Natomas Bites: A Belly Full Of Pork

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
Hearing a new restaurant would be arriving in Natomas, I anxiously awaited the opening of Pork Belly Grub Shack, tucked away in a plaza off Truxel Road and Arena Boulevard.
The first time I pulled up for lunch, the place was still under construction. The second time, I found out that they are closed on Monday.  Finally, this week, success. 
The Grub Shack is modestly decorated with black and white stripped valances and red checkered table cloths. Over the register and prep area is a simulated shingled roof.  I quickly determined the simple décor did not translate to simplicity on the menu.
Candied pecans, pancetta, roasted garlic aioli, pork pate, melted brie, crumbled blue cheese appear on several menu items making it difficult to decide what to order. The staff was friendly and provided several of suggestions. The choice was finally narrowed down to the Banh Mi Sandwich and Pork Belly Fries.
The Pork Belly Fries arrived at our table first. The large portion of fries were covered with special belly sauce, topped with ample amounts of bleu cheese and “diced bacon” – sizable chunks about a half inch squared. Unless you have a hefty appetite, I suggest sharing an order.
The Banh Mi Sandwich was cut in half which allowed the presentation of all the tasty ingredients: roasted pork belly, pork pate, house pickled carrots, diakon slaw, cilantro, jalapenos and thinly sliced cucumbers on a French baguette. This dish was reminiscent of an Asian spring roll.
The sandwich surprised me. After enjoying the first bite, I noticed layers of flavor transitioning from a cool crunch of the slaw to a mild tang from the pickled carrots and roasted flavor of the pork.  Finally, a very slight note of jalapeno and cilantro.
It was simply wonderful. 
Prices at the Grub Shack are moderate and starts with an Asian Street Taco for $1.75 and topping out at $8.50 for Steak Shack Salad. Options include making any burger or sandwich “messy” by adding a fried egg for $1.50. Diners under 12 have four menu choices, with includes fries for only $4. 
The creativity of this menu already has me contemplating what to order on my next visit. I know I will not be disappointed.
The Pork Bell Grub Shack is located at 4261 Truxel Road, (916) 285-6100.

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