Monday, November 7, 2011

Pig Roast

Last Thursday I had the priviledge to attend a birthday party at the Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar. Not just any party but a pig roast. Sadly, I only took a couple pictures and they didn't really come out all that great. But the dinner... oh my! What a dinner. It was fantastic.

The meal starts with a raw bar, oysters, little neck clams, and shimp. With a little more than one of each per person at the table, it was a great start. I had lots of firsts during this meal, including the oysters. They're defintiely a weird thing if textures of food bother you, but they're definitely tasty. I loved the briney taste.

A short time later, the chef and some of his kitchen staff came out to present the 14 hour slow roasted sucking pig. It was a pretty awesome sight to see. 
The photo quality is bad, but you get the idea
While they were butchering our delicious piggy, our waitress brought out the side dishes. A lovely field greens salad, jalapeno grits, and baked beans. The grits were good, the jalapeno gave them just a slight kick without overpowering. The baked beans had a nice smokey flavor.

And finally, the butchered pig arrived. First, the head and feet accompanied by the shoulder and butt meat. Followed by a platter of additional meat (with lots of crunchy skin), sausage made with the pig innards, and stuffing. SO MUCH MEAT! The shoulder was my favorite, the pieces with the crispy skin ran a close second. Though it was good, the sausage was probably my least favorite part altogether.

Eventually the waitress came to take the head back so the kitchen could deconstruct it for us. A short time later we were presented with many more goodies. Including spicy pork belly and deep fried skin (oh my gravy! I died and went to gluttonous heaven). And on a new platter was the skull which contained the brains surrounded by pig ears, cheeks, dark meat from the snout, and various other edible parts of the head. The cheeks were so flavorful and delicious, almost melted in your mouth they were such a marbled fattiness. And the brains... yes, I tried them. I figured there probably will not be that many times in my life when I will have the opportunity so I went for it. They were gamey, but very creamy. You spread them on a crostini with a little bit of sea salt and a sprinkle of lemon. May not be something I seek out, but I'd certainly eat it again.

Overall it was quite the experience. I tried a lot of things I'd never had before (oysters, pig cheeks, pork belly, brains), and was left wondering (again) why I spent so much of my life disliking pork. The service was great, our waitress was attentive to our party of 11, and the chef was really great at explaining what we were being served. And for $38 per person (not including tax, tip, or beverages), it's a pretty good deal. I'd do it again. In fact... my 30th birthday is coming up... hmm. 

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