An Obsession With All Things Pork
The Green Pig, located across from Kealia Beach, serves Southern-style food with a carnival flourish. For the last seven weeks, the truck painted with a playful pig has been parked on the grassy lawn where the Sunday farmers market used to be.
Thriving careers as chefs in Dallas left Jake and Erron DePew depleted. In March, they sold everything and moved to Kauai. Erron was on familiar ground because her father, Stan Irion, lived in Kapaa for 38 years. Today, the DePews own and operate the truck with Joe and Lihue Lopez.
The Green Pig is a tribute to porky perfection.
“Jake is obsessed with pig,” says Erron. Her short, brown hair is pinned up and a black apron with white stripes covers a bright green shirt. Jake nods in agreement. Devotion flashes across his soft, brown eyes and a slow smile parts his big, red beard.
“I’ve got a pork issue,” he says. “I’m going to therapy.”
“Pork therapy?” I ask. “Yes,” he replies “You keep on eating it until it makes you feel better!”
A smoker hitched to the food truck’s backside is the heart of Dr. DePew’s porky elixirs. Jake uses mesquite chips and smokes pulled pork for 10 hours, pork loin pastrami and “Jacon” – bacon that’s cured for one week, rinsed for eight hours and cold smoked for two hours.
Jacon is served on the Pork-a-holic ($12), a colossal sandwich layered with hand-cut, breaded and deep-fried pork tenderloin cutlet and pulled pork with a tangy barbecue sauce. It’s premium pork therapy that’s sure to cure any carnivore’s condition.
“We want the service at The Green Pig to be Southern sassy,” says Erron.
After husband Dan and I place our order, we are assigned a celebrity name. We wait at one of four picnic tables under an awning. A table at the front holds condiments, forks and napkins. When our order is ready, Erron’s voice cuts over the ’70s R&B music, and says, “Ricky Bobby, your order is ready.”
A chunk of breaded and fried macaroni and cheese ($3) is crispy on the outside. Inside, melted cheese clings to soft macaroni. Disco Pig Tales ($6) are hand-cut curly fries topped with smoked pulled pork and drizzled with gravy made with pan drippings from the smoker.
Grandpa’s Relish ($6 for an 8-ounce jar, $8 for 12 ounces), is a 2012 Texas State Fair recipe winner from Jake’s grandfather. The relish tops the Reggae Jacon ($8), a fat quarter-pound beef hot dog with mustard and red onion. Thai Jacon Hotdog ($8) is topped with slaw and sriracha mayonnaise.
Salads ($8) include the Fresh CHOP, packed with seasonal vegetables and herbs from the Kapaa farmers market. Ranchero features a handmade black bean, corn and brown rice patty, and the Garden Green comes with tomatoes, red onions, hard-boiled eggs and croutons. Chicken Salad Wrap is slathered with house-made ginger tomato jam, brown rice and house slaw. Handmade dressings include Buttermilk Ranch, 1,000 Isle and Apple Cider Vinaigrette. For an extra $3, you can add any meat or a black bean patty.
Plate lunch ($11) is served with white or brown rice, PotatoRoni salad (with toasted noodles with a zesty mayonnaise dressing) and Crunchy Ramen Slaw. You can choose among smoked pulled pork, hand-cut and breaded pork tenderloin, Kauai beef patty or chicken fried chicken.
Breakfast is served all day with bottomless Kauai Coffee and Tazo tea. Grab-and-go sandwiches include Cowboy Bagel with smoked pork loin, fried egg and pepper jack cheese. Loco Moco ($8) offers any meat option over white or brown rice, a fried egg and gravy made with pork drippings.
The Green Pig, 212-5769, open Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.