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Pigging Out

Hog eaters, rejoice! Restaurants all over Chicago are playing with pork in delicious new ways—and they’re using all kinds of cuts, from snout to tail. Here are 14 dishes worth checking out—squeamishness be damned.

Here, piggy piggy
1. Shoulder

Six-Hour Pork Shoulder Bun at Oiistar

Like a supertender pulled pork sandwich minus the sauce-slicked fingers.

$4 a bun, 1385 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-360-8791

2. Ribs

Baby Backs with Homemade Hoisin Sauce at BellyQ

You want these baby backs, which are far leaner than their sparerib siblings.

$15 half, $25 full, 1400 W. Randolph St., 312-563-1010

3. Chop

Double-Bone Berkshire Chop at Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

It’s a hunk of meat the size of a steak, but it’s white meat—so it’s kind of good for you, right?

$27, 218 W. Kinzie St., 312-624-8154

4. Tail

Two Tails at Fulton Market Kitchen

The new surf and turf: a crispy pig tail and a lobster tail on the same plate.

$22, 311 N. Sangamon St., 312-733-6900

5. Ham

Eggs Benedict at the Bristol

Extrasmoky sliced ham takes this basic Benedict to the brunch stratosphere.

$12, 2152 N. Damen Ave., 773-862-5555

6. Blood

Boudin Rouge at Big Jones

In addition to blood, this traditional sausage boasts loin, belly, and lean meat—practically an entire pig in each bite.

$6, 5347 N. Clark St., 773-275-5725

7. Stomach

Pork Tripe and Pig’s Feet at The Purple Pig

You will use every last piece of grilled toast to sop up the funky tomatoey goodness in this bowl.

$10, 500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-464-1744

8. Feet

Pig’s Feet Tostada at Xoco Wicker Park

Rick Bayless is one of the few people who can get diners to eat pickled pig’s feet with gusto.

$4, 1471 N. Milwaukee Ave.

9. Belly

Baked Potato Bing Bread at Parachute

Think a loaded baked potato bursting with bacon in easy-to-handle bread form.

$7, 3500 N. Elston Ave., 773-654-1460

10. Jowl

Bucatini at Cafe Spiaggia

Guanciale, which is in this dish, is just the fancy Italian word for cured jowl meat. That translates to a hit of straight pork fat. Heaven.

$16, 833 W. Randolph St., 312-432-0500

11. Neck

Whiskey-Marinated Pork Neck with Nam Jim Jaew at Mott St

Neck meat can turn pretty tough if it’s not treated right, but getting it drunk on a whiskey marinade softens things up.

$16, 1401 N. Ashland Ave., 773-687-9977

12. Face

Pig Face with Sunny-Side-Up Egg at Girl & The Goat

No worries: This dish looks like just like a slice of meat, so you don’t have to make eye contact with Wilbur as you eat him.

$16, 809 W. Randolph St., 312-492-6262

13. Ears

Crispy Pig’s Ears at Billy Sunday

Think of these puffy crisps as porky potato chips. The rotating flavors, such as sour cream with an onion dip, are just as addictive as their convenience store analogs.

$8, 3143 W. Logan Blvd, 733-661-3485

14. Brain

Tempura-Fried Pig Brain at the Publican

Chef Cosmo Goss likes to feature this whenever he can, topping the brain with chimichurri and pumpkin seeds.

$9, 837 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-9555

This little piggy is a product of Slagel Family Farm, a popular pork supplier for Chicago chefs. The farm crossbreeds two heritage pigs—Chester White and Berkshire—to create an easygoing hog with high-quality meat.
Photography: (Eggs benedict) courtesy of The Bristol; (Bucatini) Jeff Kauck; (Neck) Monica Wang; (All Others) Anna Knott; Illustrations: John Kenzie
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