Pork butt tater tots, Tank House, Sacramento, California
It was a 4th of July weekend. With a minor-league River Cats baseball game behind us and a rodeo replete with calf roping, bull riding, and motocross stunts ahead, we needed a really American meal to whet our whistles.
Nothing says “America” like BBQ. On the recommendation of our Lyft driver we checked out Tank House, where we found this gem of a weird dish. More poetically, rough-cut cylindrical gems of fried potatoey goodness blanketed in velvety cheese and topped with lusciously silk-stringy pulled pork and smoke-rich barbecue. When the moonlight alit on the cheese at just the right angle…
Flavor: 3.5 / 5. Hard, really, to go wrong with tater tots covered in pork and cheese. Fat3. We’d really need a category here for “How you’d feel the next morning after eating a whole bunch of these” to fairly capture the full force of this meal. But, live for the day at least once. They are delicious, even as tater tots go. The tots stay crispy and fresh-flavored, the cheese accompanies and layers without gumming or competing, and the pork is wet, oh so wet.
Fun: 4.5 / 5. Pork butt! Tater tots!
Funkiness: 1 / 5. Pork butt, while exotic and fun sounding, is just pulled pork. We probably eat it all the time, though I’m no expert on pork cut provenance. There’s a reason, anyway, that we generally obscure anatomy when naming our meatstuffs. To my disappointment, Tank House recently changed their menu (at least online) to the more anodyne “pulled pork tater tots”. Squeamish people, ugh.