Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pico de Gallo's Sweet Plantain, Roasted Pork, and Black Bean Burrito

Again with the snow. Boots take forever to put on, and dry winter weather is summer compared to the burning, frost-embedded air after a storm. I took the now familiar trek to Joey's, finally with some sidewalk to cruise. Even after consecutive hard lessons, Philly didn't take the hint. The city's south, in it's inherent lawlessness, was left to fend for itself.

Joey, Hassan, and I made our way to Pico de Gallo at 15th and South. Mexican has never been my first choice, which is perhaps why none of its pork incarnations have yet found their way into my stomach, my heart and subsequently onto this blog. At this tiny little place, run by a gentleman who appeared suspiciously non-Mexican, there was something unusual on the menu: a roast pork, black bean, and sweet plantain burrito.

I love sweet plantains. I once frequented La Lupe for this favorite, but that eatery's nosedive in quality and service over the past year or two cast me into the other Mexican joints of 9th street, surprisingly lacking in plantains.

The order arrived, its contents concealed by soft, delicate tortilla which nearly resembled the texture of Japanese buns (which I enjoyed thoroughly in my travels there). I cleaved the capsule open, spilling out stringy, shredded chunks of stewy roast pork, a black froth of beans, and a few quartered plantains. The first bite, all the elements included, was a near perfect balance of sweet, salty, and bland; mushy, chewy, and down right gruel. Taking more bites progressively deconstructed the burrito, resulting in a thick soup of ingredients. The meal was consumed far faster than it was prepared.

Again, I fooled myself into believing that roast pork was goat. It was facilitated by the appeal of dinner with dessert inserted directly into it. While it delivered on the promise of its menu description, little about it truly wowed me to the point of shifting Mexican to the head of my crave list.

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