When it comes to North Carolina, pork reigns supreme along with barbeque! And out in Chapel Hill you’ve got some great options for barbeque in Allen & Son and the Pig. While most everyone knows Allen & Son, not everyone is aware of the newer que joint, the Pig. Located in an odd little plaza off of Weaver Dairy Farm Road it’s easy to miss the place but don’t do it! The Pig is putting out some of the better slow-smoked pork in the Triangle and I finally got back for a re-visit.
Out front, the Pig presents a pretty bland front with a block letter sign on a nondescript stone facing. Curl around to the side and you’ll find one of two entrances. As soon as I step in, I’m met with the blast of delicious smoked meats so I’m really hopeful! As an ex-Carolina kid, I had been to the previous incarnations of this restaurant (also que joints) so I was glad to re-visit, it’s been a LONG time. The Pig focuses on high-quality, local, pasture-farmed pork so you know you’re getting the good stuff!
I grab a laminated menu and check out the specials on the chalkboard above. As much as I’m tempted to double-order today, I go with the large plate of que (with slaw and hush puppies) along with a side of beer-baked beans. Oh and a beer since I’ve got a vacation day, today! The Pig does have a handful of draft and bottle beers available at the counter. I grabs my number and head on over to a small two-top in the elongated dining room. As I wait for my food, a steady stream of Chapel Hill workers and students flow in and out for their barbeque fix.
It takes about 10 minutes and my plate gets delivered to the table. And it all looks great! One large plate loaded with barbeque, sliced cucumbers, yellow slaw and curly-q hush-puppies along with a cup of baked beans. It’s a smorgasboard on a plate, I start with the fresh and tangy cucumber slices which are perfectly marinated. The slaw looks like it may have some mustard in it (yellow color) and is decent but doesn’t stand out. But the que here at the Pig? Excellent! It’s got a medium chop and is whole-hog so I can definitely taste the luscious fattiness in the meat. Great smoke flavor with a hit of pepper makes it a great version of NC barbeque. And the hush-puppies are nicely fried and presented in funnel-cake fashion, pretty cool! Overall the food here at the Pig is great and heeds NC barbeque tradition but does it slightly different.
If you’re a barbeque fan, I would definitely make an effort to visit the Pig and try out its great pork. While it doesn’t have as much history as Allen & Son, it’s got the classic feel of a barbeque shack but with slightly updated flavor. Would love to get back and try off the menu but it’s location in central Chapel Hill is going to be difficult for me. So I hope you lucky locals enjoy the great pork, sides and more at the Pig for me!