What makes one want to go and find out about new places to eat? Sometimes it is just the name – or can anyone resist to check out an eatery called “The Oinkster?” I certainly can’t. Apart from the funny name the only other information was “great pulled pork sandwiches.” Right, with that name that somehow makes sense.
The Oinkster in Eagle Rock is hard to describe. A former Tastee Freeze, which then became a food joint, was taken over by a Los Angeles chef célèbre, Andre Guerrero, who turned it into a quick-service place for fast food prepared the slow way. That means applewood-smoked, house-cured pastrami and slow-roasted pork North Carolina-style, along with Angus beef burgers and rotisserie chicken.
I have had many styles of pastrami in and around Los Angeles; the kind at The Oinkster is yet another variation of a well-known theme. I am quite sure that it does not meet the approval of some pastrami-lovers, but I was quite, quite taken by it. The taste is different and interesting, but most important – the meat is very lean, with none of that greasiness one finds so often. I know that fat enhances the taste, but when my poor stomach reminds me hours later that I should have know better… lean and non-greasy is perfect for me. Additionally, the pickle was heavenly. I would gladly order just a plate of pickles, if they would let me.
The pulled pork was nice, too. I have never been very much into pork, but the meat was juicy and tender and delicately, though distinctly, flavored. The chili fries looked nice, though that is something I never touch. The significant other gives them a B.
The beer selection was another surprise. Red Hook, Arrogant Bastard, Stella Artois (on tap) and several others more, equally interesting. The wine – oh well – I hope they will work on that at bit. They should work on that a bit. Or not offer wine at all.
Overall – not only a funny name, but a place to go back to. Oink.