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Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Daily 11:00am–midnight

Features Date-friendly, kid-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards None
Reservations Not accepted

Annandale, VA
4215 Annandale Center Dr.
Annandale, VA
(703) 914-4600
Temple of the pig

It looks like nothing from the outside, but this is officially the Center for BBQ Pork Addicts Anonymous. It’s as dark and mysterious as any secret meeting place; the windows are covered, sparing diners from the blaring reality of the ugly parking lot outside. Walls are green, and sticky with the habits of the wild-eyed pig fiends within.

There are six—six!—versions of pork bellies to throw on your table grill: marinated, spicy, sang…there’s beef, too, but the pork is the point. It all comes with green onions and salty soybean paste, to be scooped up with lettuce leaves. Your intestines will welcome the roughage.

Fat rules here. It drips across the table grill, its smell wafts up through the smoke hoods that sit over each table. Ceiling fans collect it like cotton candy batons and send aromas of grilling meat and onions and garlic around the room. Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t wear to a smoky club. And no white.

Other dishes are competent. Chewy noodles are fun, texturally, and spicy with a little acetic tang to them. If you dig chewing, the octopus is a good bet.

Did we mention the pork? As you lay tender and fatty bits on the grill, there’s an unabashed primal pleasure in every pop and sizzle, in the charred edges, and in watching the color go from bloody rose to palest pink. It’s just plain fun. No wonder it’s such a popular joint.

Brillat-Savarin said, “Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are.” Well, we’ve been called much worse.

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