Down in East Liberty is a barbecue joint that has been infused with a fair amount of hipster twist. It’s called Union Pig & Chicken, and its minimalist tables and whiskey/bourbon oriented bar do a good job of selling that intersection of barbecue and hipsterness. The menu is full of meaty offerings that go beyond the animals known as pig and chicken, but I suppose Union Pig, Chicken and Cow simply didn’t have the same ring to it.
I ended up ordering the Ribs + Pork + Brisket combo for $22, which aside from the obvious brisket, included a half rack of St. Louis ribs and pork shoulder. I figured this would be too much food, but that I would have a healthy dose of leftovers. Plus, we ordered their Meaty Mac as a side, which virtually guaranteed I would need a to-go box. The Meaty Mac, by the way was a great choice. With brisket and a hint of horseradish in it, it was well worth the $7 price tag.
As for the take-home box, I was right that I would need one. The portions were pretty sizable, and certainly made for either splitting or taking home. Each dish in my meaty trifecta was special and delicious. They came with two BBQ sauces, a tomato-based one as well as a vinegary one. The vinegar seemed to go best with the pork shoulder, while the brisket and ribs were best served by the tomato-based.
Of the meats, the brisket came away as my favorite. I was a big fan of its dry rub and how juicy it came out. Next was the pork shoulder, which was crazy-tender, but just couldn’t keep up with the brisket. Finally, the ribs were nothing to complain about, but felt like the lesser of all meats.
I did also get the chance to taste the chicken, which my lovely wife ordered. This helped ensure that I took care of both of the namesake meats. It was good, no doubt, but I was definitely happy my meats were of the mammalian variety.
Overall, Union Pig & Chicken treated me well. It’s a bit fancy for BBQ, but doesn’t deviate from the essence of the deliciousness that BBQ embodies. The prices may be a little bit scary at first, but rest assured that the portions are good and the flavors are all there. I will certainly be back.