The Pulled Pork Showdown

Normally in Maine, the topic at hand is seafood. Who has the best, who is the freshest, etc. Today it’s all about the pulled pork sandwich. Over the last few months, I’ve tried some impressive selections, from The Thirsty Pig, Hot Suppa, Blue Rooster, and almost but not quite, Salvage BBQ. Let it be known, each sandwich is good in its own way, and my personal opinion is just that: personal. I know for a fact what I think is the best is not necessarily what you will think! My insatiable sweet tooth is the thing guiding my decision today.

1. Hot Suppa

This pulled pork sandwich is the most traditional out of the three. Very southern inspired, as I ended up ordering a side of cornbread to go with it. On a hot summer day, it was just what I needed to keep me going til late night drinks out. It’s tender, and definitely a little bit sloppy. You’ll need a bib if you want your clothes to stay clean! Extremely satisfying, I left having only eaten half (not that that is a surprise for me). Eating it the next day for lunch made my day that much better! This is the pulled pork sandwich for someone that wants plain and simple goodness. It delivers.

2. The Thirsty Pig

If you haven’t noticed, we’ve had some unseasonably beautiful weather the last few weeks! Last week, I decided to go and try The Thirsty Pig, having heard from a fellow foodie that the Pulled Pork sandwich was worth my time. I don’t honestly think I’ve been so charmed by a restaurant on a first visit, at least not recently. Sitting outside in the sunshine, with a slight breeze, I waited patiently for what I was told was a great batch. High expectations! What a beautiful sandwich. The salad was a perfect pairing as well, with a sweet dressing that matched the smoky and sweet flavor of the pulled pork. Highly unusual, but wow…what a meal. My sweet tooth felt invigorated, as sweet melded with tangy and supremely tender pork. Unbelievable. This is a sandwich I will never forget.

3. Blue Rooster Food Co.

Upon picking up this massive sandwich, I almost thought I had a sloppy joe in hand. Mind you, the ingredient quality is much higher: slaw, bread and butter pickles, and of course, pulled pork on a bun. This is another sandwich that requires a bib, folks. In terms of individuality, the Blue Rooster pulled pork wins hands down. Known for their unusual menu, such as Pâté on a sandwich, or their Red Eye breakfast sandwich with pork belly and eggs, among other things, on a warm biscuit (I have yet to try it, but I’ve heard marvelous things) The Sweet Caroline pulled pork sandwich is no exception, since everything is on the sandwich, pickles and slaw included. Out of the three, this is the tangiest pulled pork, with a serious bite to it. This is a sandwich that demands your attention, until you’ve finished it. Magnificent.

So….

Who wins the Showdown?

The Thirsty Pig:

Any sandwich that can cater to my sweet tooth is a winner in my book. Every bite had a nuanced sweet flavor, similar to maple syrup or molasses. I don’t know how they do it, but this is the Pulled Pork for me. However, they could be de-throned, depending on where I order a pulled pork sandwich next! Regardless, I highly recommend them all. Not just for the pulled pork either…these are all fantastic places to visit for lunch or dinner!

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Sarah Gelber

About Sarah Gelber

A recent graduate from the University of Southern Maine, Sarah has always had a passion for food. Follow her escapades around Portland, trying every new restaurant in her path! Conquering Portland, one meal at a time.