I have always liked to think that there are five major food groups that make up a southerner’s diet: gravy, sweet tea, fried chicken, fried fish, and BBQ. Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing a restaurant that combines the latter two under one roof. Joining together last spring, Grady’s BBQ and Shorty’s Fish Co. have brought us what we know today as The Fishin’ Pig. Though The Fishin’ Pig has only been in existence for a short time, it has already made a lasting impression on students, faculty, and alumni of the college. Its menu is packed full of southern stapes like succulent fried green tomatoes, sweet collard greens, and tender pork BBQ. You will find no linen napkins, white tablecloths, or elevator music here. Instead, upon entering its door, you will be greeted by its charming waitress staff and seated in one of the booths lining the walls; each table is simply covered with brown parchment paper. Its atmosphere is warm and inviting; everyone there always seems to be having a good time dancing, singing, eating, and drinking, as Billy Joel plays over the restaurant speakers or the bluegrass band swings in the back room.
During my visit to the Fishin’ Pig last week, I began my meal off with its iconic fried green tomatoes. Each tomato was perfectly sliced, crisp, and seasoned to perfection. The fish exceeded my expectations, not only was it thick and flakey, but it was also extremely moist, well seasoned, and fresh. The brisket, pork, and chicken BBQ were tender and flavorful; and I am also happy to report that whether you are a Texan, Tennessean, Virginian, or Carolinian, The Fishin’ Pig has a BBQ sauce to please your palate. For my main course, I was presented with “Mindy’s Favorite.” A twist on the classic BLT, Mindy’s Favorite is piled with crispy bacon, lettuce, succulent fried green tomatoes, and pimento cheese; all served on two thick slices of hot Texas toast. A generous portion of collard greens accompanied my sandwich; although the restaurant also offers many other favorites like macaroni and cheese, baked beans, or sweet potato fries served with a side of honey butter for dipping. For those of you that wish to hydrate during your meal, may I recommend you try “The Pig.” A combination of Jack Daniels, Crème de Cassis, a dash of Grenadine, Sours, and Pineapple, shaken and served in a Mason jar, The Pig is a delicious accompaniment to your BBQ.
The Fishin’ Pig is quickly becoming a part of the Hampden-Sydney lifestyle. I have no doubt that this restaurant will fill its gravel lot and many hungry students’ stomachs for many years to come. So folks, head on out and grab yourself a table, but hurry, they go fast. As always, cheers and happy eating.