Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pig BBQ (Atrium)

Address: 1325 Johnson Street
Phone: (250) 381-4677
Price: $6 (sandwich) - $14 (combo)
Notes: Heaven for carnivores, hell for vegetarians

pig's pig

Pig has two locations, one in Colwood which I have yet to try (the burgers look Insane), and one downtown in the new Atrium building. The new atrium location is massive! Before, their downtown location used to be in just a little hole-in-the-wall on View St. but now their counter area is pretty much the size of their total former place.

My favourite part of the new places has to be the bathrooms as funny as that sounds. I love universal design, and the fact that the bathrooms are inclusive in that there are two gender neutral, wheelchair accessible bathrooms with sexy slate tile rocks my world.

They started out just doing simple slow-cooked sandwiches, but in the new location they have a wide range of tasty meat treats including fried chicken and wings. We met one of their employees at a beer event and apparently there's a lot of creativity smoking, marinating and deep-frying in that kitchen and I'm excited to see what specials come out of their science experiment of a kitchen!

In keeping with the casual, barbecue theme, things are more cafeteria or fast-food style service than table service. You order your meal, get a number and then pick up your tray and cutlery on-route to your table. Rather than fancy napkin dispensers, each table has a roll of paper towels. Class-tastic!

The only thing that bothers me a bit is that it feels like they didn't really think through the flow of the restaurant - you're covering a lot of ground to go from the counter to get your food, to a different station to get your cutlery and sauces, back to your table (wherever that might be) to eat, and then to the farthest corner from the main entry/exit to put your dishes away, at which point you have to walk back past the line up at the till or through the crowd of tables to get out. (I'm grumpy at myself for noticing this, it's going to bother me now)

July 5, 2011
Today I was here also with several other poutine fans for a #pouteam #tweetup (don't ask). This is the first time I've been to a #pouteam event, but I was excited to go especially since I've heard Epic things about the pulled-pork poutine at Pig.

photo credit: @sandiheal

It lived up to it's reputation, let me tell you! Firstly and most important thing: this is way, way too big to tackle alone. Split it or be prepared for a food hangover (I'm fighting of a nap as we speak).

I was a bit worried going in that the pulled pork would be too saucy and take away from the gravy-cheese curd combination but that was not a problem at all, the pulled pork added to the dish perfectly. The other Jen at the table pondered if next time they would do either their brisket or the smoked chicken instead of the pulled pork - sounded amazing!

At the suggestion of my tablemates I added one of Pig's many sauces on top. The top favourite at the table was the Old Yella' and it was honey-mustard and Mmmm! Worked well with the poutine.

The gravy was absolutely the star of the poutine. That sounds a bit ridiculous, but it was - so creamy I could have sworn there was some cheese in there (I was wrong). The seasoning is absolutely spot on, not to too salty like so many gravies out there. I am going to dream of that gravy, and get it as a side next time I order fries. I'm actually drooling while I write this!

The only slight criticism anyone at the table had to say about the poutine was that it maayyyybe needed more cheese curds. However, we probably just ordered about twice as many orders as they would expect to serve in a typical lunch time so maybe they usually add more? Plus, it's probably the most expensive part of the dish for them so I can't imagine it's economical to add too many and key the price point at $10 for such a massive portion.

April 9, 2011

I love homemade iced tea! This one is quite thirst quenching... slightly sweet, not too dry. It goes perfectly with their kind of food. 

Deep Fried Macaroni and Cheese via foodspotting.com

Ohhhh but this was good. It feels a little bit like something off of the sadly gone thisiswhyyourefat.com. The little bit of seasoning on top is a nice touch. I worried this would be dry or crunchy inside too, but it was perfect! The slight layer of grease left behind on the peach paper left only a slight tinge of guilt because it was totally worth it.

Pulled Pork Flautas via foodspotting.com

Okay, so I'm quibbling with the Pig people here. This is not a flauta. If you google flauta, you will see that it is defined as something like a flour taquito, or an enchilada that has been deep-fried. This is much more like a chimichanga.

One of the daily specials, although it sounds like it's a regular one. I hope so, because it was amazing! At $7.50, I could only eat half of it which means it was an amazing deal since it will probably be lunch on Monday too (if I can hold off from craving it between now and then). It was served with a most delicious spicy (chipotle?) mayo on the side, which makes me happier than I can say.

January 14, 2011
I stopped by for a late lunch on Friday because I had heard rave reviews about the fried chicken for weeks now and couldn't turn it down. I got the combo which is three pieces of chicken plus cornbread and then you can choose between beans or coleslaw. I opted for the beans, which are lovely. It's kind of like a side of sweet baked beans with smokey, chili flavours. I think next time I would skip the combo and get less chicken with a side of either fries or the deep-fried mac & cheese. I'm just not a huge fan of their cornbread... it's slightly too dry for my taste and unless you're dipping it in a sauce it just makes me thirsty.

The chicken itself is quite fantastic - fresh, crispy with a nice mayo on top. My coworker said "ohhhh... I have dreams about that chicken." I desperately want them to do a spicy version for people like me who like to kick it up a notch! That would catapult it over and above any kind of fried chicken you've ever had in your life, and it's already pretty high up there. Apparently they do similar chicken wings with their own barbecue sauce but I haven't had the chance to try those yet.

My partner-in-life-and-food had the special which was a smoked meatloaf sandwich. I had a bite and it was Quite delicious, and a great quick, cheap lunch at around $6 if I recall correctly.


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