Sure, Americans eat too much meat, but I’m venturing out on a limb here to suggest that proportionately not enough of it is roast pork or beef brisket, never mind all of the other options. I’m astounded every time a carnivore tells me that s/he doesn’t eat (fill in the blank) with (dark meat) (lamb) (duck) (fish). Really we should create a new word to describe this historically unique consumer–the whitemeatatarian, someone who, in the face of the panoply of gustatory pleasures the animal world provides, chooses to eat only the most bland, the driest, the safest.
If you’re one of these souls, than come with me to DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal Market, a spot where you’ll be able to slowly introduce more unctuous, juicy and fatty options into your diet (and tsk tsk if you’re thinking that I’m suggesting unhealthiness–all that deep fried white meat chicken isn’t all that good for you, is it?).
DiNic’s is appropriately known for its roast pork sandwiches, but should also be acclaimed for its Fordist sandwich production process. On a weekend day the line snakes around and around, but moves speedily, as one or two people take orders and a cadre of artists slice meat, drain vegetables and ladle juice, all while laughing and joking with each other. But back to that pork. Order it with the broccoli rabe, the wonderful bitter greens that help define Italian food, and provolone cheese and you’ll be sent heavenward, as the mild meat (the “other white meat” if the commercials are to be believed) is complemented by tang and sharpness.
For a different, though equally umami experience, try the beef brisket sandwich, with more cheese and horseradish. Biting into the meat, which nearly dissolves in your mouth, I thought the horseradish had been forgotten, but no, it was only hiding further along with the sinus-clearing kick that wakes up your taste buds for another bite. Be warned: a DiNic’s sandwich weighs enough that you’ll think about saving half for later, but those artists! they know how to make a person live in the moment.
Recommended: probably everything, but the roast pork and brisket. Eat those greens! Also, practicing your piggie imitation–never know when it’ll come in handy. See below for example.