5th Street and Rising Sun
Philadelphia, PA  (North 5th/Barrio)


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.

The 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.

This 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.