Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Back Bay's The Salty Pig
On Friday the 21st, I had my last day at my first big person job and entered the world of the funemployed. Saturday morning, I was supposed to catch an 11:45 a.m. bus from South Station home and was running late. At the station, I got to stand in line and hear the n-word play ring-around-the-concourse while the Greyhound agent told me my 11:45 train left on time at 11:15.
Off to Back Bay I went with plans of over-expensive train tickets on my mind. An extra $70 behind me and a 2 hour wait ahead, I made my way to The Salty Pig across from Back Bay station to kill time. Here's where my day took a 365 degree, 24/7, turn for the better. What started as a beer and a chance to re-read Jurassic Park turned into a conversation about music over the bar and an unexpected brunch with a light buzz. Go. To. This. Spot.
Reasons to put The Salty Pig your "Go-To" list:
Stats: 130 Dartmouth St, Back Bay/South End Boston- Open since July '11 under head chef Kevin O'Donnell. O'Donnell, whose recent postings include working as sous chef under Mario Batali in NYC and overseas in Paris, imports cured meats and other fine ingredients from southern California and worldwide while also preparing a fresh pig each week. Look for their signature meat, cheese, and jam pairings
Drinks: The Pig boasts a wine list, sherry list, rotating drink list and a small, but impressive, collection of drafts. Between an Imperial stout and a wheat-y double IPA I went with the $5, 8.2% ABV, tastemonster Lagunitas Maximus. A very solid brew, strong without being overwhelming and speaking as an IPA fan, you can't go wrong with Lagunitas. They do hops right. I was going to follow up the Maximus with a Gin Gin Mule but since the Salty Pig only has a limited liquor license, I looked to the rotating drink menu and saw a Pimm's Cup variation. A drink new to me, but not to my excellent bartender Patrick, (btw this guy was awesome, ask for him) who was more than happy to mix me a refreshing Pimm's classic.
Food: Before ordering, I asked Patrick if the $9 grilled cheese on the brunch menu was actually worth $9. He said yes...I ordered...he was right. At at least 3 inches of girth and served buttered and gooey out of the brick oven, that was definitely a $9 grilled cheese. I can't speak to the other dishes on the ever fluid menu but the brunch charcuterie certainly had my eye for my next trip.
Ambiance/Music: Cozy and wide open from kitchen to counter, The Salty Pig welcomes meat nerds and beer buffs warmly and while I wouldn't normally comment on the music of a place, the lineup I caught while I was there was just so on that I can't help it. Enjoy along with me!
Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do-Sigur Ros
Simple Song- The Shins
I Want You (She's So Heavy)- The Beatles
The High Road-Broken Bells
Bathroom Ambiance: *Warning* This section is meant to be complimentary but might come off gross. That being said this was the absolute tipping point from "Good" to "Go To" for me.
Grisly warnings aside, during my brief stay at The Salty Pig, I found reason to make use of the water closet, so's I took a piss. And what a piss it was, for plastered around the walls of the bathroom are countless Far Side comics! While washing up and drying off, giggling at the silly one panel comics, I made an executive decision and took a seat to let nature take it's course. I didn't have pay tribute to the porcelain throne before for I went in but 10 more minutes of reading Far Sides and I was glad I did. Refreshed, refueled, and with an empty afterburner, I caught my train and enjoyed the rest of the holidays with a smile.
Take a date, take a parent, take a grandparent, or just take yourself to lunch like I did and be ready for a game changer. Whatever the reason is you end up going, be sure to tell them who sent you when the check comes, I wanna stay on their good side.