Eat This: Crispy Fried Pig Ears at Bar Pilar

Back in the tiny kitchen at Bar Pilar,
one of my all-time favorite neighborhood joints, Justin Bittner
turns out some of the most inspired and straightforward small plates in
town. And the chef has a thing for offal.

Over the years, I've supped on an adventurous assortment of animal innards and
extremities, from tongue to livers to tails to headcheese, from
Bittner's soulful and frequently changing menus.

My latest obsession: the crispy fried pig ears with a squeeze of bright lime.

The whole ears are brined for three days and then take a five- to
six-hour dunk in Bittner's chicken stock flavored with aromatics.
(Sorry, he's not giving up the ingredients in the dreamy smelling

The ears are sliced into thin strips, tossed with a little arrow root
powder for a crispy coating, deep fried in peanut oil til golden and
served with a wedge of lime. The result: a perfect offal bar snack.

The crispy pigs ears are now part of the new offal happy hour,
running weekdays from 5-7 p.m., featuring a selection of innards and extra bits
for $4.