Proud to be Porkopolis
Cincinnati embraces its storied history with the other white meat
Once a top pork-processing and meat-packing center of America, Cincinnati earned the nickname “Porkopolis” long ago. During the early 1800s, up to a half a million pigs were routinely herded through the streets of the city at any one time. As one can imagine, the debris left behind was significant, and nicknames like “Porkopolis” or “Pork City” were not necessarily a compliment. But in true Cincinnati fashion, chefs around the area quickly realized that “when life gives you lemons,” there’s only one thing to do: Make outstanding pork sandwiches.
Today, local restaurateurs continue to embrace the lasting pork-associated nicknames by churning out world-famous pork recipes such as pulled pork, pork barbecues and a hometown German favorite, “goetta.” German restaurants are a great place to try other various pork dishes, as well. Try Eckerlin Meats at Findlay Market, where some Cincinnatians swear their bacon is the best in the land.
Well-known eateries like Eli’s BBQ and Sky Galley offer traditional barbecued pork that for local foodies goes beyond simply excellent to the “addicting” category.
“Our pork is slow cooked the night before, and people come from near and far, calling it the juiciest and tastiest they’ve ever had,” describes Anita Eigher, general manager of Sky Galley. “We also have the benefit of being situated right on the tarmac of Lunken Airport, and customers love to watch the planes take off and land. It’s the combination of atmosphere, quality service and delicious food that keeps them coming back for more.”
When looking for the best pork tacos in town, go no further than Mazunte Taqueria for an authentic Mexican experience. Also, combine your favorite pork entree with beer at any of the area breweries and gastropubs, such as the Moerlein Lager House, where pork and beer go together like bread and butter. Truth is, most local eateries have some sort of pork recipe on the menu, and one usually cannot go wrong by trying a local chef’s creative twist on the tried and true.
Pig themes and pig statues abound in Cincinnati, and while pigs don’t fly in this favorite Midwestern city, the pork sandwiches are certainly flying off the tables.