Crispy Pata: Heart Attack on a Plate? Yes, Please

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Photo by Leslie Kelly
The crispy pata at Family Time lived up to its description.
You might think getting prepped to be a judge at this weekend's Cochon 555 would require a pre-pig-out juice fast or endless bowls of oatmeal, but not for this pork lover.

On the eve of sitting down to more than 30 different heritage-breed pork dishes, I took a quick trip to the other extreme. I've been dying to try Family Time, a Filipino restaurant just a hair south of Shoreline, since I heard some good word-of-mouth.

Sadly, my experience with foods from the Philippines is woefully lacking. I've not gone beyond pancit and adobo. So I invited a friend whose family is from the Philippines to be my culinary guide. Veronica opened the menu and immediately spied the Crispy Pata. "We've got to try this," she said. Done and done, along with another porky dish, deep-fried pork belly, two kinds of pancit, lumpia, and chicken adobo. Holy cow! Nothing like a little light lunch.

Crispy pata, also known as deep-fried pork shank, was my favorite. I loved the way it was served: a steak knife stuck into its crackling skin, a vinegar-y soy sauce on the side. But who needs utensils when you're among friends? This was a dish to pick apart with your fingers. Hey, no fighting over that last piece of crack. Er, crackling.

This dish was, as advertised, crispy on the outside while the meat inside was super-moist and flavorful. Our table was in hog heaven.

Now, this isn't the kind of meal you're going to eat every day or even once a week, but as the occasional porktacular treat, this meat is hard to beat!

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