No. 68: Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub
Dave Lieberman

No. 68: Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub

Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!

Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...

There's something primal about going with a group of people and ordering a whole roasted pig. Maybe you're channeling Robert Baratheon as he feasts away the hours until his murder; maybe you're giving free rein to the hunter in you, long squashed by years of Excel spreadsheets and meetings with doughnuts. It doesn't matter.

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Once the pig is displayed in front of you, you cease to be civilized. You start off innocently enough, allowing the hapless Haven server to slice the first pieces of meat, but eventually you're sucking, chewing and gnawing your way through every ounce of meat a benevolent god put on the animal for our delectation. Ears, trotters, cheeks, spleen. You leave trails of porcine gristle and splashes of side dishes through the corner of the restaurant. Once outside, you let loose a roar of satisfaction that can be heard from Francoli, much to the bemusement of elderly antiquers prowling the south side of the Circle.

It's only a matter of time before you branch out and find the quasi-legal carnitas tents that spring up throughout the Southland on weekends, because like Mike Tyson, you will be intoxicated by the taste of ear. When that happens, the words you're looking for are dos tacos de oreja, por favor. Until then, keep the memory of your pig roast with you.

The list this year:

69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ 70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground 71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish 72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market 73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul 74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege 75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17 76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen 77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza 78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille 79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee 80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla 81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore 82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking 83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar 84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop 85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai 86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express 87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo 88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House 89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar 90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House 91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market 92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro 93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe 94. Coney Dog at LinX 95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas 96. Clayuda at El Fortín 97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express 98. The Meats at Darya in Orange 99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco

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