Toothsome Chocolate Factory Pork Belly Sliders

Do you remember the NBC City restaurant? Now, Walt Disney World fans, I’m not talking about the once-failed NBA experience at Disney Springs. I mean the NBA City Restaurant that existed from 1999 to 2015 in the CityWalk area of ​​Universal Orlando. This basketball-themed restaurant had an extensive menu of mostly American bar and grill style food. At the time, this menu offered so many items that it was compared to The Cheesecake Factory. The comparisons between these two places ended with the menu. The Cheesecake Factory provides higher quality food compared to the old NBA City.

Ironically, when NBA City shut down, a popular rumor for a replacement was something like The Cheesecake Factory. In fact, a rumor involved a franchise opening at Universal Orlando CityWalk. Another rumor swirled around Universal Orlando creating a candy factory like Willy Wonka’s. In this case, the rumor proved correct, in both cases, when Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen opened in the former NBA City location.

Even with NBA City’s extensive menu, I don’t recall it ever offering an appetizer with chocolate-covered bacon. Toothsome does, however. Toothsome’s Pork Belly Sliders are $12.95 on their appetizer menu. Guests receive three sliders. These sliders feature caramelized onions, mustard aioli, arugula, and chocolate-covered bacon. All that potential goodness is in slider-sized pretzel buns. I mean it’s chocolate covered bacon and a pretzel bun. That should be said enough. That should be awesome, right? The sweet and salty combo should delight your taste buds, right?

To say that this appetizer receives mixed reviews from customers would be generous. Some guests love these sliders. Others claim they are the worst appetizer ever. How can this be? A major aspect concerns the pork belly. I’m sure after talking with guests about this appetizer that many expect beef flavor with pork. This is a pork belly slider and not a beef slider with a touch of pork.

Almost always, the presentation of these sliders looks great. Portion size is adequate for a $13 appetizer. However, the quality and preparation of pork belly pulls those sliders down. Many places in Universal Orlando are fighting pork belly, so this should come as no surprise. My experience with pork belly here implies that it is way too dry. It would have been nice if the mustard aioli offered more balance with the rest of the components. The mustard aioli tastes good but failed to combine with the pork belly seasoning in my opinion.

You may have noticed that chocolate-covered bacon hasn’t been mentioned since I started breaking down sliders. Also, I haven’t mentioned pretzel bread in this section either. Both worked fine but nothing fabulous. These two should have played in this appetizer but left me indifferent.

I know some people reading this will totally disagree. Their experience with these sliders ended beautifully. So, you know, that experience may not be yours if you choose them. If it was me, I would order the totchos or pain au chocolat here as a starter. Although I don’t like them, the Brussels sprouts appetizer also gets rave reviews from customers. If you want the pork belly taste here, select the “May Contain Bacon” burger for that craving.

As always, eat your way!

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