I finally got a chance to try out The Pig. Lucky for me, I got to avoid the downtown madness and head north of town, in an area I don’t visit much. There’s a wonderful park up there, Cedar Falls, right across the street, but other than a couple other shops it’s mostly residential around there. At least it’s somewhat easy to spot, if you look up the hill a bit.
The exterior looked nice, new, and big. So I was surprised when we went inside and it looked like a 20-year-old diner with crappy little tables and chairs, a solid wood bench for seating and ugly bathrooms. I was so confused, how could such a newish looking building have such an unkempt interior? But I guess BBQ restaurants aren’t known for being fancy, so I wasn’t exactly expecting white tablecloths either.
I was a bit confused at first about whether we were supposed to sit, wait for a hostess, or order first. Apparently you’re supposed to order and pay first, then chose a table, and they bring the food out to you once it’s done. I guess the good thing is you don’t have to tip, because there’s no real table service.
After surveying the options, we asked what the difference was between the BBQ trays and the BBQ plates, besides that the plates were $3 more expensive each. The guy explained that they originally just offered the trays, but so many people wanted to exchange the sides that they offered the plates to be able to accommodate that. I figured that the slaw, pickles and hush puppies sounded like perfectly good sides so I just ordered the small tray. My husband got the large BBQ tray. The difference between the two was the weight of the meat, one is 1/3 lb. of BBQ, and the other is 1/2 lb. of BBQ. When they came out I couldn’t really tell the difference though. Eh, for only a dollar more, I suppose the difference might not be too obvious. I also ordered the chess pie for dessert.
At first I couldn’t find out what all the orange stuff was on the slaw. After tasting it I realized it was carrots. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a carroty coleslaw. It wasn’t really to my liking, it wasn’t as vinegary as I would have liked.
The hushpuppies were fantastic. They were really fluffy, like little cornbready donuts. I’m not sure if that’s what hushpuppies were supposed to taste like, but they were still very good.
The pickles were fresh pickles, not like the ones that have been sitting in a jar or can for 6 months. They tasted like the ones I make, and I imagine they were probably made about the same way: sliced, then put in a bowl with vinegar, sugar, salt and spices for just a day or less before being served.
The BBQ was really amazing. I think it was the best pig I’ve eaten since moving to North Carolina. There’s 3 sauces you can use with it, ketchup, vinegar sauce and hot sauce. I found the vinegar sauce to be the best, and I used plenty of that, and just a dash of the hot sauce.
The chess pie tasted more like a brownie than anything else. Near the outside it was a bit dry, but towards the middle it was very rich and moist. It wasn’t really what I was expecting, but it was good all the same.
I think next time I’ll probably avoid the slaw, and try one of the other sides like the fried green tomatoes. The prices are pretty decent here, as a lot of the entrees with sides are $10 or less. Chapel Hill is a little far for me to bring home take out, but certainly if I lived closer, I would rather eat in the comfort of my own home than in this restaurant. But man, I’ll keep dreaming about that BBQ for weeks.