Pig Out at Porky's Last Stand

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Never underestimate the power of barbecue. With everything from classic, slow-roasted BBQ to seafood, steaks and Everglades' exotics, Porky's Last Stand brings home the bacon with quality entrées at down-home prices. Located at 701 Bald Eagle Drive, Porky's Last Stand offers brilliant choices for lunch and dinner with exceptional quality well beyond the normal barbecue restaurant.

Barbecue was invented back in the 1800s on cattle drives out west. Naturally, the cowboys had to be fed, and the favorite chuck wagon cooks invented the low-temperature fire pit (approximately 200 degrees) and began slow-roasting beef over charcoal embers. The result was incredible mouthwatering flavor with a tenderness unsurpassed. Later in Virginia, when pigs were free to run around and fatten themselves up, the flavor of barbecued pork and ribs became legendary and quickly spread to the other southern states.

With the scent of wood smoke drifting through the late October breeze, my culinary adventuress and I paused to experience the enticing aroma from a real wood smoker before stepping into Porky's atmosphere of southern hospitality. Decorated with a big Texas taste emphasized by red-and-white checkered tablecloths, Porky's Last Stand also captures the woodwork of a Colorado corral and the down-home service of a Memphis barbecue.

After Nichole graciously helped seat us in one of the three spacious dinning rooms, she delivered menus and offered suggestions. At Porky's, the menu is large, the salad bar fresh and outstanding, and all the soups are homemade. In fact, homemade seems to be the theme for this tucked-away western-style treasure and as loyal patrons will certainly testify, Porky's combinations of consistency and quality are deeply branded into a true recipe for success.

At Nichole's recommendation that Porky's has the "best prime rib on the island," I couldn't resist and ordered the 12-ounce prime rib of beef for $17.95. The culinary adventuress chose the classic slow-roasted barbecue pork sandwich with french fries and coleslaw for $ 6.95.

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All entrées include a choice of two side dishes. I chose the salad bar and a foil-wrapped baked potato. Porky's salad bar is indicative of the south and offers classic items such as southern potato salad and three-bean salad.

With Nichole's coaching, I ordered the prime rib medium rare. When the steak came, I was certain the 12-ounce serving had been replaced with Porky's royalty version - a full pound of beef.

"No," Nichole explained. "This is the 12-ounce; the royalty is really big." The prime rib was about one and a half inches thick and covered most of the plate. The outside of the steak was seared with that perfect, well-done outer layer, and the interior was pink and juicy. The baked potato was moist, flavorful and a perfect complement as butter and sour cream were dotingly added. For lovers of prime rib of beef, I strongly agree that Nichole may be right: Porky's prime rib would offer serious competition to any restaurant.

The slow-roasted barbecue pork sandwich is a Porky's Last Stand classic, combined with chunky coleslaw and a generous portion of piping hot fries; this is an American tradition that out wrangles typical barbecue.

After dinner, Nichole cleared our plates and asked about desserts and coffee. With the generous portions at Porky's, many patrons might be intimidated by the mere thought of more food. However, after Nichole insisted that the sweet-potato pie was an after-dinner treat that must be sampled, we "reluctantly" agreed.

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She was right! Porky's sweet-potato pie is a medley of flavors and exotic spices that will challenge even the most overindulged into finishing every bite. With flavors ranging from nutmeg, cinnamon, and perhaps just the hint of clove, this winner of a dessert, topped with crushed pecans, is reason enough to save room for a wonderfully surprising treat.

Porky's Last Stand is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.; Porky's bar remains open until 12:30 a.m. Porky's features Jezebelle (an all-female rock band) on Fridays, and a rotating variety of other bands on Saturday night. Karaoke is featured on Tuesdays and Jeff Hilt performs on Wednesday evenings. For entertainment information or reservations, call 394-8727.

For fisher-folk, life is made simple at Porky's. You catch, you filet, and Chef Mike will broil, grill, fry or blacken your fresh catch of the day for $9.95.

Whenever it's time to saddle up and experience that great American tradition, patrons of Porky's will enjoy excellent barbecue, seafood and steaks, plus an impressive assortment of remarkable desserts. The live entertainment is better than most, the service staff are genuinely caring, and Chef Mike is certainly the head honcho when it comes to the best barbecue this side of the Pecos.

© 2006 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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