Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Pair of Great Pork Sandwiches at Pappas BBQ and Flying Saucer

As many of you readers know, I sometimes like to do a comparison of similar dishes at different restaurants for a competition such as the Battle of the Burritos and the Three Wing Circus last year.  Very recently, I went to two different places that are in my rotations and tried two very different yet very delicious Pork Sandwiches they served.  Suffice it to say, if you love sweet and juicy smoked pulled pork or ham, bacon and pork belly, these sandwiches will fully satisfy you.

Pappas BBQ:  The Sweet Caroline


Sweet Caroline...
Pulled Pork never tasted
so good... 
This is a South Carolina Barbecue style pulled pork sandwich, served on a Kaiser bun, with sweet mustard barbecue sauce and cole slaw.  This is all part of a Pappas BBQ promotion done in conjunction with the National Pork Board to promote different dishes made with this wonderful meat.  South Carolina style pulled pork sandwiches are usually made from Pork Shoulder that has been smoked on low heat for over 8 hours.  It has a dry bark on the outside, a smoke ring in the lower layer and tender shreds of meat that are pulled apart to make the sandwich.  As a sandwich, it's traditionally served with a South Carolina style vinegar/mustard/hot pepper sauce with cole slaw and a pickle on the side.

Lots of restaurants that advertise pulled pork in Houston do not have a smoke ring in the meat or bark because they cook it in a slow cooker.  Pappas has a smoke house and thus their pulled pork has both a pink smoke ring and bark on the ends of some of the shreds.  The sandwich is served with a nice cole-slaw (the same they sell as a side dish) and a mustard barbecue sauce that is a little sweeter than traditional South Carolina style sauce, but I won't quibble.  The meat is sweet, tender and smoky.  The coleslaw is creamy and crunchy.  The bun holds it all together, but just barely.  It was tasty, satisfying and the flavor stayed with me for about an hour after I ate it.

My only concern is that the great Balladeer Neil Diamond make take offense on a couple of levels.  For one there's obviously the song "Sweet Caroline" which is his personal copyright.  For another, he is Jewish, and pork is not on the menu for Jews who keep Kosher.  Personally, I know a number of Jews who only keep Kosher on the high holidays who have tried this sandwich and loved it.  However, if I were working for Pappas BBQ I might consider rethinking the name.  Just saying.  No hating here at all folks.  

Grade:  A

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium:  The Pork Belly

Dogfish Black & Blue
Get in Mah Belly!!!
This sandwich is shredded pork belly, ham,  and bacon, with jalepeño chutney, lettuce and tomato.  I added Swiss cheese to mine.  This sandwich was also a sweet smoky delight.  The jalepeño chutney added a sweet yet spicy twang to the pork.  The Pork belly was much like shredded pulled pork.  The bacon was crispy and smoky.  The ham was sweet and a little salty.  Overall the sandwich was was a bit chewier & crunchier in comparison to the Sweet Caroline, and more savoury flavoured as well.  It was served on some rather crusty bread that had a good crunch, along with French Fries on the side.  

For all my fellow BeerKnurds:  I enjoyed a Dogfish Beer Black and Blue with the sandwich and the blackberry & blueberry flavours & mild bitterness of this Belgian Ale went quite nicely with the Pork Belly Sandwich.  

Grade: A

And remember:
Eat Happy!!!
Zao an, Y'all!!!

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