Pork and Oysters!!!!!! – a review of The Pig and The Pearl
The Brothers decided to try a place with a good reputation in Virginia Highlands called D.B.A. BBQ. Brother Squishy was the first one who landed there to only find out that the place didn’t open until 4:00PM. It was 11:35AM. Squishy quickly reached out to Brother Fixin’s who happened to be running a little late and with some clever smartphone manipulation found a BBQ joint in Atlantic Station. Calling an audible – how is this gonna work out???
The Pig and the Pearl is of course a new restaurant, like everything else at Atlantic Station. Three brothers with a yet-to-be-named newbie were in attendance. The menu wasn’t traditional. Lots of items were tweaked with different flavors and themes so This place shouldn’t really be weighed in the same way as others. Anyway, I wasn’t really in the mood for a full review-type meal so I pretty much threw a dart at the menu and chose their Rib Tips and Grits. Enjoying the vowel alliteration treatment, I went with it.
After the great pork rinds came out (hot and still popping like Rice Krispies) my deep dish plate was brought out by our friendly server and looked great. But upon closer inspection I learned what rib tips were – little hunks of rib bones with some rib meat and gristle clinging to them. Hmm… Maybe they’ll be tender. Nope. Tough, indigestion-inducing shoe leather. Maybe the flavor will win. Nope. Salty, overly-spiced shoe leather. Maybe the grits are awesome (I’m reaching here). Not really. But they were warm! See, I’m always good for finding the positive side of things.
And they had cold beer. And the location was okay. Well, wait. This is the first time I’ve had to pay for parking while reviewing BBQ, so good location canceled.
Overall, I almost don’t feel like I need to grade The Pig and the Pearl because it was a non-traditional BBQ restaurant. But if I have to, I’ll give it 3 cleavers.
Oh jeez what have we gotten ourselves into? If God had intended for pigs and seahorses to live together, Genesis 1:9 would read “And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky and the dry ground mixeth itself together, and the swine shall get jiggy with the ocean dwellers.'” Hindsight is 20/20, but foresight should have been in this case. It was a nice day, though, so we sat outside, ordered some good, cold beer, and crossed our fingers.
For an appetizer we went with pimento cheese croquettes and buffalo pork rinds. Both were actually very, very good. The pepper relish that came with the croquettes was actually extremely good, and gave a great spice to the pimento cheese. For the pork rinds we ordered the buffalo sauce on the side, and I loved the combination! Squishy was right – the rinds were still cooking and crisping up as we ate them, sizzling and popping with freshness. I would order both of those again in a heartbeat!
They did have ribs on the menu, so for my meal I went with those, still in search of the best rib in Atlanta. My expectations were low, so maybe that has something to do with how awesome the first rib was! I’m not kidding, it was great! But then I had to go and eat the next two. I don’t understand how I can get 3 ribs, and all of them were cooked differently. I don’t own a restaurant so I can’t speak to how difficult it is to cook everything the same. But aren’t ribs connected? Shouldn’t they be cooked the same? Was one of them in the cooker and the other 2 hanging out of the top? Did the shrimp and scallops being cooked in the same pot get pissed and sabotage the 2 ribs for some reason? “Hey Guido, those 2 ribs are on OUR turf – let’s give ’em the business! And we’ll leave his buddy alone so he can spread the word to the rest of his rack.”
At any rate, you get what you get when you are in emergency mode, as we were when DBA BBQ’s management decided that being open for lunch on a Friday is a bad idea. I’d like to blame Siri, but she just ignored me. So I’ll go with Squishy – Hog and Seaweed probably doesn’t deserve 3 cleavers, but I am going to give it to them anyway. They aren’t a bbq restaurant, and shouldn’t be reviewed as one. The apps were good, the beer was cold, and our server was sweet as she could be.