How could anyone be a vegetarian? - Elisabeth Jansen, while partaking in the deliciousness that is the Publican's Pork Belly
Go to the Publican. Trust me. The first time Karl and I went was for our 1 year wedding anniversary and it was very good. We enjoyed our taste of ham and the country ribs but something about this last visit was even more amazing. Maybe it was because we shared the moment with our friends Brian "B-Thomp" Thompson and Elisabeth "Liz" Jansen or maybe it was because something has changed for the better at The Publican.
We started with The Taste of Hams. 3 types of prosciutto spread evenly on a large platter. Shame on you if you think all prosciutto tastes the same because this my good friends was outstanding. One was extra salty, the other a little more mild and the last almost sweet.
We devoured our Spicy Pork Rinds just in time for the amazing Potted Rillettes. A three meat combo, cooked down to meaty tenderness so good we all contemplated licking the tiny mold clean.
Then came the Feijoada, which is a Portuguese dish made up of chorizo, Kale, beans, and pork belly, the lamb sausage with fingerling potatoes and a tzatziki sauce and the Rib Eye which was SO TENDER! I mean, we cut the meat with a spoon and a butter knife, THAT'S how tender it was.
We also shared a delectable piece of the pork belly. This pork belly was insane! It was tender, juicy and covered in a maple glaze. Brian put it best, that pork belly was having sex with his taste buds.
We shared a dessert that consisted of peaches in a light but sweet sauce, sweet corn brulee, and a brown sugar crumble. It was excellent. Just sweet enough, but nothing overpowering.
Honestly, I think this is one of the better restaurants in Chicago. Easily on my top ten and I recommend this is all the omnivores out there. You walk in an you might feel a somewhat pretentious vibe, but it's not like that at all. It has a tavern feel and although you might have to sit at a communal table you don't feel as if your privacy is being invaded.
Right now Pork is rage with restaurants like Mado, The Purple Pig and Longman and Eagle, but I like this fad. I was never a huge pork person and maybe that's because all that was given to us was bacon (which I LOVE! Never doubt that) or an over cooked pork loin or a funky smelling pork chop. But with quality meats and quality cooking I think pork just might be my new favorite meat.