The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The belly of the beast

I was just now looking at the new menu from Mesh (Nicci posted it a few posts below) and see that it includes the latest in culinary chic: pork belly. Nineteen hour braised pork belly with sweet potato and apple hash and natural pan reduction. You'll find pork belly on the menu at Slims, where I first had it, Chalk and Seny. It has been delicious wherever I've tried it, but particulary at Seny, where it's in a cherry sauce. it's an interesting trend, I think it's the emblem of new nutritional ideas about low-carb being as healthy as low-fat, that animal fat maybe isn't as bad as we thought, I don't k now. It's also a great thing for a restaurant menu because it must be very hard to mess it up: it's so fatty that it could not possibly dry out. And it tastes soo good, the texture is so luxurious, and it matches up nicely with slightly sweet flavors or earthy accompaniments.

Has anyone else come across a good belly that I've missed?


at 9:20 AM Blogger Julie said...

Hugo had a special that was fantastic, and Lavomatic has it on their menu, braised in apple cider. Both excellent.

at 9:25 AM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

Right after I posted this, I opened a book catalog with an upcoming book called "fat" and its description says what i was trying to: "Fat is hot, as public consciousness shifts away from fat-phobia and foodies embrace high-quality fats like lardo and artisinal butter."
and pork belly

at 12:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orchids at the Netherland had a fantastic pork belly entree over the winter. That place is one of the best restaurants in this city!

at 12:43 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

I've tried one pork belly dish at Sichuan Bistro - my dad loves the stuff - but I wasn't enthralled with it. But they do have quite a selection of pork belly dishes, and I've seen some others (at other diners' tables) that looked pretty tasty.

at 1:29 PM Blogger liz said...

honey does it occasionall, sometimes w/ scallops. soooo good.

at 10:23 AM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

Oooh, last night I ate at Boca and had their appetizer of pancetta done this way: a cube of braised pork belly with really crispy skin and melting fat, nice with a side salad of bitter greens and Asian pears.

at 1:01 PM Blogger vudutu said...

Polly, had the Lavo version last weekend, yum, what a perfect town to have pokebelly in! A couple of years ago we tried to get it to do a Nigel recipe when we were first getting into Brit cooks. Bob over at Eckerlin looked at us like we were crazy.
As people wake up to the fact that fat is not the root of ALL evil they realize that processed food and carbs are a better suspect. Val did a great post on this awhile back,


the book "Good carbs bad carbs" also helps us understand that data the, quote-unquote, experts have been feeding us for years is, well, skewed up.

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