Pig out at Porky's Place BBQ in the Markets at Shrewsbury
If you go
Location: 12025 Susquehanna Trail, Shrewsbury Township (inside Markets at Shrewsbury); also located at 4223 Lincoln Highway East, Hellam Township
Jess' pick: Two-piece chicken dinner (breast and wing) with two sides, $6.25
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; additional hours at Hellam location
Price range: $1.75, small side; $23.75, 20 pieces of chicken
Accepts: Cash only at Shrewsbury location
Kid's menu: No
Details: Call 717-757-3101, visit porkysplacebbq.com or find Porky's Place BBQ on Facebook
Have an idea for an On The Menu column? Email Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter @JessKrout.
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Don't worry about that giant pig face staring above you as you order at Porky's Place BBQ.
First, pork isn't the only meat on the menu, so you might feel less guilty picking chicken or beef. Second, it's a little hard to take the pig seriously when it's dressed in a top hat. Third, while it's the largest pig I saw, it's not the only one.
A neon sign featuring a pink pig wearing a top hat is hard to miss behind the counter.
But it's not about what's behind and above the counter. What's in the counter are fried and baked chicken, ham balls, hog wings, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, Kentucky bourbon beans, carrots, green beans – the list goes on. Redskin potato salad, fruit salad, shredded cole slaw and Amish macaroni salad is also available.
Joe and Lana Oaster started the barbecue business 30 years ago just catering, Joe Oaster said. Seventeen years ago, they opened a carryout business in Hellam Township and seven years ago, they opened the Markets at Shrewsbury stand in Shrewsbury Township.
Upon entering the markets, the stand is to the left along the wall. Tables are available near the stand or you can take food to go.
Joe Oaster said his favorite carryout item is the baked chicken, which I ordered on a recent Friday for lunch.
A white board to the right of the stand lists daily specials -- a breast and wing comes with two sides for $6.25 or order a leg and thigh with two sides for $6. I picked the breast and wing with mashed potatoes and chicken gravy (beef gravy is available, too) and baby carrots.
The carrots were sweet and the mashed potatoes were creamy, but the standout of my lunch was by far the chicken – seasoned well.
Oaster said a lot of people who are health conscious appreciate the baked option.
But for those of you who are less worried about gaining a few pounds, Oaster said one of the menu's best sellers is the barbecued baked potato ($7.95), a 1-pound potato which comes with your choice of meat (pork, chicken or beef), cheese sauce, your choice of barbecue sauce and a side of sour cream.
"That's our big hit 'cause it's a meal in itself," Oaster said.
Customers also tend to order the hog wings and ham balls, which are made with ham loaves from Lancaster County, Oaster said. (Truth: While I was there, a woman ordered at least a dozen ham balls.)
A ham ball platter is $7.25 and a hog wing platter is $8. But if you want finger food only, pulled pork, beef or chicken sandwiches are $6 each; bags of chips, fountain and bottled drinks are also available.
You can top the sandwich with one of the barbecue joint's eight sauces, ranging from Original BBQ to Mean Mr. Mustard, Apple "Nagging the Pig" Chipotle and my personal favorite – Lord of the Wings. All of the sauces are sold by the bottle, too.
If you're willing to share a Porky's dinner with the extended family, buckets of chicken are available up to a 20-piece for $23.75. Large sides are $3.50.
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