Crispy Pork Belly Taco’s
Day after Thanksgiving is typically filled with recipes creating wonderful dishes with Thanksgiving leftovers. Well, in my family we do distribute leftovers but we traditionally will go Black Friday shopping and stay at a hotel in downtown Indianapolis and eat out for dinner. This past Black Friday we visited a sweet little join just south of the Circle City Mall called Nada and after scrolling through the menu decided I must try this:
I know this dish has a lot going on and if you’ve ever been to Nada before you know that everything is pretty much al a carte style so the sides were all bought individually but an order of tacos does come with three tacos so that’s cool. If you wanted to get some friends together and share some tacos that’s a genius idea and I definitely recommend it as they have a wide array of tacos and other sides from the menu here:
Back to the critique of my meal, let me quickly write about the side dishes. The chili-glazed crispy potatoes were my favorite. The sweet chili sauce reminds me of the sauce my mom uses on her egg rolls (or lumpia to stick to my Filipino roots) and it’s sweet and spicy and crispy but a dabble of crema does good for those who don’t like “spicy” things. The beans and rice and the cucumber salad were good, but nothing jumped out from the flavors standpoint but they were very complimentary to the dish.
The crispy pork belly tacos themselves were salivatingly tasty! If you’ve never had pork belly or not sure what it is…in short, pork belly is the part of the pig where we get BACON. Pork belly is ideally cooked two ways…smoked in a BBQ pit or simply deep-fried to be crispy and tender. When this plate came out the fried pork belly strips jump out and the pickled peppers and onions are a nice contrasting color. The rectangular plate is a nice touch and does make handling the plate itself easy as sometimes the plates even for tacos can be scolding hot at other restaurants. The dishes the sides come in are pretty sleek…very shallow, but of good size and easy handling.
The pork belly was definitely crispy which is how I like my bacon and so that’s how I like my pork belly. Not really any smoke flavor which is always complimentary to pork belly but that’s OK as crispy is still really good and Nada does it PERFECTLY! There’s a crispy crunchy first bite with a good healthy amount of “chew” to the pork belly. As your tastebuds navigate through the pork belly they encounter a sweet and tangy flavor from the pickled peppers and onions, and then a little bit of a hit and from the guajillo peppers and cilantro for an amazing bite each and every time. I like the flour tortillas because of a smoother texture, but if you don’t like flour tortillas they do offer their tacos in corn tortillas, but I think it’d be too much of a gritty type of texture as the crispy pork belly has that to it.
The downside to this dish and specifically to the crispy pork belly tacos, besides there only being three of them, is I wasn’t too particularly fond of the size of the tortilla’s. I get that they’re “taco” sized tortillas, but I think they could be a little bit larger. Tacos are meant to fit in your hand and these definitely do, but they do way too easily in my opinion. I think if they were to increase the tortillas it’d be a nice touch and probably get people fuller faster!
At the end of the day…the crispy pork belly tacos at Nada are full of intense and complimentary flavors. If you’ve never experienced pork belly in this form (bacon is definitely good, but pork belly is like 1/2″ thick cut bacon strips) this would be a great gateway to eating pork belly and enjoying the glorious flavor that cut of meat is.