Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bebe's Pulled Pork Sandwich

How could I have traversed the porcine path for this long and not have had a pulled pork? Well, for one thing, this food has one of the least appetizing names a sandwich could have. While it may still be funny to me, many stand by the pulled pork sandwich as the finest example of American barbecue.

During my non-pork life, there were those who repeatedly spoke of pork's deliciousness to me, suddenly realized that I don't eat pork, then pitied me greatly, apologizing to me for my own discipline causing me to lose out. Only one always got away with it without a lecture from me. Tony is an old friend of mine, and by that I mean that he's my elder brother's boy from college and both of them are old as hell compared to my youthful, agile self. I've known Tone since I was 13, and since then he has, in equal parts, trained me in the ways of life and busted my balls, often for not eating his favorite meat. While I'm sure he misses the days when he could elaborate with great vigor on the magical flavors we were both sure I'd never experience, he has been an encouraging figure for my Adventures in Pork.

Toni swears by the pulled pork, claiming it to be one of the most important experiences for a first timer like myself. When Bebe's opened up right between our two homes on 9th Street last year, Tony promised that this was one sandwich that did its genre justice. In the midst of all the recommendations I got after starting AIP, I overlooked the pulled pork from Bebe' longer.

I called in my order to an always exuberant Mark, the nicest shop owner in the Italian Market, perhaps due to his palpable southern-ness. Upon entering the tiny store, I was greeted with a "You're here for pork!" from the girl at the register. Happy to have my mind read, I acknowledged her claim and watched her assemble my order and fill my ice tea before settling up and heading back to my car. This would be an eat-while-you-work situation.

In my take out container lay a mound of deeply soaked, finely diced (or pulled, I suppose) pork shoulder cut. The pile dwarfed the little burger bun occupying the next compartment. The orange-brown sauce on the pork I was used to and fond of, the same stuff found on Mark's equally amazing chicken sandwich. In fact, the sauce made this sandwich nearly indistinguishable from the chicken sandwich. The texture of the meat was slightly less dry and less stringy, but overall the experience matched up pretty clean. I wasn't blown away by the sandwich because, I'd tried its chicken counterpart before.

I didn't think about it much, the haram aspect. I've gotten to a point at which I don't get turned off by pork merely at the thought of what I'm eating. It's only when there is a very apparent porky smell or taste, as there is in roast pork, that I can't stomach it. I've worn down my psychological aversion to the point that it is either dead or dormant. I did note that at Sabrina's the other day, I ordered ribs expecting pork and was surprised to find myself relieved that it turned out to be beef. I guess I was glad I wasn't going to have to test my dinner out to see if it would make me feel gross or not.


  1. Another great post, as always. But you got played if the chicken and pork had the same sauce. If you want real pulled pork, you need to venture south of the mason-dixon, where you'll get a true vinegar-based sauce (looks like the one you had was more ketchup-based).

  2. i've seen this one.. but the best i have encountered is the one when i was in
    marco island..

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