When you think Venice Beach, you think of the sun, the beach, all-natural, healthy food, etc… But lately Abbot Kinney has been filling up with restaurants that are not afraid to fill you up and satisfy your palate. Willie Jane serves traditional southern cuisine like fried chicken and pork chops and Salt Air serves the butter poached lobster roll. Now Pork Belly’s Sandwich Shop has joined them on this busy pedestrian filled street. Tucked in between vegan restaurants and juice bars, Pork Belly’s Sandwiches serves tender smoked BBQ meat sandwiches.
The 300-pound capacity smoker, which fills the entire space of the back room that it is housed in, works around the clock. Brisket, which takes 12 hours to smoke, will go in the previous night and other items, such as the ribs, spend the morning smoking and aren’t available until after 1:30 pm. Competitive barbecue grillmaster Eric Solcon consulted on the recipes and the result is tender, slightly sweet meat that almost melts in the mouth.
With nine sandwiches on the menu, we selected the three recommended by owner Jon Swire, as well as tater tots, fried pickels and a soda.
The Chop – Brisket smoked for over 12 hours in the in-house smoker then chopped, topped with homemade BBQ sauce and homemade cole slaw on a brioche roll. The bread is soft and absorbs the flavors of the BBQ sauce, which has a hint of sweetness.
The Belly Up – The signature sandwich is smoked BBQ pork belly topped with homemade coleslaw on a brioche bun.
Smoky Balls – Pork and beef meatballs smoked then thinly sliced, served with homemade tomato sauce, peppers and onions on a grinder roll and topped with melted cheese.
Sloppy Tots – Tater Tots covered with chorizo Sloppy Joes and topped with melted cheese.
Fried Pickles – Served with a spicy aoli dipping sauce that cuts through the crispy batter and finishes with a tang of the pickle.
The Coke Freestyle machine allows you to digitally select the soda of choice. Once you select the soda you want, you can also choose different flavor combinations. The choices are endless.
Pork Belly’s Sandwich shop is best for take-away. There is no seating but there is a counter along the outside wall and a newspaper stand out front where you can stand and enjoy the food. If you want to take-away, they have made it very easy as you can order online and pick up curbside. This not only saves time but considering parking can be a challenge on Abbot Kinney, it takes the stress out as well.
Chop Daddy’s (formerly Pork Belly’s)
1146 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90291