When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Porkopolis Location: 1445 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler Open: About a month and a half Eats: Barbecue Price Point: $11 to $30
From the "Who Knew?" files, turns out April is the month to open barbecue joints in Chandler.
First came Texas barbecue franchise Rudy's Country Store and BBQ and New Mexico-based Can't Stop Smokin', which opened up right across the street from each other, then, later in the month, Porkopolis happened.
Co-owned by Brady Bogen, the "voice of morality" on KUPD's Holmberg's Morning Sickness, the casual Porkopolis features traditional barbecued meats and signature sauces courtesy of Brady's Delux Barbecue Sauce, which can also be purchased in the restaurant.
The menu includes starters (my friendly server suggested the $5 fried pickles), salads, sandwiches, and signature dishes, with the stars of the show being the barbecue meat platters, with options of brisket, pulled pork, chicken, or baby back ribs. Desserts include handmade Mexican pops from Paletas Betty, and a sticky toffee pudding from sweet-treat queen Tracy Dempsey.
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I went all in and ordered the four meat platter for $20. Unfortunately, all the meats were overcooked and in need of help from three accompanying sauces (the sweet and spicy being the standout and the teriyaki the least successful). In terms of flavor, the pulled pork fared the best, followed by the baby back ribs, chicken, and brisket.
And when it came to side dishes of very good mac 'n' cheese and barbecue beans that tasted more like sweet chili than beans of the 'cue ilk, there was a temperature issue. The mac 'n' cheese should have been hotter and the beans were so much so they needed to sit for some time before I could take a taste.
The interior of Porkopolis is pleasant, with several tables, a bar area, and friendly and helpful staff. I hope that with some adjustments to the food, it can be Chandler's first choice for barbecue.