The Good, The Pig and The Ugly
Enjoy our latest casual restaurant review of a local favourite: Pig Restaurant
You have no idea how hard it is to write a review about a place called Pig without using a single porcine pun.
In my Café Brio review I mentioned that I was a fan of barbecue. I was raised in the American Midwest, where BBQ and southern food is as much a tradition as it is a way of life. In Victoria, however, man's eternal craving for the succulent reward of burnt meat and tangy barbecue sauce presents a problem, because your choices are pretty slim. Unless you want to visit the city Langford out in the Western Communities you have but one option and thankfully it's a good one.
We live in Victoria.
We have Pig.
We are glad.
I've been a fan of Pig for years. I loved going there back when it was located in a literal hole-in-the wall on View Street. Victoria's BBQ salvation was the type of place where overflow was the norm, and the combination of local buzz and quality food has allowed them to move into the newly completed Atrium this past year.
The new building divorces the old brick and drywall for glass and steel. A wide counter runs the length of the restaurant, plenty of seating, and even an outdoor pavilion that is an essential part of the experience come summer.
But don't let the new digs fool you: it's the exact same food inside. The best thing about Pig is the best thing about all soul food: it nourishes more than your gut. This is the kind of place that you swing through for a bite when the stars align and all of your friends are free at the same time.
The menu consists of the usual nutritious barbeque standards such as pulled pork, beef brisket, or smoked chicken sandwiches; fried chicken, loose barbequed meats, and ribs sold by the half pound or pound; and of course traditional sides like BBQ beans, coleslaw, and cornbread. The entire menu is pretty fantastic faire that when served up with a bottle of sugar cane cola or a shot of bourbon is bound to leave you feeling fat and happy, but, as you're about to find out, my favourite thing to do at Pig is to hold hard and fast to their ever growing list of daily specials. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are my three most noteworthy experiences with Pig's specials.
The Flauta: This is a tortilla on loan from Heaven, then stuffed with pulled pork and deep fried in sin. Seriously: I have no idea how they can make it taste so good, but am pretty sure that it's going to kill me. It's served with a type of sour cream sauce and the whole shebang only runs you about $7.50.
BBQ Spaghetti: Perhaps the greatest invention since the remote control, Pig's BBQ Spaghetti is the Mack-daddy of comfort foods. They take spaghetti noodles, weak on their own, and combine them with the might of a BBQ/tomato sauce hybrid packed with pulled pork. The final product is amazing, powerful, majestic, and about $7.00.
Fried Chicken and Waffles: Be still my beating heart. This flavour concoction may sound strange to folk from the Northwest, but where I come from it's not so much a dish as it is a love affair. Pig's fried chicken is good on its own, but pair that with a home-style bigger than life waffle, slather it all with maple syrup and daintily top with a mandarin orange butter and you have one of the most satisfying brunches on Earth.
And it doesn't stop there. Pig specializes in making sure that satisfaction happens. The decor is Spartan and the art is minimal, but the taste is maximal. I say try it for yourself and then for sure you'll get it. Try something off their regular menu or one of the specials I mentioned (or the infamous Pulled Pork Poutine, the Bacon Explosion, the Schnitzel & Blue Cheese Sandwich...) and you can bet that this soulful eatery will give you a reaction like seeing a great work of art or getting a donkey kick in the heart: it'll bring a tear to your eye.
The downtown location is open seven days a week, 11am to 10pm.
Written by Kelly J Clark
Guest Service Agent