Who says Northerners can't barbecue?
That's slowly becoming our mantra here at Sizzle Grove, as we develop our own Connecticut barbecue recipes and visit awesome establishments the CT/NY area. Recently we had a chance to visit Newtown's One Eyed Pig BBQ, previously a blue collar bar which, since July 2010, has been transformed into a great barbecue joint.
Upon arrival, I was a little bit unsure of what I was getting into. Couldn't smell the smoke yet, and it was a quiet night being a Wednesday. However, we walked in, and I got just a hint of that familiar hickory-esque aroma that I love so much (though I can't say for sure what they use for smoke). Sometimes it takes a little while for the aroma to fully develop at a barbecue joint.
There was seating at the bar, and a section of tables separated by a wall, most likely for family units. We chose to sit in what I'm dubbing the family section, as it was quiet and we could see the large flat screen television. Menus were already at the table; small, simple, but good and decently priced.
As the name One Eyed Pig suggests, this place was certainly porkcentric. The stand-out items were ribs or pulled pork, though they also served whole or half chickens, plus a few other dishes. I chose the half rack of ribs, which came with two sides. Fries both standard and sweet potato, macaroni and cheese, beans, slaw.... what to choose? As much as I wanted to be healthy and get beans and slaw (the two veggie sides), I had to have me some sweet tater fries and mac 'n cheese.
My half rack of meaty spare ribs came out naked, but aromatically smokealicious. Tables had a variety of sauces, including a vinegary and lightly peppery mop sauce, a VERY peppery hot sauce, and a signature tomatoey One Eyed Pig BBQ Sauce. The first bite of ribs had to be unsauced, so I could judge. Smoke, check. Meat coming clean off the bone... very check. Spice rub minimal, but maybe that's their thing. Either way, I'm abundantly pleased and I've got sauces.
Sides... awesome. Crisp, thinner-than-usual sweet potato fries require no adornment, and the macaroni and cheese was quite flavorful as well.
Other folks at my table enjoyed pulled pork, which I was pleased to sample. Tender, smokey, also served naked. BBQ sauce is right there for those who want a traditional, picturesque serving, or for those of you who like Carolina or Tennessee style pork, a little mop sauce and a dash of black pepper awaits your sprinkling.
Beer-wise, your best bet is probably to get a safe Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, as One Eyed Pig doesn't specialize in the craft beer department. As much as we love beer here at Sizzle Grove, we figured we'd be too full from the barbecue anyway. And we were right.
One Eyed Pig is located at 71 S Main St in Newtown, CT. They're open "11am - ??" and frequently feature local live music. Follow them on Facebook.