Editor’s Note: This week, we’re going to be introducing our new army of interns to you, the Foobooz readership. And it occurred to us that what better way for you to get to know them a little then for them to tell you all about something they loved to eat. Thus, we set them each to assembling their own Foobooz Six Pack, focusing on something they loved.
Our first submission came from Alex Tewfik, a student at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. As a food and restaurant enthusiast, Alex spends every waking moment of his day inventing new ways to keep himself eating while hiding how fat he actually is from the rest of the world.
Take it away, Alex…
Matyson’s Suckling Pig Sundays are no more. They have moved on to bigger things. Fortunately, the rest of the city hasn’t. So if you need to satiate your suckling pig cravings, there are plenty of places in and around the city that know how to cook that piglet just right. So with that in mind, here it is: The best places to get suckling pig in Philadelphia.
Slow Roasted Suckling Pig at Il Pittore
Chef Chris Painter’s claim to fame at his semi-eponymous restaurant, Il Pittore, takes three whole days to perfect, and that’s exactly what it ends up being: perfect. Cured in salt, sugar, and herbs for 15 hours, it’s then slow roasted for 12 hours, then buried in pig fat, then portioned and pressed over night. The slow-roasted meat sits on a bed of whole baby carrots and sautéed cavalo nero, swimming in a rich guanciale jus. Crowned with sweet pear mostarda, this pig is a real beauty.
Il Pittore (Rittenhouse)
2025 Sansom Street
The Arista sandwich at Paesano’s Philly Style
It doesn’t get any more Philly than a roasted pork sandwich with long hots, broccoli rabe, and sharp Provolone — the only difference with Paesano’s roasted pork sandwich is that their pig is really young. Tender suckling pig, pulled off the bone, sits in a fresh roll from Liscio’s Bakery, topped with the holy trinity of long hots, broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. The whole thing is then doused with the pork’s braising liquid. It has every element of a great sandwich, but with that unique Philly swagger.
Paesano’s Philly Style (South Philly and Northern Liberties)
1017 South 9th Street, 215-735-7305
152 W. Girard Street 267-886-9556
Sábado Suckling Pig at Koo Zee Doo
Every week, the NoLibs Portugese BYOB Koo Zee Doo brings in a 30 pound suckling pig to prepare for their Saturday (Sábado) special: a 10oz portion of their oven roasted pork, pulled off the bone, mixed with its crispy skin, accompanied by fingerling potatos and a citrus salad of oranges and watercress.
Koo Zee Doo (Northern Liberties)
614 N. 2nd Street
Amada’s Cochinillo Asado Dinner
The restaurant must be notified 72 hours in advance to prepare you one of the most famous suckling pig dinners in this city. For $450, you get the whole pig, nose to tail, slow roasted, in the company of grilled green onions, herb-roasted fingerlings, garbanzo beans with spinach, and rosemary white beans. Sure, $450 may sound pretty steep, but you’ll be given the royal treatment with the sous chef carving your pig tableside and serving it family style. The whole pig feeds 8-12, but you have the option of half the beast for half the price.
Amada (Olde City)
217-219 Chestnut Street
Lechon Asado con Tamarindo at The Havana Room
Cuban cuisine can be a little complex. It borrows a little from Spanish and African traditions, but then throws some Carribean spice in the mix. But when done right, the resulting fusion is absolutely delightful–and at the Havana Room, for only $21 you’re able to enjoy an oven-roasted suckling pig, smashed boniato (a cross between a baking potato and sweet potato), in a rich tamarind sauce. It sounds simple, but this suckling pig seems to encompass every aspect of Cuban cuisine.
The Havana Room (Northern Liberties)
1031 Germantown Avenue
Cochinito at Cantina Feliz
For those of you in the suburbs, you can experience the whole roasted suckling pig dinner, much like at Amada, but for a fraction of the price at Cantina Feliz. For only $38 a person (feeds 4 or more), you’ll be presented the whole pig with grilled asparagus, plantains, grilled corn, black beans, refried beans, salsa roja, salsa verde, and tortillas. Again, make sure you order three days in advance.
Cantina Feliz (Fort Washington, PA)
424 South Bethlehem Pike