BY MEAGHAN MCGOLDRICK & HELEN KLEIN
Cue the latest eating establishment to open on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge – the long-awaited Pig Guy, which has been dishing out its unique take on barbecue since its debut earlier this month.
The eatery has been attracting sell-out crowds… for good reason: It turns out classic southern barbecue with a New York twist, notes co-owner Pasquale Trunzo, who grew up in the food business (his family owned Trunzo Brothers Meat Market & Salumeria, a one-time staple on 18th Avenue) and knows a thing or two about good meat.
“We care a lot about the neighborhood,” noted Trunzo of himself and his partners, Chef Thomas Perone and George Venetsanakos. “We have lots of roots here, and we felt obligated with the whole barbecue renaissance in Brooklyn to do something to represent New York.”
Pig Guy’s menu is small but sensational, with Pulled Pork Sandwiches ($9), Smoked Chicken Legs ($14, platter) and Chorizo Dogs ($5.50) among the stars that we sampled.
Untraditional is certainly a word that would apply. The pulled pork, which is meltingly tender with layers of flavor, from sweet to spicy, is finished with a Thai Chili Barbecue Sauce that was unctuous and addictive, though the restaurant also offers up an orange glaze barbecue sauce for those who prefer it.
The chicken leg, which includes the thigh, had a mild smoked taste, just enough to tease the palate without overwhelming it, and the meat was tender and succulent without being greasy.
We were particularly partial to the Chorizo Dog, which is served stuffed with provolone cheese and topped with chimichurri and red onion, for a culinary U.N. of sorts: Spanish sausage filled with Italian cheese and topped with an Argentine sauce – in other words, a perfect representation of the melting pot that is New York City, and a tasty one, to boot.
While Pig Guy’s pulled pork sits among the top sellers, Trunzo called the Chorizo Dog the “dark horse” of the menu. “It’s certainly my favorite,” he said.
We also sampled Pig Guy’s Five Cheese Mac & Cheese ($7), a dreamy creamy concoction that is the essence of comfort food, rich, filling and supremely satisfying.
Finally, we tasted two of Pig Guy’s signature side dishes. The Red Bliss Potato Salad ($5) took the picnic staple to a new level, with its tart-sweet and creamy dressing and its combination of nearly mashed potato with huge skin-on chunks.
Red Hook Red Slaw ($5) gives often underrated red cabbage a starring role, thanks to its sweet-tart dressing. The eyes have a chance to sample this one before the mouth does, thanks to the tiny shards of shredded cabbage which look gorgeous on the plate, with their jewel-like hue.
But, rest assured, with food this good, the mouth won’t be far behind.
PIG GUY NYC
8413 Third Avenue,
Brooklyn NY 11209
Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday: 12-11 p.m.
Sunday: 12-9 p.m.