wish that we had wealthy relatives/friends who would invite us to a party and give out ribbon wrapped Macarons as party favors.

                Now is there any possibility that the woman with the “knuckle sized diamond earrings” mentioned by the “Eater” website was a member of the Zenfoodist family? (LOL)

                Cannelle Patisserie
                75-59 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11370

                1. re: lwong

         earrings are mofungo-sized ;) We'd love to have you to one of our soirees. Just email me at and you're in like flynn....