Bucktown has that cool vibe that reminds me of NYC. It is filled with video stores , junk shops, and coffee shops. Each and every food place there has its own special personality . Even the taco bell boasts their slushies with liquor. It would figure that Food Network star , Jeff Mauro would put his new shop there. I love the fun feel that he conveys with the name of Pork and Mindy’s . It conjured up images of the seventies tv show, but alas there were no photos of the alien and and his bride in the whole store. Instead I got that New York- Greenwich Village feel , complete with art and music. Sure enough, artists perform live music on certain nights.
Obviously the main attraction is the food and nothing here is the typical sandwich. Each of the dishes is clearly a work of art. You won’t go hungry because each and every sandwich is stuffed with delicious ingredients. Jeff also has added other special touches to his restaurant. You won’t find any Coke or Pepsi here. Jeff has a soda machine that is filled with the yummy Jones soda. Sorry if you want a cola, but maybe try a tart green apple or an old fashioned root beer. Another one I tried was the fun blue raspberry. And hurray you can try them all.
Going in, I didn’t know what to expect. It has always been hard for me to make up my mind when ordering. (just ask any of my exes) This was really hard because everything looked so good. We decided while we nibbled on the pig candy, which is bacon that is dusted with brown sugar and slow smoked. Jeff uses it in a few of his goodies. Jen was so excited to try Jeff’s invention , the Tot tine. It is a variation of the Canadian dish, poutine, except instead of french fries, he uses tater tots . The tots are smothered with mozzarella chunks and gravy. What makes these sandwiches unique is the special touches that Jeff added . His Bao to the Pork is made with an bao bun , pork that is hand pulled and smoked, Asian Plum Sauce, and jalapeno relish. I also enjoyed the kicky Chicken Salad roll. The sandwich smacked of summer with its chicken mixed with candied pecans, celery, green onion and cranberry on a roll garnished with hot giardiniera . Jen’s favorite was the Chicken and French Toast . It was like eating lunch and breakfast at the same time. The chicken was garnished with pig candy , pickled red onions and here is what made it really unique. The bun was soaked in vanilla maple bourbon and the surface reminded one of French toast. And the best part, it was sweet , not spicy. Potato salad? No problem, but Jeff doesn’t use the run of the mill potato. His potato salad is made from sweet potatoes with a sweet creamy dressing.
Even the ending of the meal was special. Added attraction was that on the day we visited Jeff himself was in the kitchen. He calls them “nados” and each of them is made with premium vanilla ice cream. The ice cream is mixed with sweet goodies like peanut butter, banana, and cannolis. Want to take some of the great tastes home with you. Jeff has his special sauces on sale to use to spice up your life. It was also quite an honor to have my picture taken with Jeff and my special gift was a bottle of his special bbq sauce. I am sure we will have to come back for more when it is gone.
Pork and Mindy’s is located at 1623 N Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown. Thanks to all the lovely folks for a great time.
Dig into the Chicken Salad Roll for a little bit of spicy
No you aren’t seeing things. It is potato salad that is made from sweet potatoes and is it yummy
It is American smoked pork with an Asian vibe ..Bao to the bone
Jeff was so nice and generous. His food definitely rocks.