Kid Hit Menu Items: The Oinkster’s menu by chef/owner Andre Guerrero features some of the biggest players on the kid food circuit. We’re talking double-fried Belgian style fries, pulled pork, chicken, burgers, simple proteins and the like. Single-serving, self-contained items such as cupcakes and brownies are on the docket come dessert time.
Adult Perks: A few beers are available on tap and by the bottle. Relatively healthier items include Chinese chicken, Caesar, and Thai chicken salads. During our most recent meal at Oinkster, I tried the roasted beet salad over mixed greens topped with fried goat cheese mound, pecans, tomatoes, and (too much) balsamic vinaigrette. Good food aside, Oinkster really deserves some O.G. design trend cred. Before the new spate of hip, au courant restaurants located within the shells of former mainstream chain restaurants opened, Oinkster decided that A-frame architecture was cool and adaptable to these times.
Pros: Counter service and quick turn around time. The enclosed patio facing Colorado Boulevard is both pleasant and practical, with plenty of space to move about. The interior space is as casual as you can get while retaining some excellent design touches.
Cons: Disposable plates, utensils and cups for eat-in service are hardly eco-friendly. Otherwise, hardly any negatives from a parents’ POV — unless you’re dead set on keeping your family on a strict vegetarian, whole grain, raw, no fried foods, super limited diet. I know hardcore BBQ types have other favorites, but we’ll get around to that quest some other time.
High Chairs: Yes
Parking and Access: Surface adjacent lot or spaces on Colorado or Shearin Avenue.
Other Tidbits: When I first told my friend Jennifer, an Eagle Rocker, about my plans to start Taster Tots, her immediate response was, “first stop, Oinkster!” And yet because it’s THAT obvious of a kid favorite, I haven’t rushed to feature it. But then I was reminded of how the Eagle Rock neighborhood fave has been conspicuously absent from this site when my kid asked to stop there on our way home from Pasadena the other week. And we were not alone as far as early family dinners go. Boy, we were not. By 5:30 the outdoor patio and indoor space was jammed packed with parents and kids, some of whom planned to meet up there, while others appeared to run into each other by coincidence. I love how one side of the room has low banquette seating and creates a flex family lounge type situation, and the other half has tables and chairs that are also easily configurable to your liking. (Normally I’m HUGELY opposed to the oppressive presence of flatscreens everywhere, but seeing The Jetsons on the TV was kinda fun and appropriate.) With its pebble floors, round pendant globe lamps, large picture windows, red booths, and terrific patio, Oinkster is a lovely place to watch the sunset during an early winter dinner or enjoy the lingering summer daylight, either indoors or out. Oh, and those happy hour deals — including $1 French fries — are a big bonus. And there’s a certain benefit for parents who might feel guilty about depriving their children of the Golden Arches: If you want to give your kids a taste of what the fast food experience is like while avoiding the worst, most vexing parts of the real deal, then Oinkster gets the job done.
2005 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
(323) 255-OINK (6465)
Cuisine: “Slow” Fast Food/BBQ
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. – midnight.