Porktropolis (Sun Prairie WI)

2011/03/29 12:02:09
Porktropolis is located at N. Bristol St. and US-151 in Sun Prairie and I first noticed it at the end of January, so over the weekend I decided to check it out.
It's pretty small inside, with a handful of booths for seating.  While I was there all the business except for me was carryout.

One of the menu items is a quarter-rack of ribs so I decided to start there, with side orders of beans and a rice & corn mix with a chipotle pepper hidden inside.  The ribs were nicely done with a little bit of chew without being tough, the beans were a little spicy and a little sweet with 3 different bean varieties, onion, and meat, and the rice and corn was pretty mild until I reached the pepper in the middle.

I also ordered a beef brisket sandwich and like the ribs the beef was well-cooked with a nice mix of fat and lean.

For my side I chose the campfire potatoes which were firm without being hard and soft without being mushy, if you know what I mean.  They're cooked with onions in a skillet and onion flavor was pretty subtle, but good.

The sauces are all homemade and IMO this is where Porktropolis has it going on.  The basket in the upper right corner contained small chunks of bread for dipping so I tried all of them except for the horseradish and raspberry habanero and it was tough to choose 2, but eventually I settled on the Memphis (lower left, thicker and somewhat sweet without being overly so) and the Carolina (upper middle, thinner with a nice vinegar tang and a little heat from red pepper flakes), which turned out to be a nice complement to the brisket.

But if there's 1 thing I'd like to see them change it's the amount of smoke in the meat, as I found it to be barely noticeable.  There were a couple of bags of charcoal inside and a gas grill and sheet metal cooker behind the building so I have no reason to think they're not cooking with fire, but I think the addition of some hardwood or fruitwood would really take things up a couple of notches.  Granted, I tend to like my barbecue toward the smoky end of the scale but when my wife tasted the brisket leftovers even she commented that there wasn't a lot of smoke, and this a woman who finds Wonder bread to be a little on the spicy side.
Overall I'd recommend it, but with a caveat about the smoke.  There are some other interesting menu items that trace back to the owner's career as a chef and caterer and I have no reason to believe that there would be any lack of quality in terms of ingredients and preparation.
Re:Porktropolis (Sun Prairie WI) 2011/03/29 12:12:54
Nice review, Brad.
I love the bags of Kingsford Original and Royal Oak on the floor.  They kind of look purposely planted as everything else is so precise.
Are those samples for everyone to dip in or was the tray given to only you?  If they were communal dipping bowls I would have stayed far away from them.
A better way for samples would have been from squeeze bottles and even they would be iffy to me.
The food looks great, but your very own looks better!
I'd try that rice at least once.
Re:Porktropolis (Sun Prairie WI) 2011/03/29 12:29:35
Thanks for the compliment, Mar.
Yes, the samples are for everyone's enjoyment.  I didn't see that double-dipper George Costanza in the area so I wasn't afraid to help myself.
One of the carryout customers did try the raspberry habanero sauce and he confirmed that it was indeed quite lively.  The owner keeps it off the sample tray so that someone who shouldn't try it doesn't.  "Mommy, I want to taste this one..."
I liked the rice and saved some to share with the rest of the family, but then royally screwed up.  Nobody else likes beans so I finished them there and put the lid back on the cup, but because I wasn't paying attention I wound up throwing out the rice and taking the empty bean cup home!
Re:Porktropolis (Sun Prairie WI) 2011/03/29 12:53:36
Oh, No!  I hate when someone else screws up my food, but when I do it myself....
Re:Porktropolis (Sun Prairie WI) 2011/03/29 18:14:44
Great report Brad, the thing is the food doesn't look smoked at all, especially the brisket, zero ring I could see, and no ribs are pink to the bone fron smoking!