Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Restaurant Review: Smoking Pig BBQ, Fremont CA

on April 3, 2014

We just had a new BBQ place open up in Fremont so of course, Jene and I had to check it out. It was obvious that they were super busy tonight. We later found out that this is only their “soft” opening. I can only imagine how much crazier it will be when they have their official “Grand” opening.

Devin, one of the hostess staff, was super nice when she greeted us. She offered us the option of waiting in the waiting area or seeing if we could find space at the bar. Since I knew that Jene would probably want a beer we opted to wander over to the bar. There were a couple of seats open so we sat down. Things got a bit off track at this point because the bar tender didn’t even acknowledge, even after walking past us a few times. I wasn’t worried about it since they are just getting started but I decided to let Devin know so that they could make the staff aware.

After talking to Devin for a minute she introduced us to Corrine, one of the assistant managers. I let her know that I just wanted to give some constructive criticism. She was very receptive and easy to talk to. Not to long after that Jene and I were seated.

So down to the fun part, the food. Those of you who know me best know that I’m a BBQ snob. Growing up so close to Kansas City and then spending almost ten years living there, I’ve eaten a lot of BBQ. I also have the smoker on the balcony that Jene and I use regularly. This was some decent BBQ. I’m still sold on the fact that Oklahoma Joe’s in KC is the all time BEST bbq I’ve ever had but for this area, the Smoking Pig is good. I hate that this sounds like I’m damning them with faint praise but California is not a BBQ mecca. This was really good and I really enjoyed the meal. I guarantee that Jene and I will be back again and will bring friends/family.

In an effort to try as many things as possible, we ordered a LOT of food. We started with Chicken Lollipops and Wolf Turds (a jalapeno stuffed with sausage and cheese then wrapped in bacon). The Chicken Lollipops were AWESOME. I mean that to the fullest extent too. It’s a chicken leg wrapped in bacon. Of course, bacon can make just about anything taste better but the chicken meat was juicy and good already, the bacon just made it outstanding. Jene really liked Wolf Turds but I couldn’t eat them. I ventured a tiny bite but all I could taste was the heat of the jalapeno. Yes, yes… I know, I’m a sissy about spicy food lol.

SmokingPigChkLollipopWolf

There were two Chicken Lollipops but I was busy eating mine while Jene took this picture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jene had the Three meat meal with hot link, ribs and chicken. His side was the potato salad. His meal also came with a corn bread muffin.

SmokingPig3Meat

Jene enjoyed it and ate everything but a bit of his potato salad and that was only because he got full. ๐Ÿ™‚ Obviously I tried everything too. Here are my thoughts on it. The hot link was WAY too heavy on the sage. Keeping in mind that I don’t like sage, it was really over powering. Jene didn’t mind it but I found it overwhelmed any other flavors. It made me kind of glad I hadn’t ordered the sausage burger which I had thought of trying. Jene just says I have too many taste buds. The chicken was excellent. It was that gorgeous shade of pink a well smoked piece of poultry achieves. The rib was a rib. If there was a rub on it, it wasn’t anything that jumped out at me as “oh wow!” The potato salad was fantastic. It was creamy, the potatoes were fully cooked (I HATE it when places serve potato salad and that taters are still hard), and it was loaded with lovely, fresh herbs. I would go in just to eat more of the potato salad.

I hate the pulled pork sandwich with the BBQ Mac & Cheese. I also ordered the Brunswick Stew as a side.

SmokingPigMacandBrunswickStew

Unfortunately, my phone apparently did not take a picture of the sandwich even though I was sure it had. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But the above picture shows the Stew on the left and the Mac & Cheese on the right. The pulled pork sandwich is the pork, coleslaw and the California Honey Sauce on a potato bun. I tried the coleslaw separate from the sandwich and like the potato salad, it was outstanding. The mac & cheese was also fabulous. It had a super cheesy sauce with bits of BBQ meat in it. The coleslaw was creamy and tangy with lots of flavor. The Brunswick stew was good but full of lima beans. That’s my fault because I meant to ask our server, Marisela, what was in it but forgot. Given how much I hate beans, it’s not surprising to know that I didn’t eat much of it. Luckily, Jene likes lima beans so he’ll be eating it tomorrow. Bug again, the meat was a bit disappointing.

Why did I think the meat was disappointing? The wood used left behind a bitter after taste that I found to be unpleasant. Additionally, the seasoning was flat. One of the best parts of a good BBQ is a solid, flavorful rub. I will be the first to admit that this is not easy to do. I’m still trying to find the perfect combination for my own dry rub recipe.

Chicken is one of the few meats that tastes good with just the flavor of the smoke which is why it was my favorite meat we had tonight. We would have had the brisket but they were out when we arrived. Which is one of the downsides of a restaurant just getting started. But back to my thoughts on what we did get to eat… Pork can be a very bland meat and without a good seasoning it’s just flat.

I should point out that the TEXTURE of the meats was excellent. It was well smoked without being dry or tough. I’m just finicky about flavors.

So the final verdict is this: I think that the Smoking Pig as some of the best sides I’ve ever had at a BBQ joint. I highly recommend that people eat here. The staff is great too. *waves at Devin, Corrine and Marisela*ย  I also think that I’m probably judging them too harshly on the flavor of the meat. But that comes back to me being a BBQ snob. Jene tells me I’m picky which he’s probably right. Go and try it, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. But since this is my blog I get to write about how picky I am lol. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

 

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