Top 10 Pork Dishes of 2012

Buda Grocery and Grille's double cheeseburger with double thick bacon
Buda Grocery and Grille's double cheeseburger with double thick bacon (Photo by John Anderson)

1) New Year's Day feast at Rancho Winslow Pork and cheese stuffed chiles wrapped in bacon, black-eyed peas with ham hock, collards with apple-smoked bacon, cornbread with poblanos, Johnny G's garlic sausage, orange spice cake, Anna de Codornìu Cava Brut; good luck perfection.

2) Buda Grocery and Grille's double cheeseburger with double thick bacon A true beast of a mammoth burger that drips to the elbows, all for little cash!

3) Spec's Bleu Cheese and Bacon burger High-quality meat that's flame-grilled and loaded with good bleu cheese and thick-sliced, high quality, smoky bacon. Off the radar and fantastic – and tater tots are a huge plus.

4) Sputnik's Altered Beast Burger Their version of the famed Double-Double, Animal-style, done right in all its ooey, gooey deliciousness, and perfect with their wonderful onion rings on the side.

5) Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew's pork spareribs and spicy Switch sausage Crusty, succulent pork ribs swathed in oak smoke, and a zippy, peppery garlic sausage with the perfect smoky snap (the beef chuck ribs are no slouch either!).

6) Franklin Barbecue's pulled pork, pork ribs, and sausage Ethereally good barbecue, with peppery, barky, tender pork ribs, amazingly good smoky pulled pork, and a spicy, snappy sausage; Aaron and crew stand on the smoky peak of barbecue's Mount Olympus.

7) Three Little Pig's braised pig cheeks and porchetta Raymond Tatum knows his way around the cuts of a pig, coaxing every juicy molecule of delicious flavor from whichever porcine part he's dealing with. Genius.

8) Mi Ranchito Taqueria no. 2's tender pork with green sauce or red sauce, their carnitas, pastor, and chorizo, their pork tamales – the Najera family knows their stuff, and the salsa bar pushes it over the tasty top.

9) SP-53 Cie Khrong Moo Ob at Sap's Fine Thai Cuisine Sap's added a new pork rib dish to the menu: melt-in-your-mouth riblets that are long braised in garlic, onion, tomato, and palm sugar; top it with the spicy green chile sauce, and it's "best ribs yet."

10) Tortilleria Rio Grande No. 2 serves up some tasteworthy pork, potato, and nopalito gorditos, made from fresh masa that you can see forming the tortillas in front of you; best totopos in town, and excellent barbacoa, puerco guisado verde, and chicharrón.

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