Philadelphia's Barrio, North 5th Street between Erie and
the Boulevard, has a wealth of Puerto Rican, Columbian,
Mexican and other Hispanic restaurants. Most are sit
down with carry-out available. Porky's Point is the
McD's of the Barrio. Two differences. The
cooking is Puerto Rican and the food has flavor.
menu is a mixture of Spanish and English. What is
translatable is in English, what isn't stays in
Spanish. Dishes like Rellenos, Alcapurras and
Pastellos are all fried appetizers. When we're at a
sit-down restaurant like El Bohio, we'll order a few of
each and share them around the table.
trip I went for Porky's namesake, the pork sandwich, along
with an order of Mofongo with gravy and six
tostones. The pork sandwich is pulled, barbecue pork
on a hoagie roll. I had it topped with both barbecue
and hot sauce. Mofongo is mashed fried plantain
(think a green, unripe, pulpy banana) that is mixed with
crisp pork skin cracklins and shaped into a ball and
served with an optional but essential tomato gravy.
A less essential mofongo compliment is a side of pig
ears. Tostones, the Puerto Rican equivalent to
french fries, are mashed fried plan that are formed into
patties, deep fried, and brushed with a garlicky oil.