Their leader-in-chief, chef Jason Alley, conducted the 2012 Pork Crawl, sponsored by the Iowa-based National Pork Board, which included stops at Comfort, The Black Sheep, Kuba Kuba, Secco Wine Bar, The Roosevelt and Pasture. Portland, Ore., was the location of last year's Pork Crawl.
The food writers, who ranged from Chandra Ram, editor of Plate magazine, to Michael Costa, an editor with Hotel Food and Beverage magazine, got their fill not only of each restaurant's signature pork dishes, but also their specialty sides and beverages, ranging from hard ciders to bourbon-laced shrubs.
The first stop on the crawl was at Comfort, where the Bowman bourbon shrub knocked off any lingering travel stress. Alley also served a molasses-glazed pork loin over a white-bean puree. Foggy Ridge's Sweet Staymen cider, from Dugspur in Southwest Virginia, and Bold Rock cider from Nellysford rounded out the tasting.