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The Oinkster

May 4, 2010 2 comments

Heading back from Porto’s in Glendale during rush hour, we usually opt for rollin’ down Colorado Blvd as opposed to chillin’ on the 210 parking lot.  A smallish restaurant on the northside of the boulevard in Eagle Rock piqued my interest.  The building is non-descript and there’s nothing flashy about the sign.  It was the name “The Oinkster” that really got my attention.  How can a foodie resist that?

Googled it and found that Food Network’s Guy Fieri spotlighted The Oinkster on Triple D.  Watched the vid and turns out that its the brain-child of Filipino super-chef, Andre Guerrero!  They cure and smoke their pastrami in-house, smoke pork shoulders for their pulled pork sandwiches and make their own condiments (ketchup, chipotle ketchup, and garlic aioli).  Now you know I had to show some love to a fellow Filipino pork smoker (how ’bout “Smoinkster” for a nickname?)!

One visit by Guy Fieri has been known to bring the tired, huddled masses from near and far.  I thought getting to The Oinkster right at opening (11:00 am) would get us in and out.  Wrong.  I guess everyone else had the same idea so we had to wait almost fifteen minutes in line.  The couple ahead of me said they saw it on Triple D and they came all the way from Nevada to try it!  I decided to go with their claim to fame, “The Oinkster Pastrami”, which is topped with red cabbage slaw, Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions.  The cole slaw doesn’t really add much to the sandwich other than a pleasant crunch, which is a nice counterpoint to the very tender meat.  As fancy as Gruyere cheese sounds, I think it just got lost in everything and could’ve been plain-jane American cheese.  The sweetness of the onions was a nice touch, but I have to say that, overall, the sandwich was a bit disappointing.  The classic pickle-y/briney/cured pastrami flavor was right there, but there wasn’t quite enough smokey flavor for me.  It is actually understandable since they use pure apple wood, which is very mild.  My choice is the bold and hearty king of BBQ hardwoods, hickory.

Their Belgian Fries are cut from fresh potatoes and twice fried in beef lard!  Chill out, animal fat never killed anyone.  Well, not instantly, at least.  We ordered the “Piggy Fries” which are topped with house-made thousand island, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese.  Quite a treat, but really no need to spend extra money, as a regular order of fries is ultra tasty.  Plus, the garlic aioli is to-die-slowly-for!  Both ketchups were very good (especially the chipotle version) but great condiments and beefy fries don’t justify the wait.  Driving by, needing a snack, and there’s little or no wait … yeah, I’m back!

But I’m definitely not driving from Nevada!

Oinkster Pastrami

Piggy Fries

Oinkster on Urbanspoon

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