There’s enough kitsch and craziness hanging on the walls of Porco Lounge and Tiki Room to cause even the most stable adult on Ritalin to become utterly distracted.
The drink menu is the same way – so many options displayed like a colorful fast-food kid’s menu. If I had a crayon (blue, please) I’d be scribbling all over it.
But what this awesome bar a little south of the West Side Market (2527 W. 25th St.) has always seemed to be missing is a solid, consistent food menu. A charcuterie offering would disappear only to be replaced by pulled pork sliders and chorizo tacos which also eventually went the way of the dinosaur. In fact there were times when they didn’t even have food options.
But here’s hoping their latest effort to come out of an admittedly small and simple kitchen space will stick around for a long while.
With about 20 snack, small-plate options, I tried a trio of meatball sliders – going with two Cubanos and one Chicken Pesto (a Marinara meatball was also among the choices). The cubano had the traditional pork and cheese but instead of pressed flat it was in meatball form. The meat was moist and the tangy mustard really livened up the dish. The pesto failed to brighten up the chicken meatball sandwich, but it was still enjoyable.
A friend of ours at the table let me try her giant soft pretzel which was everything you want in one – soft, chewy and salty – plus, once again, it was livened up with a tangy mustard.
And all the food made it even more difficult to stop ordering Porco’s award-winning drinks (Shout out to the Painkiller Level 2!). And, therein, lies the true beauty of a decent food menu at a bar.
John Bertosa is likely out and about sampling the Northeast Ohio dining scene.