Friday, September 16, 2011

Pigging Out at The Pig

After a failed attempt to visit the recently “reopened” Hector’s in Chapel Hill, GWG was forced to wing it and instead found ourselves doing what we do best (pigging out) at a place appropriately named The Pig. Tucked away in a small shopping center off of Weaver Dairy Rd., this barbeque spot greets you with a metal pig sculpture that hints at what’s insidea place that knows the nuts and bolts of serving up good hog.

When you step inside, the combination of counter service, chalkboard menu, and help-yourself silverware create a no frills atmosphere that’s just right for eating various interpretations of pig. The menu includes traditional barbeque options, from chopped pork to brisket, as well as large variety of other pork-inspired offerings and southern favorites. On our visit, featured items included a Mexican Dog and Veal Pâté with Pork Rinds. Surprisingly, the restaurant also offers regular vegetarian choices, although we did not give those a try this time around.
According to the website, The Pig serves whole hog barbeque, working with NC farms to offer hormone-free, pasture-raised pork. After reviewing the menu, we had a hard time narrowing down our choices and ended up with quite a spread. The hardest decision may have been our sidesthe South is well represented with staples including collard greens and fried okra, and it didn’t seem you could go wrong in picking your pork pairings (the veggie plate is definitely worth considering).

We knew we had to try the barbeque so we ordered a small tray which includes slaw, pickles and hushpuppies. Going off the size of the order, we wonder what the large looks likemaybe it really is the whole hog. The meat was a bit dry but add a bit of vinegar-style sauce and a splash of hot sauce and it stands up very well, particularly for Eastern style barbeque. All of the side items were great and provided a nice collection of textures and tastesthe slaw is creamy, the pickles are homemade and a bit sweet, and the hushpuppies melt in your mouth.
Just because it’s not an every day opportunity for us, we decided to try the Veal Pâté with Pork Rinds. When the dish was served the rinds were still popping from the hot grease (think pork pop rocks). Taste and texture wise, they seemed like bacon puffsairy and crunchy with a fatty flavor. The rinds were also served with a side of mustard to add contrast to this meat on meat appetizer. Spreadable meat is always a bit suspect and we were hesitant to take our first bite. It was an adventurous item to try, but the pâté was a bit gamey for our taste and one or two of these seemed like enough.
If you’ve followed GWG from the beginning, you may have noticed favoritism toward particular sides that are common down South. When cheese grits are on the menu we can’t seem to pass it up, as well as fried green tomatoes which we’ve tried in various styles and even learned how to make ourselves. We also went for the baked beansbarbeque’s second favorite sidekick behind slaw.
The grits had an unidentified hot spice that made them a little different, and although we enjoyed them the thick texture was a little dry and clumpy. The baked beans were cooked with bacon and had a nice smoky flavor while the fried green tomatoes were cut slender and heavily fried. We agreed that the sides were unique and flavorful while staying true to the selections of a traditional barbeque restaurant.
It’s probably funny to hear us order when we go out for a blog mealsome people look at us with surprise when we order a crazy, excessive, and sometimes bizarre combination of menu items. We got a bit of that reaction at The Pig when, at the last minute, we decided to add the Mexican Dog to our order, and we ended up being glad we did. The dog consisted of chorizo covered in salsa and cheesesimple and delicious. This is an item that we can imagine picking up on the way home for a fast, filling meal.
While we can’t say we had much that qualified as healthy, it all qualified as tasty. We can see this as our designated spot to take out-of-towners for a taste of the local ‘cue.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if any of the staff from the previous "Q"
    joint are still there? they used to serve sliced pickles also, not something you see all the time at a BBQ place.

    The last owners ran a dirty kitchen