The Unsolicited Endorsement: The pork-chop sandwich

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by Brian Clarey

By now everyone in the Triad knows about Stephanie’s II, the big soul-food dining room in south Greensboro that’s become a community anchor.

Try the sweet-potato cobbler with a scoop of vanilla.

But not everybody realizes that this is the second restaurant. The first, a more modest affair, is just down Randleman Road.

The original Stephanie’s grew out of this sturdy, red-roofed shack dishing up quick food — not fast food, mind you, but quick — through two drive-thru windows and the kind of tight little kitchen that can accommodate two cooks, but only if just one of them needs to move around.

It is through that drive-thru window that I receive the object of this week’s Unsolicited Endorsement: the pork-chop sandwich.

It’s fantastic: a deep-fried, T-bone chop with breading that has just a short cutting of cornmeal and a spice blend that tastes positively grandmotherly.

Unless you’re a complete fool, you should order this with chili and slaw. The chili is mild and heavy on the loose meat; the slaw may have been chopped last night. And of all the chili-and-slaw pairings I’ve had — hot dog, burger and, once, a pizza — this is the best possible use of the North Carolina staple.

Good slaw and chili — and these are seriously good — can stand just fine on their own, but this juicy, crispy chop and the soft bun really do it justice.

Oh man, it is so good that I just ate one and I honestly think I could do another. That’s why there’s no photo to accompany this piece. I picked it up and it never came back down. I even gnawed a little on the bones, like a dog.

There are definitely some bones to this sandwich. But that, too, seems fitting.