Going down

Pub date January 16, 2013
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats


CHEAP EATS As we were walking to the car we decided: it was not only the best pozole, it was the best thing either of us had ever ate. I should have gone back and told her so, but when we’d left Sal the Pork Chop’s penthouse sweet it was almost midnight and she was in her pajamas. She’d already fallen asleep in the middle of the season premier of “Downton Abbey,” and we’d had to clear our throats and knock on her head after, just to say goodbye. It was a knockout pozole, really and truly.

I love my Secret Agent Lady for a lot of reasons, and now this: We were halfway down the hall when she called us back. “I forgot to give you the leftovers,” she said.

I pinched myself. Hedgehog swooned.

“Steady,” I whispered, hooking her arm and holding on while our hostess and best friend ever was filling up a yogurt container. “We don’t need two faller-overs in the fambly.”

Sal the Pork Chop, everybody . . . New. Favorite. Person. Ever. And (not entirely coincidentally) maker of the pozole that changes everything.

True, she is not technically a restaurant. But then, I am not exactly all-the-way not on strike, either. I mean, agreement was reached, I am thrilled to say, over salt-and-pepper prawns and clay pot chicken at my new favorite restaurant in Chinatown.

Agreement = check’s in the mail. It is not, however, in my hands. So let’s just say that relatively real restaurant reviews are in the mail . . . and keep talking about Sal the Pork Chop’s pozole.

Or let’s hear from Hedgehog first: Dear Sir or Madam or etc. etc.:

Youse’re going to miss me when I’m gone. Like, by the time you read this, you will already be missing me. The long strike of twelve dash thirteen will be over! And right on time, too. I just contacted the accountant, in preparation for the annual clenching of the jaw and wrenching of the wallet and found out that, due to our domesticational partnership status, and additionally due to our residing in the state of happy cows, I get half of what Chicken Farmer doesn’t make, whether I write half of her column or not. It’s called “community property.”

Meaning, conversely, that she communally appropriates half of what I make, as well. I’m trying to train her to become an Emmy-winning sound editor, but I suspect she won’t be kicking in as much labor on my job as I have been on her’s when the time comes so … so long, suckas. It’s been swell, but the swelling’s gone down now.

Most sincerely, etc. etc.,



Yeah but mine has not! Swelling, that is, and gone down, that is, respectively. We decided we liked my face better like this, and I did not let the nose doctor “set” my nose. He showed me how to rub it so the swelling would go down, but I don’t.

I just …

So the pozole: she made it mostly in a blender, she said. The saucy part, which had about eighty cloves of garlic in it and I forget what she said else. This she then fried in a pan, as I understand it, and that she poured into some chicken broth and other things, in which were then simmered legs and thighs until heaven happened, and was garnished at the table with cilantro, radish, cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of lime.

There. Now you know how to make, more or less, the best thing I ever ate. But I forgot to mention she roasted some poblanos in her broiler and then threw them in at the end. Christ, I wish I’d been paying better attention.

It was my first meal back from the three-day dead I was in. My second was the melty juicy crunchy salt-and-pepper prawns I savored with jalapeno slices in the company of my favorite living Bee Gee, at a big round table in the small, square second-floor Chinatown Cheap Eats gem:


Lunch: Thu-Tue 11am-3pm; Dinner: Thu-Sun 5-9pm; Closed Wed

960 Grant Ave., SF

(415) 989-2638


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