Monday, December 07, 2009

The Oinkster - Eagle Rock

When I first started blogging, I was sad if a restaurant didn't live up to expectations or felt I had to justify if I didn't like a popular restaurant. I guess I still feel that way because I really don't enjoy lambasting non-chain restaurants. When I like something, it's fairly obvious. There are few places that are so awful that there's nothing to recommend them. Rather, I think most of my dining falls in a huge gray area -- not horrible but not great either.

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 1

And yet, even with all the delays in posting, my blog has been a way for me to document where and what I've eaten. So although nothing compels me to blog the lackluster meals, I do so anyway. Or maybe I'm jinxed with restaurants I eat at right before Thanksgiving? I felt that way last year when I revisited and still felt "meh" about Charlie's Trio Cafe - Alhambra.

And I felt that way about The Oinkster.

Tony of SinoSoul had a 30% off coupon for Larkin's that he wanted to use before it expired. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed when we came by. We came back the next day and it was closed again, but that's a story for another day.

On this night, thwarted by an attempt for some fried chicken (Psst! I make a pretty good Southern fried chicken and cream gravy if I do say so myself. No need to drive to Eagle Rock.), we settled on The Oinkster. I first heard about The Oinkster several years ago from Marvin of Burnt Lumpia, who mentioned that the owner was Filipino American. I'm all for supporting other Asian Americans and I do love pastrami. Cousin Q and his older brother had visited The Oinkster though and weren't very impressed with their pulled pork. So nothing pushed me to visit any time soon.

We ordered the house-cured pastrami for $8.49. The description said it was cured for two weeks, rubbed with a special spice blend, and smoked with apple wood. The sandwich also came with house-cured kosher pickles. Sounds pretty good, right?

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 2

The sandwich was sad. The pastrami wasn't tender, the spices couldn't be tasted, and the overall result was just bland. :(

The Reuben was saved from dryness by the sauerkraut and cheese. Sure, not every pastrami will be as good as Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant, but this pastrami even lacked the flavor of The Hat's. After a while, I realized I was forcing myself to eat something that I wasn't even enjoying. So I just stopped.

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 3

Mrs. SinoSoul wanted chili fries for $4.95. While the fries were good, the chili was just bean chili. It was like eating refried beans on top of French fries. We were both sad. *Whimper.* I could've had The Hat's pastrami chili cheese fries instead. :(

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 4

Tony had the hamburger and he was sad about it too.

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 5

So then we tackled the ube shake for $4.50 and were pleasantly surprised. This was the best part about our whole meal. Strong purple yam flavor. Lovely color. Not too sweet. Creamy. Just right. Yay! Something to redeem about our meal.

Oinkster - Eagle Rock 6



They proudly proclaim to use ice cream from Fosselman's Ice Cream Co. - Alhambra.

As Tony rightly pointed out, the best part about our meal wasn't even something made in-house?

Tony apologized afterward saying he's dragged me to some bad restaurants. Well, I didn't think it was baaaad - not horrible, but not great either. Over-hyped, definitely. Of course, if I had to tell myself to just stop eating because I'm not enjoying it, it's not worth the drive to Eagle Rock, unless you already live there.

Who else ate at The Oinkster?
Marvin of Burnt Lumpia pointed out the Filipino connection.
Tony of SinoSoul proclaimed it one of his worst meals of 2009.

The Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
323-255-OINK (6465)
Monday to Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to midnight
Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

1 year ago today, Kiki Bakery - San Gabriel (Closed).
2 years ago today, dubu chorim (Korean fried tofu in soy sauce).
3 years ago today, Why Oregon Will Always Be Home, and Tillamook Cheese and oyster burgers.


  1. hi wc - too bad it wasn't that great over there. that ube shake looked good though!

  2. CC,
    Next time you come up, I'll take you to Fosselman's so you can get the ube shake directly from the source.

    Well, now you can save yourself from rushing out to try it.

  3. you missed out on what I think they're best at-- their belgium fries and the garlic aoli. Also, their rotisserie chicken is delicious! hopefully you're not too sad to give this place another shot, because I believe the belgium fries and aoli are the main reason why I love this place so much.

  4. Pamela,
    Hmm. Thanks for the recommendations. Although, I'm hardly ever in Eagle Rock, and if I were, I dunno if I'd come back because the food really was that blah.


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