In the beginning there was Pig & a Jelly Jar. And it was good. The original SLC Pig & a Jelly Jar restaurant opened in 2012 and was such a success with local foodies that owner Amy Wanderley-Britt soon launched a second location in Ogden. And now, there’s a third outpost of the comfort food Mecca, this one in Holladay. It’s a formula that works, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pig & a Jelly Jar go national one day.
Although the Pigs are open for dinner Thursday through Sunday and for breakfast and lunch every day, it’s the brunch and breakfast menu (served all day) that really draws the crowds. And why not? Who doesn’t love Southern-style rib-sticking foods like sausage gravy & biscuits ($10), ham hash ($11), green eggs & ham with green chile Hollandaise ($12.50), chicken & waffles ($12), or the Creole breakfast ($12.75) with boneless country spare rib, two poached eggs, baked beans and kale, all topped with tomato Creole sauce and served over biscuits with a side of breakfast potatoes.
I’m particularly fond of Pig & a Jelly Jar’s fried chicken & biscuits ($10): two pieces of boneless chicken, battered and deep-fried until nice and crispy and served between two buttermilk biscuits, with house-made chow-chow (pickled relish), breakfast potatoes and whole grain mustard sauce. Yum.
Although Pig & a Jelly Jar looks like Southern roadhouse food at first glance, there is quality control here that you don’t find in many restaurants. Britt and her team pride themselves on using local ingredients and artisan products such as Salt & Smoke for their custom-made sausages, Butchers Bunches jams, Stone Ground Bakery breads, local breweries and other local community partners. Fresh, high-quality ingredients also include things like non-GMO safflower oil for frying, evidence of the owner’s belief that “At Pig, we believe food should be made with love, served with integrity and the dining experience unique.”
Part of the uniqueness of Pig & a Jelly Jar comes from the restaurant’s whimsical and fun atmosphere, clearly evident in the eatery’s decor which, as you might expect, tends to feature pigs in many forms and styles. And you’ve gotta love touches like the “All Gender” restroom, where everybody is welcome.
All of the Pig & a Jelly Jar locations serve wine, beer, beer cocktails, wine punches and mimosas. So you can enjoy, for instance, Pride Punch, made with white wine, red cream soda, orange juice, rosemary and crushed strawberries alongside cornmeal-crusted catfish fish n’ chips with hand-cut fried and chow-chow ($11.50). My wife really appreciates that Pig offers gluten-free buns on request so that she can enjoy the BBQ pork sandwich ($10) made with brown sugar- and maple-brined local pork, house-made pickles and spicy slaw.
While breakfast items, sandwiches and burgers are the main draw, don’t overlook the delicious, generously portioned salads (man cannot live on fried chicken alone). There’s a nice side salad for a mere four bucks, or go big with something like the Cobb salad ($10), a heaping plate of green leaf lettuce, sliced grilled chicken, diced bacon and tomato, crumbled bleu cheese, hard-boiled eggs with house made croutons, served with buttermilk peppercorn dressing. My wife’s favorite Pig salad is the tasty chicken-apple walnut salad with grilled chicken, granny smith apples, candied walnuts, and craisins over fresh greens.
There’s also a nifty array of tempting “Counter Bites” available ($5-7), like fried dill pickles, cider-braised greens, homemade pork rinds, ham & beans, and that staple of the South: fried green tomatoes. And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t even think of departing Pig & a Jelly Jar without treating yourself to the beignets ($5) served with blueberry-lavender jam. Hey, this is one place where you’ll feel no guilt and receive no grief for pigging out!
Culinary quote of the week:
You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.
— Paul Prudhomme
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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