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Friday, September 28, 2012

Brunch and Other Big Changes at Pig and Pie

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

  • Maureen Grodzki

When it opened back in June, Pig and Pie's menu was devoted to housemade sausages and pies. But three months later, the restaurant is going through some changes. They took a few sausages off the menu (bye bye Chicago-style hot dog), added non-sausage options like a lardo burger and porchetta sandwich, started serving weekend brunch, and recently parted ways with chef Nate Overstreet.

See Also: Braving Brunch: Long Lines, Heavenly Eggs Benedict at Mission Beach Cafe

Braving Brunch: Sweet and Savory Harmony at Plow

Extreme Brunching: Deep-Fried "Croque Yes Ma'am" at Southpaw

What isn't going to change, according to owner Miles Pickering, is the restaurant's commitment to making as much of their menu in-house as possible. "If you ate it here, it was almost certainly made here," he says. That includes the ham on their croque monsieur, the preserved lemon in the house salad, the bacon -- they even make their own apple cider vinegar. One of the rare exceptions is the bread, which is imported all the way from across the street at La Victoria bakery.

Their move to be less sausage-centric is evident on their brunch menu, which on a recent visit only offered sausage in its sausage gravy-covered marjoram-cheddar biscuits. Instead, the dishes are examples of the restaurant's wider goal to offer "simple, well-prepared food with an interesting spin," according to Pickering.

  • Maureen Grodzki

One of those interesting spins is the clove whipped cream, served atop a fresh fruit salad that accompanies a roasted serrano and gruyère quiche. The strong spice works surprisingly well with the mélange of ripe mangoes, strawberries, melon, and Asian pear, and made us wonder why we don't see it more often. The quiche itself was gently warmed, its flaky crust filled with a rich and creamy custard dotted with slices of earthy, spicy serrano chile and small chunks of gruyère. If you've ever been emotionally scarred by a soggy, bland quiche, Pig and Pie may offer salvation.

Their rustic, béchamel-less croque monsieur is a great showcase for their house-cured ham, which avoids being too salty, smoky, or sweet. It's ham that actually tastes like ham, and is currently also available weekdays in a sandwich with gruyère, arugula, heirloom tomatoes, pickled cippolini onions, and mustard.

Let's get back to those biscuits and gravy. Yes, the biscuits are flaky and delicious. And yes, they're big (about the size of a baseball). But the gravy is a bit unexpected: Instead of breakfast sausage, it's made with Italian sausage, and has a little kick. You have the option of ordering one or two, so keep it in mind as a side to share.

As for beverages, there's beer and wine, a michelada, and a mimosa made with freshly squeezed orange juice. They'll also mix you up an Arnold Palmer, with lemonade they make with mint and rosewater, that any fan of the concoction should check out.

The brunch and weekday menus will continue to evolve, according to Pickering, but despite Overstreet's departure, "we are not changing our focus one bit." So while specific items may come and go, you'll always be able to rely on Pig and Pie for pig and pie.

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Maureen Grodzki


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