At the Country Cat, you either go whole hog or go home. Chef Adam Sappington's wood-paneled Montavilla diner is a monument to the great American meat coma, and if you leave without an extra waddle in your step, then you did it wrong.
Everything after slaughter happens onsite—even the ketchup and the beef jerky in the bloody mary are homemade—and the portions are as Southern-inspired as the cooking.
Equally popular for brunch and dinner, the linking dish is the damn-near perfect fried chicken ($15), crusted in beef tallow using a cast-iron skillet, just the way great-grandma Sappington made it…for the prisoners at the Missouri jailhouse where she allegedly worked.
The braised beef ($20) comes slathered in a rich mushroom sauce, while the onion ring-topped heritage burger ($11) can be augmented with the restaurant's signature sharp "Judy" cheese spread.
But that "whole hog" thing isn't just a euphemism—it's also the name of the evening menu's star attraction, a veritable pork-pourri of grilled chop, roasted belly and braised shoulder, served on a single plate atop a bed of pillowy grits ($23).
Getting through it in a single sitting is daunting, but remember: Leftovers are for Yankees.
Pro tip: If your stomach hasn't quite reached its max by the end of the entrees, the pudding trio—creme brulee, butterscotch and chocolate, which is more cupcake frosting than pudding—should put you over the edge.
GO: 7937 SE Stark St., 408-1414, thecountrycat.net. 9 am-2 pm and 5 pm-close daily. $$.