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Hammy 'Taste of Smithfield' Restaurant to Open in VA

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Photo: smithfieldfoods / Flickr

The first ever showcase restaurant for Smithfield Hams, a food company with dubious environmental and animal welfare records, opens today. According to Pete Booker, a Smithfield VP, Taste of Smithfield "is a rousing tasting of the pig." But what does that mean? The menu has ham sandwiches, obviously, but they also have pork-patty burgers (look out, 100% bacon burger), ribs, pulled pork, something called "pork poppers," fancy plated pork dishes, house-made sausages, and mini pork burgers "for the little piglets." Below, a press release; or, if you like, you can go watch a Paula Deen PSA on the dangers of ham.

Smithfield Foods to Open First "Taste of Smithfield" Restaurant, Relocate Retail Store to New Building on Main Street

SMITHFIELD, Va., July 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The town of Smithfield, long synonymous with Virginia hams, has a new downtown dining destination, Taste of Smithfield. The restaurant shares its new building at 217 Main St. with Smithfield's retail store, The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe, previously located across the street at 224 Main St.

A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10, at its two-story, 8,700-square-foot building.

Taste of Smithfield features Smithfield pork products, including Smithfield Innovation Kitchen Specials and Windsor Castle Box Lunches. There is also a "grab-and-go" case with salads, sandwiches and desserts.

"We're very excited about our new venture because we think it will help attract more visitors to our historic town, along with giving us a showplace for our products," said C. Larry Pope, Smithfield's president and chief executive officer.

"We've had a long and pleasant association with the town of Smithfield, dating back to when our company was founded in 1936, and we're delighted that our new building blends in so well with the many attractive neighboring stores along Main Street," Pope said.

Pete Booker, vice president and general manager of the Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, will oversee this new joint venture combining Retail and Restaurant operations. Margaret Carroll has been named to manage Taste of Smithfield restaurant.

"Our Taste of Smithfield Restaurant is a rousing tasting of the pig, featuring quality food items for everybody, from meaty sandwiches to ribs to burgers, and we're also offering 'For the Little Piglets' selections for children," Booker said.

"We anticipate that we will be changing our menu often to reflect new and innovative creations from our chefs," Booker added. "We even have some menu items for our vegetarian friends."

With increased space in the new building, The Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe will offer a larger selection of products, including Smithfield Specialty-branded pork products, as well as other gourmet Specialty food brands such as Stonewall Kitchen, Rothschild Farms, Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and The Peanut Shop of Smithfield Gourmet Virginia Peanuts and Nuts.

· Smithfield Foods to Open "Taste of Smithfield" Restaurant [Smithfield Foods]
· All Ham Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Taste of Smithfield

217 Main St Smithfield, VA 23430