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One Great Dish: Publican Quality Meats' Pork Belly Gyros

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 12, 2012 9:40PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

There's something about a cone of lamb, pork and beef spinning around an open flame that fills my chest with pride. I do love a good traditional gyros but the variation being served at Publican Quality Meats may have entered my top five in Chicago.

Let's first look at the meat: pork belly. The sweet sugary goodness of the pig, it's slow braised to perfect tenderness. Then there are the accompaniments. Instead of a tzatziki sauce, PQM makes a yogurt based raita, a standard dip in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines. The tomatoes and onions standard in the Chicago gyros iteration is replaced by escalavida, a Catalan mélange of grilled vegetables including eggplant, tomato, red peppers and sweet onions.

All this tucked inside housemade griddled flatbread and drizzled with Calabrian chili orange vinaigrette. All of that, for only $10. It reads like it's complex, but what PQM calls "Better Than a Gyros" is actually a simple twist on a simple local food staple. Order it with a side radish salad ($2) that is worth every penny and a bottle or two of Mexican Coca-Cola and you have a perfect summer lunch. Eating this made my nipples hard.

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

Publican Quality Meats is located at 825 W. Fulton Market.