Diamonds in the Rough
Almost more meat than one man can handle.
The Chic-Hog-O burger.
Photograph by Steven Sandor
When our dining party arrives at this new addition to the barbecue/roasted meat scene, Chic-Hog-O’s Social Roast House only has one other patron.
It’s the height of lunch hour, and we’re downtown, with the Edmonton General Hospital next door and office towers nearby. But Chic-Hog-O’s faces 112 Street, not Jasper Avenue, so you might only find it if you’re looking for it.
But, the ridiculous Chic-Hog-O burger has the potential to give this place enough notoriety to overcome its lack of main-street frontage.
The patty, made from a mix of roasted chicken and pork, is much, much larger than the bun. Cheddar cheese is scorched into the patty. Smoked bacon is added. It’s the stuff of competitive eating challenges. My lunch companion takes it on, and can only finish half of it.
Like all the meat here, the patty is the product of 24 hours of marinating in special sauces, then a minimum of six hours roasting time. The result is meat that’s not dried out, but packs a deep, flavourful punch.
I have the porchetta sandwich, which sees roasted pork loin and deliciously fatty pork belly tossed in a garlic dressing with plenty of red peppers. The best part is the crunchy, fatty bits that you find in the sandwich; little diamonds in the rough of goodness.
Chic-Hog-O’s also embraces the trend of cauliflower as a side; that is, the art of making cauliflower as deliciously unhealthy as it can possibly be. The crowns are roasted till they’re golden at the top, then tossed in paprika and salt, and served with a garlic aioli. The spuds, baby potatoes cooked in rosemary and also given the paprika-salt treatment, make for great bar snack food.
Is it a lunch that will give you a spring in your step? No. Is it a lunch that will send you back to work in a blissful meat half-dream state? Damn straight. (10058 112 St., 587-524-5526, website N/A)