Eli’s is currently located in a small tent near the Saigon Market side of Findlay Market. It’s one guy, one griddle, a pork shoulder and a little attitude. They bill themselves as a life-changing sandwich. I can buy that, actually. It’s pretty darn good– probably the best pulled pork sandwich, as a whole, I’ve had in Cincinnati.
That’s probably because Eli’s does one thing only: pulled pork sandwiches. I suppose they could just give you a plate of pulled pork, but why would you want to skip the buttery bun, or the cole slaw topper? The foundation is the pork. It’s well smoked, fall-apart tender, and for some added crispy bits (my favorite part), it’s heated up on a griddle. The bun has been toasted (something lacking in many pulled pork sandwiches). It’s topped with a not-too-sweet, not-too-hot barbecue sauce and you’re asked if you want creamy, celery seed-laden coleslaw on top. The correct answer is “yes”, by the way– this may seem odd to you if you grew up with crock pot barbecue on a cold bun, but hit a few hours south of here– Memphis, to be exact– and this is the way to do it. In fact, I realize that this reminds me of Cozy Corner in Memphis– simple menu, done right.
And the best part? $6.
Eli’s will be moving to a more permanent location sometime in November, located on Riverside Drive in the East End. More details when they’re announced– but I can’t wait to see what else they smoke.