Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Pig 'N Swig at the Happy Dog (AKA I'm a Big Pig Too!)

Poor blog, have I've neglected you. Despite wanting to post this to my Tumblr, I'll go old school and write a blog.

Last night Becoming Rooks and I had an amazing dinner at The Happy Dog; Chef Eric Williams seriously out did himself with his latest dinner pairing, the Pig 'N Swig, a three course bourbon and pork dinner. We've been to all of Chef William's Happy Dog dinners except the first and he always find a way to top himself. It's going to take a lot to top this one.

Course One: Eagle Rare Bourbon
Course One: Eagle Rare Bourbon
Bourbon guru Mike Gully introduced each of the bourbons, starting with the first course, an Eagle Rare 10 year single barrel bourbon; my favorite sipping bourbon of the night. If I was going to drink bourbon for the sake of drinking bourbon, I'd definitely reach for this one. Mike suggested that at 90 proof, it drinks like an 80 proof and I definitely agree. There was a slight burn, but only well after it was deep down inside.

Course One: Adobo Braised Pork Belly Taco
Course One: Adobo Braised Pork Belly Taco
The Adobo Braised Pork Belly Taco was incredible. The pork was tender and smokey with a hint of spice while the fat layer was an unctuous porky delight. The watermelon salsa, made using the watermelon rind, was light and just spicy. The whole, fresh cilantro leaves kept the dish light and fruity and the chicharones had a nice porky, salty crunch. The pork fat was my favorite, but dipping the chicharones in the bourbon was a very close second.

Course Two: 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon
Course Two: 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon
The 1792 Ridgemont Reserve was by far the best of the three bourbons. Smooth in the mouth, smooth going down and just a light, pleasant warming in the belly.

Course Two: Korean Style BBQ Pulled Pork
Course Two: Korean Style BBQ Pulled Pork
As incredible as the tacos were, the Korean style BBQ pulled pork was even better. The pork was salty, sweet with a nice soy based Asian flair. The house kim chee had a nice vinegar, spice kick. Together, they were an unstoppable combination; the perfect balance of flavors. The sweet potato chips were crisp, yet light and the dip was finger licking good. It's hard to remember all of the great plates I've had at Happy Dog, but this one certainly ranks in the all time top five.

Course Three: Knob Creek 9 year Bourbon
Course Three: Knob Creek 9 year Bourbon
Of the three bourbons, the Knob Creek was my least favorite; the burn was definitely in full effect. That said, it was a delicious dessert drink and paired with the donut, wow!

Course Three: Brioche Donut with Maple-Bourbon-Bacon Cream Filling
Course Three: Brioche Donut with Maple-Bourbon-Bacon Cream Filling
It takes a mad, mad man to make to cover dessert with pork. Each and every dinner Chef Williams proves he is the king of mad men. I say, with no reservation, that his brioche donut with maple-bourbon-bacon cream filling & candied bacon sprinkles is his most devilish, most deviant creation yet. How did it taste? Well I'd camp out on Chef William's lawn for a year in the hopes of getting just one more of these donuts.

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