Dining & Drink

Going Whole Hog

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Barbecue chases away cabin fever

By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer

Preamble Ramble

The other day I was suffering horribly from a bout of the winter blahs and cabin fever. No matter how much cowbell I used, the fever couldn’t be cured, so I decided that maybe some barbecue would do the trick. I hadn’t been to Whole Hog in a while so I thought I’d give it a go.

Food for Thought

I opted for the brisket plate with a side of coleslaw (of course) and the baked beans.
In the “things that rocked about the brisket” column, it was very tender and juicy, and there was a lot of it. It really was some of the most tender brisket I’ve ever eaten. However, in the “things that kinda sucked about the brisket” column, it really didn’t have much flavor. However, in the “ways to fix what kinda sucked about the brisket” column, the lack of flavor was easily remedied by the addition of some barbecue sauce.
Speaking of barbecue sauce, I tasted each of the six sauces they offer. I’d recommend mixing the No. 3 and No. 5 sauces together.
The coleslaw was good, and I do appreciate that they put it on all of their sandwiches. That means the Whole Hog people know how a barbecue sandwich should be made.
The baked beans were an enigma. And what I experienced was also experienced by my dining partner, so I wasn’t imagining things or having taste hallucinations. When I took the first bite of my beans, I could taste honey — like a really, really strong taste of honey. So much honey that you couldn’t taste the beans, but after taking a couple of bites, the honey taste disappeared. I’m calling it my honey bean miracle. The best part was that after the honey taste went away, the beans were really, really tasty and spicy. In fact, I was wishing that the barbecue sauce was as spicy as the beans. I have since learned that you can request Volcano sauce at the counter when you order.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 3.5 sporks with low lighting. The atmosphere at Whole Hog is laid back, casual and it’s usually pretty dark in there. The dim lighting could be helpful on blind dates.
Food: 4 miraculous sporks with honeybees on the handle. I don’t know that I’ll ever get the brisket again, but I know from experience that the pulled pork is some fantastic stuff. I’ll also be eternally grateful for my honey bean miracle even though I have no idea what significance it had. Yet.
Staff: 4.5 happy sporks. You order at the counter, seat yourself, get your own drink and then pick up your food, so there isn’t a lot of interaction with the staff except when you’re ordering. But all the staff members I encountered seemed to be pretty darn happy people.
Dollars spent: My total was less than $10 for my plate and a glass of tea. All of the prices are pretty moderate.
Chance of returning: I have to return to Whole Hog to try the Volcano sauce on a smoky, pulled pork sandwich piled high with creamy coleslaw.

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