the blind pig
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The Blind Pig
April, 2013, Page 368
Photos by David Moore
Short rib tacos
Pig out at this meat shop/restaurant serving prime pork in a homey Scottsdale setting.
These days you can’t throw a ham hock without hitting a restaurant with a porcine name. Pig & Pickle, Salty Sow, The Blind Pig... Which might lead one to believe the latter is a bastion of beet salad, bacon brittle, and all things trendy. In a pig’s eye!
The Blind Pig is owned by Robert Molinari, who owns Uncle Sal’s Italian eatery next door, and the Side Door bar and restaurant in the same strip mall. But here, he has partnered with Hobe Meats of Phoenix. Hobe, as any carnivore worth their gristle knows, has been a Valley staple for more than 50 years, specializing in USDA Prime beef, top quality poultry, daily-caught fish, and boutique meats such as duck, goose, turkey, and even alligator. So at The Blind Pig, there’s a cold case near the front door where fresh-butchered meats beckon to be taken home. While we wait briefly for food to arrive at the handful of wood tables, we can browse for ruby red bottom round pot roast ($6) or richly marbled Porterhouse ($23), stock up on Hobe brand habanero barbecue sauce, and check out extras like pre-packed calf liver.
The bar sits in the back, and even on weekday afternoons, it’s clear this is a neighborhood gathering spot, set with high-back metal chairs, TVs, and regulars who come to shoot the breeze alongside shots of Patron Silver tequila or a Blind Mule cocktail blending Ultimat Vodka, ginger beer and lime juice ($7).
Photos - From left:
• pig wings
One of the benefits of having a meat shop in a restaurant is the guarantee that proteins are pristine. The “pig wings” ($7), for example, are freshly plucked petite pork shanks slathered in spicy-sweet chipotle glaze, then grilled. Pull the tender meat off the bone with your teeth and feel civilized by pairing it with a glass of Catena Malbec from Mendoza ($7).
Pork al pastor is generously scattered across flour or corn tortillas to make a trio of soft tacos, the caramelized meat dotted with cilantro, red onion and grilled pineapple ($8), while a pork chop is hand carved before being grilled to juiciness and smothered in mild mole ($10).
This is blue jeans food of the best kind, with mild red chile sauce seeping into a torta ahogada ($8) stuffed with shredded chicken, refried beans, crumbled queso fresco, chunky guacamole and pickled jalapeño (just be sure to ask for extra sauce, since on two of my visits the bolillo was dry). Yet here and there are surprising haute touches, such as good oysters Rockefeller ladled with fresh spinach cream sauce ($10), and a feathery-light tamale spiked with shrimp and fresh corn moistened with cream corn cilantro sauce ($10).
You can get dessert if you want, though there’s not much special about the options of coconut or pineapple sorbet, key lime pie, and Snickers cheesecake (all $7).
Whatever ends up on your table, as spring weather blossoms, there’s little better place to enjoy it than on the fountain patio beneath towering date palms. Don’t bring the pig, but do bring the puppy – the butcher counter also sells raw pet food and savory, chewable bones.
The Blind Pig
The Blind Pig
: 3370 N. Hayden Rd., Scottsdale
: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
: Pig wings ($7); pork al pastor ($8); pork chop mole ($10)
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