Ever had one of those days where you just wanted to be a carnivorous maniac? Or a day where broccoli and carrots wouldn’t do much for your impending hunger?
Well, that’s me every day, but some days, I have a little more control.
Recently, after a girl’s night out with enough tequila to make anyone giddy, I wanted nothing but fatty, juicy, gigantic pieces of meat.
My family wasn’t throwing any barbecues that week and I really wanted something that tasted fresh from the grill. To Whole Hog Cafe I went for the first time, with very high expectations.
I ordered 10 wings and the hog platter that consisted of ribs, beef brisket and pulled pork (which I subbed for pulled chicken). The platter came with two sides and I picked cheesy corn and baked beans. For dessert, I couldn’t resist a red velvet cookie.
To begin, the wings looked mouth-wateringly delicious. The glossy caramel color sang odes to my eyes. They looked well done, yet had tons of moisture dribbling from one wing to another.
Upon sinking my teeth into a flat, I was overcome by tender smokiness. These wings were different from a traditional crunchy wing you’d get at any restaurant in America. They tasted like they were just pulled from the grill (which I desperately wanted), with skin that ripped off unchallengingly and melted in my mouth. The chunky bleu cheese dip added sweetness that contrasted well with the wings’ deep flavor. A+.
The array of meat in the hog platter was plenty to take in. From the pulled chicken, to the beef brisket, it all smelled divine. I don’t eat pork, so I gave the ribs to my bestie. She originally planned to eat one. As you may have guessed, that one turned into the entire mini slab. I did notice a smoke ring on the outside of the ribs, which led me to believe they just had to have tremendous tender smokiness, like their wing cousins.
I was excited about the brisket. I’ve had brisket twice before–both times in North Carolina. If this brisket tasted anything like the beef from Fishmonger’s in Durham, I’d be hooked!
I broke off a large sample and chewed slowly, seeking every bit of flavor. Certainly, it was good and was a great quality. It was, however, just a smidgen dry. Perhaps additional BBQ sauce, which I didn’t receive, would have made it moister.
The pulled chicken was juicy shreds that tasted like they were rubbed with a seasoning containing old bay. I’m an old bay fanatic (thanks to the years I lived in Baltimore), and add it to everything from french fries to burgers. So, this similar taste excited me. It was full of smoky flavor (of course) and would taste even better on a toasted kaiser roll with tons of BBQ sauce. I finished the pulled chicken in its entirety.
As for the sides, I knocked off the cheesy corn in no time. Loads of creamy cheese and plump kernels of corn, mixed together to make a fantastic partnership. The cheese dripped down into the container, as I took a fork full and shoved it in my mouth. If I could, I would order five pounds of it.
As with the ribs, the baked beans contained pork, so I also gave them to my friend. She said they tasted like a fresher, homemade version of the baked beans you’d buy at the store. As a lover of canned vegetarian baked beans, I’d say they were a winner.
Lastly, I had the pleasure of ripping apart my red velvet cookie and watching the melted white and dark chocolate chips ooze their sweetness onto each half. That sweet and milky cookie was banging! It had a little crunch on the outside but super softness in the middle. Any choc-o-holic would dream about this cookie in their sleep. Definitely a must try!
I say this often, but Whole Hog Cafe will make its way onto my “regular basis” list. The chicken was phenomenal, the sides were great and the dessert was sinful.
There wasn’t anything else my stomach could ask for.