I was really excited when I saw the Thirsty Pig come into town. Not to dwell on the negative, but Joe’s review of the previous business (and some unflattering newspaper profiles) made me cringe and snarl when I walked by the storefront.
And apparently locals felt the same way, since after only a year, we were freed from corporate branding at 37 Exchange Street and instead welcomed into a great bar that focuses on two of my favorite things: beer and tube meat.
So Friday happy hour at the Pig has become a pretty standard way for my friend K. and I to start the evening. $2.50 Shipyard draughts (they’re probably out of the Summer by now, sad) and a good layer of meat to lay down before your night of drinking.
I am a sucker for a hot dog, especially one for $3.50 on a grilled bun with a side. The Pig’s other sausage offerings include Sweet and Hot Italian, Keilbasa, and chicken. Each one comes with enticing toppings and condiments, although I customize my hot dog with a local combo: mayonnaise and relish.
The grilled bun and the hot hot dog warm the mayonnaise a little bit (stay with me) and the relish provides a nice, tangy crunch. The grilled hot dog is meaty, juicy, and snappy, but not so as to be an impediment to easy eating. (An aside: someone just told me that a foods’ ease of eating carries as much weight for him as how it tastes. Mind boggling, but I’m starting to appreciate that.)
The baked beans that came with my dog were a little dry, but that pickle is one of the best I’ve had around. It’s a la Po’boys and Pickles, a half-sour maybe? Very tart.
A very critical part of any grilled tube meat is the bun, and the Pig pulls it off well- a buttered and toasted split top bun. The salty crunch of the bun adds a nice textural element, whereas most soft white rolls simply serve as a vehicle, rather than a player in the overall taste.
On this particular Friday, our Old Port happy hour crawl was cut short by an invite for a sunset sail. Not a bad way to end a week, I’d say. And I’ll see you tomorrow, Thirsty Pig!