When you know the bartenders and several of the servers by name, you realize that a particular place has become one of your favorites. This is certainly the case with me and the Pickled Pig Pub. When it first opened a couple of years ago, I had lunch there twice and just wasn’t impressed. A colleague asked me to meet him there recently, and reluctantly, I did. What a nice surprise! Not only are there some really interesting vegetarian items on the menu, there is often a vegetarian special as well.
The Hummus + Red Pepper Dip is absolutely delicious and one of my go-to faves. A generous serving of hummus is served on top of a scrumptious dip made from red peppers and feta cheese. It’s plated with grilled pita bread, diced cucumbers and very good olives. Another menu item that I can’t get enough of is the Southwestern Salad (chopped lettuce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, jalapenos, tortilla strips and a chipotle ranch dressing). Queso fresco is a lighter, fresh cheese that is such a welcome change from having the same-ole-same-ole mozzarella or cheddar shreddings that typically top other restaurants’ salads. There’s even a vegan salad, the Asian Bistro, with crispy wontons, napa bok choy cabbages (actually, napa cabbage and bok-choy are two different types of cabbage), cilantro, carrots, peanuts and a nice, spicy ginger vinaigrette.
Another unusual vegetarian dish is the Pickled Pig Poutine with cheese curds, scallions and a tomato demi glace. Poutine is a Canadian dish from Quebec, typically served over hot fries with brown gravy rather than Pickled Pig’s tomato demi glace. A friend and I tried the Poutine and while we loved the cheese curds but we weren’t sure about the demi glace. It didn’t taste bad, it just wasn’t that interesting, you know? Try it and see what you think.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s often a vegetarian item on the specials page. On a recent visit, I had a wild mushroom quesadilla that was quite tasty with harissa paste, smoked mozzarella, marinated mushrooms and provolone cheese. What’s not to like? There’s also the B.Y.O.B. (Build Your Own Board) which allows you the option of selecting from a number of excellent cheeses. Your choice is then served with fig jam, assorted olives and a toasted French baguette.
Great food, good prices and friendly service, too – see you at the PPP very soon!