The Whirly Pig
Phillys artisanal porkmongers offer several tantalizing items.
What to get: Philly's "artisanal porkmongers" offer several tantalizing items, but there's a reason the Hog Roast Sandwich ($7) is at the top of the menu. The combination of tender pork, apple slaw made with Granny Smith apples, house pickles and bacon on an onion-brioche bun is a winner. A must-try in the city's growing food-truck scene. "It never leaves the menu. It's the one thing that's always on there," said chef/porkmonger Zach Whirledge, who learned to cook in San Diego and has been a chef for about 15 years.
Whirledge's trademark sandwich includes smoked rib meat, braised cheeks, baked loin and some pork belly. "You get the meat and the juice, and the sweet from the slaw, and a little bit of crunch from the pickle, and the saltiness of the bacon," he said. If you don't like it, you might be a closeted vegetarian.
Other options: Grilled Cuban ($8) with pork, country ham, house pickle and gruyere, stone-pressed on a grill; BLT ($6) on sliced brioche with truck-made mayo; Breaded Pork Tenderloin ($8), soaked in milk, fried in house bread crumbs, with sharp cheddar, iceberg, tomatoes and aioli on brioche. The menu changes often.
The truck: One of the sharpest-looking trucks in the city, with a black-and-wood-paneling design and a giant cartoon of a pig with a whirly hat.
Backstory: Whirledge opened in December and is assisted in the truck by his father and brother. His mother books the events. They've already been nominated by Philadelphia magazine for best food truck (and were leading in online voting as of yesterday afternoon).
Find it: The Porch at 30th Street Station, the Navy Yard, 33rd and Arch streets, and elsewhere. Track them down @TheWhirlyPig on Twitter and "The Whirly Pig" on Facebook.