I was sitting at home randomly channel hoping and somehow came across the Food Network. On this channel of the gods was a program about the best pork restaurants in America. They were slow roasting a whole pig, and I just sat there watching with drool dripping from my open mouth. I was in heaven.
Outside of potatoes, no one would have ever have guessed that, my favourite food group is meat. And my favourite meat? Yes, you guessed it Pork.
This program made my mouth water, and I even went on my laptop to see what good pork restaurants there were in London. I spent the remainder of the evening thinking about bacon, sausages, slow roasted pork off the bone and barbeque ribs.
A favourite short story of my time at University was that a vegetarian friend of mine got turned back to the dark side simply through the smell of bacon.
A little while ago, a friend and I spent a long weekend in the Estonian capital Tallinn. Being a Baltic country they liked their food simple. Meat and potatoes with cabbage seemed to be the height of haute cuisine. You could say that I felt at home. As we were on holiday, we took the opportunity to try the local food. On the first night I had some hunter’s sausages, which outside of almost burning the restaurant down, were quite amazing.
In my defense, the sausages were already in flames when they arrived on the table. I just had some difficulty blowing the flames out. The real treat would be the following night.
You see, we found a restaurant with the perfect name. It was simply called “The Pork Restaurant”. I felt obliged to see if it did exactly what it said on the tin. I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
The restaurant was shall we say a little basic. There were plenty of coat hooks about, as putting your coat over a chair was considered really bad form. The seating was simply benches and large wooden tables. You felt that you were sitting in someone’s kitchen rather than being in a restaurant.
I was feeling peckish, so I decided to have the ham and pea soup as a starter. And do you know what? The bread roll that came with the soup also had bits of pork in it. That’s what you call living up to your name. Did I mention that I was in heaven?
For the main course, we decided to go for the shared Pork Platter. The ultimate meal for the person who didn’t know what they wanted, or in my case the person who wanted one of everything. We did get a slightly strange look when we ordered the Platter, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
I liked the soup, but was ready for the main course. Then it came out.
Oh my god. When I saw the mound of pure pig coming towards us, I could only think that there was half a pig on the plate heading in my direction. The slab of crackling could have been quartered and used as roof slates. It was so humungous that other patrons kept on asking us to take pictures of it. I have never seen so much meat in one place.
There was no way that we were going to eat this thing. My friend chickened out fairly quickly, leaving me to pig out (sorry!). I think I must have eat about forty percent of my half before giving up. I could have starved myself for a week and I wouldn’t have eat one more bite. Leaving The Port Restaurant I had problems walking in a straight line and don’t quite remember getting back to our hotel. I had managed to become food drunk.
I had found my meat limit, and do you know what, I loved every minute of the meal. If I ever go back to Tallinn I know where I’m going for a meal, but I might order something a little smaller.
If you will excuse me I’m off for a bacon sandwich.