The Poor Porker – Lakeland, FL

What is the definition of insanity? Is it trying the same thing over and over, getting the same results, while continuing to expect a different outcome? If so, then my town has gone crazy when it comes to constantly revisiting already established cuisines. Maybe I am wearing blinders, but all I’ve seen lately is chain steakhouses popping up…until now. A shining light has brightened Lakelands dreary food landscape. Its beam burns bright, by way of a pieced together food cart and beignets that are to die for.

The Poor Porker (run by Jarrid Masse and Robyn Wilson) started out serving two things since opening for business a few months ago. beignets and Chicory coffee. You might not think that’d be enough to garner interest. You might also pronounce goose liver “fog wah”. However, you might understand that if a merchant does just a few things, but does them very well, they don’t need to try to impress with a massive menu. Have you ever heard of Cafe du Monde? I’m sure you have. They serve beignets and chicory coffee, but the Poor Porker is anything but a copy cat. They do their own thing. I’m not even doubting myself for a second when I say, they do it better.


They come with the traditional powdered sugar, but they also have a couple of knockout punches. The title track “Poor porker” is drizzled with maple syrup, sprinkled with a touch of salt, topped with a generous amount of home-made bacon bits, then finished with powdered sugar. Obviously, I had to sample this amazing concoction. There are also other specialty beignets that they switch between from time to time, one uses the flavors of olive oil and citrus, as well as homemade caramel for the next limited edition batch at Saturdays farmers market.

I’m not sure which I liked the most. Was it the food, or the people behind counter that impressed me the most? The moment you walk up, you will probably have to wait in a short line before being greeted by Robyn’s warm smile. After taking your order you can schmooze about how she met chef Jarrid, starring in a short-lived food related reality show on the syfy channel. Jarrid said he thought nobody watched it, I think he was just being humble. They love talking about their cross-country journey that led them to where they are now, one that I’m sure consisted of hours of prep, waking up before dawn to set up the stand. I have to drive by their corner on my way to work at 6:30 am and they always are there before I pass.

As I waited for my first taste of heaven at 9:30 am, I remembered watching people in front of me, ecstatically scampering away to their respective tables and benches. Kind of like Newman did when he finally got his jambalaya from the soup Nazi. When it was my turn to join in, I quickly understood why everyone’s eyes were rolling to the back of their heads. As Robyn handed me my order I walked away to savor the special moment. At first bite, I knew my life had changed forever. I knew that I never needed to worry about what I was going to eat on Saturday mornings for the rest of my existence. I knew I was going to need to do laundry more often now, due to the massive powdered sugar explosions on my shirt and pants. I knew my coworkers might be jealous of how I smelled like cured pig and sweet tree sap. I gladly accept my new lot in life.

If you don’t want to wait, I suggest you go early, say around 8 am on Saturday morning. If you wait till 10, the line starts getting a little long. If you procrastinate and come at noon, you will get to spend some time with a sizable crowd. However, the best things in life are worth waiting for. There’s a reason why there are lines around the block at a place like Hot Doug’s in Chicago, Grimaldi’s pizza in Brooklyn, and now the Poor Porker in the thriving mega-metropolis of Lakeland, FL. The word is spreading. You would be insane to pass on The Poor Porker. I give it my highest recommendation and will see you Saturday, I’ll be the guy drooling at the front of the line.

The Poor Porker is open Wednesday 11-2 and Saturday 8-2, or until they run outta dough!

200 N Kentucky Ave

Lakeland, FL 33801

The Poor Porker on Urbanspoon

14 thoughts on “The Poor Porker – Lakeland, FL

  1. I love the Poor Porker! Not only are the beignets and chicory coffee divine, but the magnetic personalities of Jarrid and Robyn make the whole experience even better. They do it right and we are so lucky to have them at our Farmer’s Market!

  2. This review is SPOT ON! I couldn’t have said it better! Except to add that they not only have chicory coffee, they have 2 kinds, iced & hot SMOKED chickory coffee! If you’ve never had smoked chicory coffee, and I guarantee you haven’t because it’s Jarred’s own genius, you have NOT LIVED. Smooooth, rich, smoky, & amazing! I just can’t do Saturday mornings anymore, without saving up my calories for a bag-o-beignet & smoky smooth Heaven!

  3. Well written my friend. Great review. I’ll have to go at 8am this Saturday to check it out. And I totally agree about the chain steakhouses. Chain everything. We need more one-of-a-kind finds like this.

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  7. I tried it once and that was enough, over priced and waiting 1/2 an hour is not worth it, Lakeland hipster magnet.

    • Do you even know what a hipster is? Part of the Poor porkers appeal is the social interaction while you wait. We don’t really appreciate negative comments over here bro. Especially about good food made by great people. Try it, you’ll love it.

  8. Sorry I use poor sentence structure and gave what I felt was fair feedback for my visit to the pitiful porker and I am sorry I insulted hipster, but I thought your content on other places in Lakeland were spot on.

    • Part of the Porker’s appeal, that may not be immediately apparent or important, is the social aspect. A lot of locals like to come by the Porker in the early morning to chat with friends over a hot chicory coffee while they wait for their beignets. I assure you, many of the Porker’s patrons are anything but hip. Don’t mistake the DIY aesthetic for a “too cool for you” attitude, Jarrid and Robyn are anything but.

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