A Good Start
At first I thought Saucy Porka might be a BBQ joint. It’s not. It’s an adorable Midtown restaurant with a sense of humor. A place where Latin American and Asian cuisine dance playfully upon your palate.
For example: I had no idea what a “baco” might be. (Hmm. . . maybe the word “bacon” that spellcheck didn’t catch.) Wrong again. Upon perusing the menu, I discovered a “baco” merges a Taiwanese, steamed bun with a Mexican filling.
A Festival of Flavors
That might sound weird, but the bun standing in for the taco makes the perfect pocket for Saucy Porka’s gastro-blends. For a further mishmash of flavors, take a look at the Panang Curry Chicken Banh Mi or the Cubana Mi, an Asian-Latin interpretation of the Cuban sandwich.
But the menu name that made me laugh was Mexi-Pho. It’s South of the Border pork carnitas wallowing in a South Vietnamese broth along side Chinese noodles.
Options for All
The health conscious will find a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings. For the curious, there’s the Funky Money Fries with potatoes, house spices, picadillo beef, Chihuahua cheese and jalapeno aioli. (Note: No Chihuahuas we’re harmed in making this cheese.)😋
Try the Cheesy Buddha. It might just be your path to culinary enlightenment.
For more fun fare, there’s the Zen Salad. And the Duck Gumbo or the highly-acclaimed Asian Paella with Chinese sweet sausage, mild sausage, edamame, topped with guajillo pork and scallions. Indeed, this is a menu worth further exploration, which I fully intend to give it.
A Good Start
Behind the counter, greeting customers and taking orders, was Phil Le, one of the co-owners, which includes his sister, Amy. The pair benefits from having grown up in their mother’s restaurants in south St. Louis and St. Peters.
Saucy Porka started in Chicago with two locations. After gaining the attention of Guy Fieri, the hip restaurant won a spot on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Fieri exclaimed, “I wanted the Asian influence to come together harmoniously. What happened is EXACTLY that!”
Saucy Porka. 3900 Laclede Avenue. On the corner of Laclede and Vandeventer in Midtown. Open: Daily 11a-8p.