Last long weekend, on a whim I decided to drag my wife off to Pickering to try out Pig Out BBQ. My super lovely coworkers have mentioned it to me a few times last year. I’ve always meant to give it a try but for a plethora of reasons (most of them bone idleness) have never actually done so. I don’t quite know why I wanted to go there out of the blue, but since I live on the edge (no, LITERALLY, I live on the edge of the Markham/Pickering border) I thought why not. It wasn’t until we got there that I realized that the restaurant was featured on my favourite Food Network show, You Gotta Eat Here featuring my Italian brother from a different mother.
Naturally, at that moment my interest level went through the roof. But then I noticed something a bit odd. I originally thought that this was going to be a typical sit-down joint. But what I saw in front of me was a fast food-like setup not unlike a Harvey’s (but with much better quality food, naturally). You take a look at the menu options, which were all mounted on a list on the wall, order, pay, then sit down until they bring your order on a tray to you. Pros: no need to tip, faster ordering. Cons: definitely NOT a date place. Though the fact that I even considered a rib joint as a date place probably says a lot about my priorities.
In addition to the menu items on the board, you can customize your dish further by either ordering it sweet, spicy, or smokey. WW ordered the pulled pork sandwich (spicy!) and I had the 3 Little Pigs Sandwich (sweet!), a wonderful combination of peameal bacon, regular bacon, pulled pork, cheese, and cholesterol, in a bun. As the sandwiches only came with coleslaw and without fries, we also got a side of sweet potato fries on the side. This is actually a set up that I appreciated, because I felt too many restaurants, by putting in a full-sized “side” as part of their meal, end up making the dish more expensive, while providing way too much food. We rarely can finish two orders of fries if it came with the meal, so the chance of just having to finish one, and therefore PAY LESS, is a good option. There’s only so much carbs that a wee Asian couple can take, yknow?
The food took only around 10 minutes to come. The portions do look a bit small by Canadian standards, but just about right for us. WW’s pulled pork was tasty and juicy. It had a crapload of tender pork, smothered in their sauce which, much to my pleasant surprise, was ACTUALLY a bit spicy. There were parts of the meat that were a little bland in the middle (it WAS a very thick sandwich), but overall I would recommend it. Definitely better than Montana’s, and that’s coming from a man who loves that restaurant like Canadians love curling (i.e. a lot, even though most don’t understand why).
My heart attack on a bun sandwich was really lovely. Essentially, it was WW’s order but on steroids. The peameal bacon was SUPER juicy and actually overshadowed the regular strip bacon, while the cheese nicely tied the whole dish together, bringing a layer (pun intended) of richness that permeates through all three types of meat. The pulled pork itself was, as was the case with WW’s, pretty durn good. The sweetness of the sauce wasn’t as pronounced as the spicy counterpart, unfortunately, but it’s still very nice. We also both loved that the buns weren’t very dense, but rather soft without losing its consistency when sandwiching a very moist layer of thick meat.
Finally, I have to give props to the sweet potato fries. They were actually sweet (the actual flavours came through nicely) with just the right amount of crispness and the dipping sauce was rich and delicious. Next time we may order a slightly bigger portion.
I would recommend this place and we plan to return. The only cautionary notes are that the portions are a tad small (not a problem for us) and that they actually do put proper heat in their spicy offerings (also NOT a problem for us). For a quick, simple, budget BBQ meal, it’s hard to beat this place. They even have a location downtown on Spadina, which is awesome should I ever feel that my sedentary job ISN’T making my body fat fast enough.
–Final verdict: Mari Makan!
Pig Out BBQ
780 Kingston Road
Pickering, ON L1V 1A8