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Pork Belly Pastrami from Citizen Public House: 100 Favorite Dishes

Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing some of our favorite food folks' "Personal Best" lists. This year we're bringing back our list of 100 Favorite Dishes. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or e-mail lauren.saria@newtimes.com.

100. Pork Belly Pastrami from Citizen Public House

See also: 100 Favorite Dishes 2011

Pork belly may not be as en vogue as it was in, say, 2011 (when Citizen Public House first opened its doors), but this pork belly dish can and should last long beyond the trend.

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There aren't many dishes we like to see on a menu every year and during every season, but a meal at Citizen Public House would never feel complete without an order of pork belly pastrami. From the start, this was one of the creations that best showcased chef Bernie Kantak's ability to turn classic dishes in modern American cuisine, and it continues to do so today.

Kantak transforms a few simple pieces of pork belly into a luscious starter that feels familiar, comfortable, and indulgent all at the same time -- like your favorite pastrami sandwich but taken apart and turned into something even greater than the sum of its parts. The smoky, salty pieces of fatty meat sit over a bed of rye spaetzle that serves in the place of the sandwich's bread and then get a healthy layer of Brussels sprout "kraut." The tangy kraut and mustard do a perfect job of counteracting the richness of the pastrami itself.

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