Flying Pig Cafe
ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
The stretch of Prytania Street between Upperline and Robert Streets has become a nice little restaurant row, reminiscent of nearby Magazine Street but in a longer term. The Upperline is one of the oldest Creole bistros, and the address hosted a cluster of good restaurants even before that. The excellent and steady La Thai Cuisine has seen a dozen restaurants comes and go over the years. On the other hand, La Crepe Nanou dates back to the early 1980s as a four-star establishment.
The latest addition to thise Prytania-Upperline cluster is the Flying Pig Cafe. It took over the former location of Kyoto, a sushi bar with a fair attendance of regulars and an offbeat style.
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Although the Flying Pig’s iconography suggests country-style Southern cooking, it’s not exactly that. Nor does it feel like a New Orleans neighborhood hangout, although that is suggested by the sandwiches and salads. Finally, there’s a full breakfast menu, including the hard stuff like house-made biscuits and pancakes.
At first glance, the cartoon pig on the sign, the menu and the website suggest that this is a barbecue joint. It isn’t, although they do smoke some pork. There’s also a strong suggestion of Southern American cookery–Carolina Low Country eats. That’s more like it, but how do we explain the great steamed mussels or the beautiful double-cut pork chop?
Of course, the name of the Flying Pig is a play on the assertion, “We’ll get all those pumping stations finished and working when pigs fly.” The chef and owner is Rob Vance, who has made the rounds of kitchens around town for years. He operated a Creole-style seafood house across Bourbon Street from Galatoire’s for a few years. His wife is someone I pass in the hallway every day at the radio station. Her well-known on-air name is “Kat.” She’s always reminding me of hubby’s eatery, which is his best yet.
The single dining room has a small bar (with a smaller stock of drinks) and a generally rustic look. The surface staff is in the process of getting its act together, and could use a bit more training in the finer points.
»Fried Green Tomatoes, shrimp remoulade
Smoked Tuna Dip, pita bread
»Steamed Mussels in Garlic Cream
Hummus & Olives, pita bread or celery
Salads, Sandwiches & Sides
»Vodka Cured Salmon and Spinach Salad
Blackened Fish Tacos, black beans, rice, dill tartar sauce
»Mojo Pork Wrap, braised pork shoulder, black beans
»Son of a Bun Burger
BLT (bacon, lettuce, fried green tomato)
Club Sandwich, roast beef, ham, smoked turkey
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich
»Pimiento Mac & Cheese
»Caribbean Style Black Beans and Rice
Pork Burrito Platter
Low Country Shrimp & Grits
»Carolina Low Country 10 oz. Pork Chop, poblano chutney
»Blackened Gulf Fish Lafayette, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, green onion, spinach, linguine
»Caribbean Style Fried Chicken
runken Spatchcock Chicken, seared and roasted, rum-garlic-allspice marinade, cornbread
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
House Made Cheesecake
FOR BEST RESULTS
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment
- Consistency +1
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar -1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +1