To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation, the New York based culinary organization has established the James Beard Foundation Silver Anniversary Scholarship Drive. Restaurants around the country are offering special selections on their menus through September 3, 2012 and will donate one dollar from the sale of each of the special items to the scholarship fund. Scott is sampling the dishes from all of the local participating restaurants:K restaurant, Cress, Spanish River Grill, Taverna Opa, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Mi Tomatina and the Rusty Spoon. In this issue: 4Rivers Smokehouse.
You know, just because we’re talking about a fundraiser for the prestigious James Beard Foundation, it doesn’t necessarily mean all the food has to be fancy-schmancy. So it’s just fine that the entry from 4Rivers Smokehouse is a pork cutlet sandwich.
But even though there is no requirement that the cuisine be haute, it does have to be good. We’d expect no less from 4Rivers, the continuing success story started a few years ago by John Rivers.
The sandwich features what the smokehouse calls a breaded porklet, served on a simple white bun with chipotle aioli, dill pickles and arugula. The meat was tender and had some good juiciness in each bite. The aioli had a bit of spicy heat that was turned up a bit with the peppery tasting arugula. (Are we seeing a trend with more arugula being included in more dishes? Because if it is a trend, I approve.)
I enjoyed the sandwich on the patio of the original location on Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. As you’ve no doubt heard, Rivers is building a larger restaurant a few blocks east and across the road. It looks like things are moving along nicely with the new place -- look for them to move at the end of July, I’m told -- so if you want to experience the rusticity of the original place with its tiny, gravel parking lot, you’d better hurry. (The new place has a paved parking lot, and lots of spaces, so you may decide it just isn’t the same.)
If you do stop by, try something different this time, like the breaded pork cutlet sandwich. It’s good, and it’s for a good cause.
Here’s a link to 4rsmokehouse.com for hours and location information.