When friends gush about a restaurant, I make a mental note about the place for future reference. When a friend calls from the restaurant just to read me the menu, I immediately begin planning my attack. Such was the case with Hoggy’s, a regional chain with a location in Valley View.
The stoplight-red barn with a faux silo beside it sets the tone for the gustatory challenges awaiting you inside. Resign yourself now, and throw the diet out the window. Instead, embrace this rare opportunity to get downright piggy, sans stares from fellow diners (they’re too busy packing away their own dinners).
Like all first-tier belly-busters, Hoggy’s rewards its customers’ eating prowess. Conquer the “Hoggy Challenge” ($24.99), a half slab of ribs, a half chicken, a 7-inch pork sandwich, cornbread and a side, and you get a free T-shirt. I was more interested in experiencing the depth of the kitchen and ordered the “Grazer” BBQ Platter ($15.99): ribs; three mini sandwiches, one each of beef brisket, pulled chicken and pulled pork; and sampler sizes of the no-bean chili, coleslaw, baked beans and mac-n-cheese — with a huge square of cornbread for good measure.
The barbecue sauce on the ribs and meat was thick, sweet and punchy, a solid sauce for a chain with a pig in its title. Even though my stomach was bursting, I managed to shovel down the chili (if you’re a no-bean chili lover like me, this is the place to get it).
Mondays are all-you-can-eat wing night ($7.99), and my companion was equally satisfied — his first plate came with 15 wings. The focus here is on quality — each restaurant smokes its own meat — and quantity. You may find it helpful to bring a designated driver (perhaps a vegetarian) so that once you’re in the car you can just lay back and digest.
Hoggy’s Barn & Grille, 5975 Canal Road, Valley View; (216) 328-9871 or www.hoggys.com.