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Very Important Taco: Pork Belly Bánh Mì Tacos at El Roy's Tequila Bar + Kitchen

The Coronado eatery pulled inspiration from West Pac Noodle Bar's weekly special


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Despite a menu of traditional Mexican menu items and fixings—fish tacos, chicharrón, chile de árbol, Cotija cheese—there’s one taco on Blue Bridge Hospitality’s newest menu whose culinary tradition comes from a different country: The pork belly bánh mì.

For inspiration, Executive Chef Chris Gallo got a little help from his friend on the opposite side of Coronado—West Pac Noodle Bar chef Katie Weber, whose bánh mì sandwich occasionally limelights as a weekly special. “We wanted to explore the flavors of a classic Vietnamese sandwich while also applying a playful south-of-the-border interpretation,” Gallo says.

Served as an entrée—two tacos with a side cucumber salad—the recipe begins with Duroc pork belly slow-cooked in confit until it’s rendered melt-apart tender. From there, it’s marinated in citrus hoisin sauce and caramelized on the grill. Sliced and slid into a corn tortilla, it’s topped with pickled vegetables for a punch of acidity, drizzled with a peanut aioli, and sprinkled with whole nuts for crunch.

“The peanuts, hoisin, pickled veggies, and pork belly are all fairly strong flavors individually, but when you marry these elements in a freshly made corn tortilla, they work together seamlessly.” Deliciously, too.

1201 First Street, Coronadoelroyssd

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