Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Little Pig

3329 West Washington Street  
Petersburg, VA 23803

            Since 1932, there has been a dumpy little shack of a building sitting on the outskirts of the City of Petersburg churning out some of the best BBQ in the Tri-Cities on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. The Little Pig as it’s called is an old school walkup food stand with 4 picnic tables sitting out front. They serve the type of food that you would expect from such a place, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, ect. but what has kept the place open for 80 years is its BBQ.

            Honestly, the type of BBQ the Little Pig serves is my least favorite type of BBQ, finely minced almost to the point of being mush topped with equally finely minced mushy and watery cole slaw. Theoretically I should hate this place but for some reason I absolutely love it. Honestly, I don’t know how they take two things I truly dislike, put them together adding just the smallest amount of mustard based BBQ sauce (which I love) and make one of my favorite BBQ sandwiches.  It’s not because I grew up going there, my family didn’t discover it until I was in college. It’s not the atmosphere because it’s practically in the “hood”.  The workers are very nice but that’s not enough for me to love a place. The sauce is also extremely good but even so great sauce does not make crappy BBQ good. I really don’t know what it is but I absolutely love Little Pig’s BBQ sandwich. 

            They don’t do ribs, chicken, brisket or sausage just minced BBQ and a few other throw away items. I don’t even know if they smoke it themselves. The sandwich consists of a plain white hamburger bun slightly toasted on the inside, a scoop of mushy mined BBQ, topped with finely chopped watery cole slaw and just the slightest amount of mustard based BBQ sauce and hot sauce if you want. A small sandwich is $2.40 and a large is $3.65. I usually get the small with a small order of onion rings for $1.50 (which are great). What I think makes the sandwich so good is the proportions. The BBQ to slaw ratio is the best I’ve ever found just enough slaw to complement and sweeten the BBQ but not enough to overpower it. The sauce has strong mustard flavor but it is used very sparingly so it adds the perfect amount of zing.

I’ve had better BBQ at other places be it because it is smoked better, pulled not minced or has better cole slaw. But the beauty of the Little Pig BBQ sandwich is its simplicity. That and its perfection meat, slaw, sauce ratio. It does not try to be something that it’s not nor does it try to do anything that it’s not capable of doing. But by knowing it’s limitations and sticking to a tried and true recipe the Little Pig serves up a great BBQ sandwich and a side of nostalgia for life’s simplest and sometimes best pleasures.  

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