Notable Nosh: Root Beer Pulled Pork

Root Beer Pulled Pork 1

When I went to eat at the Tempo Restaurant in the Delta Barrington Hotel in Halifax this summer, I was really just planning to have a burger or something. However, the following item on the menu caught my eye…

Sweet and Savory Pork Duo – Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Root Beer Braised Pulled Pork Shoulder and Herb Roasted Baby Potatoes.

Root Beer??

Well, I have seen quite a number of dishes that use Coca Cola as a braising medium (although I have yet to try doing so myself) but the idea of using root beer the same way seemed decidedly odd. In that instant, all thoughts of a burger were banished and I knew I had to try it even though, quite frankly, it sounded as though it might be vile…

Happily, as it turns out, I wasn’t revolted and the meal was largely pretty good. The grilled pork tenderloin was a little dry (in fairness, it often tends to be so) and I found myself wishing for a little applesauce, but the potatoes and vegetables (in this case, broccoli and asparagus) were very well cooked and quite delicious. As for the pulled pork, though, I was surprised that there wasn’t any hint of root beer taste about it all… It was very moist and tender (as pulled pork should be) but there was a background taste that I couldn’t identify and wasn’t sure I liked. It wasn’t, as I say, a root beer taste, but rather a slightly woody, slightly gamey flavor that lingered a bit. Whatever it was (the root beer or something else) it rather convinced me to not bother trying to reproduce the dish any time soon. Still, I’m glad I gave it a try…

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