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Places We Can Walk to: The Best Lil’ Pork House

One of the reasons our family is able to live car-free is because our town, Alameda, has so much to offer within walking distance. For example, we are going skiing next week and we found that my oldest had outgrown her winter boots. So last night after dinner, the kid and I walked over to Goodwill and found her some new books, then had fun browsing at the used bookstore on the way home.

But this post is not about used boots. This post is about pork.

For months, Alamedans have been watching the construction of a new restaurant in South Shore Center. At the designated moment, lo, it was revealed to us that the new restaurant would be called The Best Lil’ Pork House. Right around that time, I happened to go to a travel writing conference in Corte Madera, and had the opportunity to smell the smells emanating from another location of this very chain. The smells, they were scrumptious. So I began to anticipate the arrival of a barbecue restaurant we could walk to.

Imagine my excitement, then, when the folks behind South Shore Center reached out and invited me to attend the restaurant’s grand opening. The kids and I were so excited, we wlked over to South Shore a little early and got haircuts at Great Clips before showing up.


When we walked in, we noticed a band playing, including a banjo player, and enjoyed checking out the rustic decor. Then we took a table, and a server brought us some popcorn and took orders for lemonade and beer. The kids were thrilled with their beers sugary drinks, and they never met any popcorn they didn’t like.


My husband arrived by bike, locked it up at one of the handy racks at South Shore Center, and joined us at our booth. We met a number of other neighbors as well, who all had some connection to the restaurant. While we chatted, servers brought by a few appetizers — chicken wings, fries, sweet potato tots and deep-fried pickles. The wings were yummy and moist; the pickles are probably not something I would order but I enjoyed the chance to try them.

Then it was time to line up to sample some of the entrees. While we waited in line, the kids tried playing air banjo and danced around to the music.


We tried pulled pork and chicken. Our favorite meat was the pulled pork, but the kids’ absolute favorite thing there was the macaroni and cheese. This is saying something, because of course this was homemade-style, and our kids usually turn up their noses at anything that isn’t orange and runny Kraft. Nutmeg actually got in line for seconds of mac-n-cheese. The kids, of course, did not touch the kale salad, coleslaw or green salad, which were also good — nice and fresh.


Overall, we had a lovely time, and I’m sure we’ll be back to The Best Lil’ Pork House, since we can walk there and all.