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Best Pork Dishes

LTL Aug 2, 2012 01:26 PM

My SO recently started eating pork again after over a decade and I would like to re-introduce him through the best pork dishes that Toronto offers. As you will see from the list I've begun to compile below, we're not selective in cuisine. I would love others' recommendations. Thanks!

Holy Chuck's brined, roasted and glazed pork belly sandwich (as per TorontoJo's recommendation)
Northern Dumpling House's pork with garlic chili sauce and xiao long bao
John's BBQ's King of Char Sui
Owl of Minerva's gamjatang
pulled pork at ? (suggestions welcome)

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  1. l
    LJS2 RE: LTL Aug 2, 2012 01:34 PM

    porchetta sandwich at Sausage King at SLM

    1 Reply
    1. re: LJS2
      TorontoJo RE: LJS2 Aug 2, 2012 01:40 PM

      Also in SLM, the bifana sandwich at the churrasco place, ordered with everything. Freshly grilled pork cutlet topped with peppers and piri-piri. I think it has lettuce and tomatoes, too. Super tasty.

      And just for the record, I haven't actually tried the pork belly burger at HC, I've only been seeing them tweet about it and thinking "damn, that looks good". :)

    2. t
      Truenorthdman RE: LTL Aug 2, 2012 01:50 PM

      The best pulled pork sandwich I've had in TO is at the Painted Lady on Ossington. Jess takes real pride in her pork and has just the right balance of sweet and heat for my liking. Goes very well with the cold local beer on hand.

      I recently had a pork belly dish at The Grove that was spectacular.

      1. justsayn RE: LTL Aug 2, 2012 06:48 PM

        Pulled Pork and/or ribs - Hadley's on College

        Jerk Pork - Mr. Jerk on Wellesley (take-out)

        Chinese BBQ pork - Kom Jug Yuen on Spadina

        Roast Pork - Goldstone Noodle on Spadina

        Pork Souvlaki - Astoria still does an authentic pork souv with awesome tzatziki - Danforth

        Awesome bacon - L'Ouvrier - Dundas W

        Pork Roast Sundays at Marben and great peameal at brunch - Wellington

        Pork Belly Bahn Mi / Bao - Bahn Mi Boys - Dundas W

        1. Charles Yu RE: LTL Aug 2, 2012 07:09 PM

          Add Dragon Dynasty or Peaktop's Roast suckling Piglet!

          1. num nums RE: LTL Aug 2, 2012 07:52 PM

            In addition to all of the above:
            pork belly souvlaki at Folia Grill
            jerk pork at Pat's Homestyle (formerly Albert's)

            And, not a dish, but definitely a treat for any pork lover:
            bacon & butterscotch chip cookie at Miss Cora's Kitchen

            5 Replies
            1. re: num nums
              bytepusher RE: num nums Aug 2, 2012 07:58 PM

              I'm actually not all that impressed by the pork belly souvlaki at Folia, if it's pork you want go for the Pork Gyro, now that's something (understanding that we're talking about a casual joint here)

              I can't believe nobody's suggested the peameal bacon sandwich at SLM

              See if you can find someone who has real Spanish Jamon di Bellota, I know it was one the menu at one point at Salt Wine Bar and I think Jose has some now at Pimenton. It. will. change. your. life.

              1. re: bytepusher
                Splendid Wine Snob RE: bytepusher Aug 3, 2012 07:44 AM

                I'm not really a fan of the pork belly souvlaki at Folia either. It's not cooked long enough for the fat to be properly rendered, and so the texture is too "chewy" for me. I've always preferred the pork gyro as well.

                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                  Davwud RE: Splendid Wine Snob Aug 3, 2012 07:47 AM

                  Both times I've had it, it was beautiful. Pushed to the point of charred on the outside and lucious and tender inside. Seems it's either hit and miss or a polarizing dish. No middle ground.


                  1. re: Davwud
                    Splendid Wine Snob RE: Davwud Aug 3, 2012 07:53 AM

                    When the old owners were there, I would ask them to cook it a little longer, and it was better. But there were always occasions where the fat wasn't trimmed enough, and my husband and I would get globs of it (even when cooked a little longer). So now I just go for the gyro, which I love.

                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                      Davwud RE: Splendid Wine Snob Aug 3, 2012 08:12 AM

                      That gyro is some kinda good I'll agree with that.


            2. Davwud RE: LTL Aug 3, 2012 07:36 AM

              Pork belly souvlaki or pork gyros from Folia Grill on Pape.

              Jo is right about the Bifana at SLM. Awesome. Slightly less so is the version at Portugril.

              Love the porchetta at Stockyards.

              And for the home version of this game, ham kolbassa from Kingsway Meats on Bloor E of Jane. The pork hocks are amazing too.


              17 Replies
              1. re: Davwud
                Googs RE: Davwud Aug 3, 2012 07:57 AM

                The Portugril version is far more than "slightly less so". Churrasco of St Lawrence's piri piri sauce is vastly superior. I also feel the use of sliced tomatoes at SLM works much better than the chopped ones at Portugril. The slices work better for both flavour integration and mouth feel. Naw, if I were to recommend something porky at Portugril, it'd have to be the Pork & Cheese. Well balanced and surprisingly delectable.

                Novocuisine, if you're still out there, a hearty thanks for the original bifana recommendation.

                1. re: Googs
                  Davwud RE: Googs Aug 3, 2012 08:11 AM

                  At Portugril I prefer the bifana. I think the bottom line is Portugril is good stuff though.

                  I find it a bit difficult to compare the two piri piri sauces since Portugril doesn't do a typical version. It's much different. For me anyway, not better, not worse, just different.


                  1. re: Davwud
                    Googs RE: Davwud Aug 3, 2012 10:03 AM

                    True, they do a good job at a reasonable price. I so prefer the SLM version of the bifana that I would rather order anything else at Portugril. That still leaves plenty.

                    Try taking the piri piri sauces home with you. You'll immediately know the difference once you've used them as a dip or marinade. Marinated chicken cooked on the grill is a little slice of heaven.

                    1. re: Googs
                      Davwud RE: Googs Aug 3, 2012 12:10 PM

                      I have a bottle of Portugril sauce in my fridge as we speak.


                      1. re: Davwud
                        Googs RE: Davwud Aug 4, 2012 05:58 AM

                        I always have two (one in-use, one back-up) of the SLM piri piri. I feel naked without it.

                        1. re: Googs
                          Davwud RE: Googs Aug 4, 2012 06:38 AM

                          It's easily the best piri piri in the city.


                          1. re: Davwud
                            Googs RE: Davwud Aug 4, 2012 01:21 PM

                            Don't get me wrong. I like the Portugril piri piri. I greatly prefer the SLM Churrasco piri piri. Take a bottle (or two) home next time you're at the SLM and do a comparison. You may feel the same, you may not.

                            1. re: Googs
                              Davwud RE: Googs Aug 4, 2012 02:47 PM

                              No. I agree. I just don't think they're comparable. It's like comparing ketchup with BBQ sauce. and asking which is better.


                              1. re: Davwud
                                Googs RE: Davwud Aug 5, 2012 07:27 AM

                                Ah. I see the problem. While there is creative headroom in making the sauce, the variations aren't quite as radical as the difference between ketchup and BBQ sauce.

                                As in using ketchup to make bbq sauce, I use piri piri sauce as a component of my marinades and dips. I find the SLM sauce sparkles more and needs less tweaking.

                                As always, this being an opinion board YMMV. T'is worth a shot since I think you like to 'cue at home. The worst that can happen is you'll end up with an enjoyable, yet different, dinner.

                                1. re: Googs
                                  Herne RE: Googs Aug 5, 2012 07:37 AM

                                  Where in the SLM do you buy the piri piri sauce you speak of?

                                  1. re: Herne
                                    Googs RE: Herne Aug 5, 2012 07:52 AM

                                    Churrasco of St Lawrence on street level next to Paddington's.

                                    Hey Davwud, when you said easily the best piri piri sauce in Toronto, were you referring to SLM's? That seems to be the case according to this.

                                    1. re: Googs
                                      Herne RE: Googs Aug 5, 2012 08:09 AM

                                      Thanks. I have eaten in Paddinton's about every 6 months for the last 5-6 years and did not realize they sold "groceries" through the window.

                                      1. re: Herne
                                        AMarshall RE: Herne Aug 5, 2012 09:16 AM

                                        No. When Googs meant that Churrasco was "next" to Paddington, she meant across the aisle. If you walk in the door from Front St where Paddington's is on the right, Churrasco is on the left, just past the coffee place but before you get to the aisle that crosses.

                                        1. re: AMarshall
                                          Herne RE: AMarshall Aug 5, 2012 02:30 PM

                                          I think we agree. Churrasco has a window across from Paddington Pump through which they sell their hot food. I have never seen bottles of Piri Piri or anything similar pass through it.

                                          But I'll check it all out in mid September.

                                      2. re: Googs
                                        Davwud RE: Googs Aug 5, 2012 08:44 AM

                                        Absolutely I was. I've tried lots of them and none are better.


                                        1. re: Davwud
                                          downtownfoodie RE: Davwud Aug 5, 2012 09:46 AM

                                          i can happily drink that stuff with a straw.

                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            Googs RE: Davwud Aug 6, 2012 08:39 AM

                                            Ah ha. The blonde finally gets it. Happy comparison 'cueing. Let me know if you require an additional impartial judge. LOL

                  2. Googs RE: LTL Aug 3, 2012 07:41 AM

                    I'll add the bbq pork at Jade BBQ House on Birchmount north of Finch. That little hit of ginger is damn tasty with 'cue. Take-out only.

                    1. Splendid Wine Snob RE: LTL Aug 3, 2012 07:51 AM

                      Pork gyro at Folia Grill
                      Pork bahn mi at Rose's Cafe
                      The pork Pad Gra Prao at KSR (Thai spicy)
                      The grilled pork bahn mi at Bahn Mi Boys

                      1. l
                        LTL RE: LTL Aug 3, 2012 12:12 PM

                        Thank you everyone for your suggestions so far. Please know that I am reading them all and compiling a massive list (don't want to clog the thread with individual "thank yous"). Hopefully we can try a few of these this weekend. The few pork items the SO has had so far have not been "impressive" enough so I'm hoping to show him the best of the best :) I will report back once we've made some dents in this list.

                        1. j
                          junkie RE: LTL Aug 4, 2012 10:06 AM

                          grilled pork/assorted banh mi @ que huong weston/finch, nhu lan jane/finch
                          jerk pork @ mr jerk don mills/finch (peanut plaza) make sure to squeeze their hot pepper sauce
                          roasted pork/ bbq pork @ kum hong bbq valleymede/hwy 7
                          pork bone soup @ cho sun ok or kyochon bbq

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