Brunch. Bacon. Booze. Those are the words printed on the moonshine-style bottles (growlers?) strewn throughout Biscuit & Hogs, a popular new restaurant that opened in Ogden just a few weeks ago. And, those three words pretty much sum up the gestalt at Biscuit & Hogs. I’ll explain.
Located at The Junction in downtown Ogden in the space that was once home to Iggy’s Sports Grill, this is the second Biscuit & Hogs restaurant, the original location being located in Meridian, Idaho. It opened in 2020. Why choose to locate the second Biscuit & Hogs in Ogden, you ask? Read on.
It turns out that the Ogden location is sort of a showcase for would-be franchisees. As reported by my colleague, Valerie Phillips, in the Ogden Standard-Examiner, owner Boomer Godsill – who owns seven other restaurants – told Phillips that “We want to prove that our menu and brand can operate outside of Idaho.” Who did he want to prove that to? The would-be franchise owners that the Biscuit & Hogs brand is aimed at. Biscuit & Hogs was put out for franchising just this week. An Assistant General Manager named Alan told me that franchise owners will have to come to Ogden for training before they’re allowed to open their franchises.
Biscuit & Hogs is about nothing if not branding. There’s plenty of merch for sale at the eatery specializing in brunch foods, with a big emphasis on pork – especially bacon – and booze. The restaurant has much more of a bar vibe than typical family restaurants in Utah. Along with the aforementioned Brunch-Bacon-Booze theme, the overriding message at Biscuit & Hogs is “Release Your Inner Pig.” Cute, right?
Well … to me, Biscuit & Hogs sort of captures the best of America and the worst. On the one hand, freedom of choice is fervently celebrated there. Or at least, the freedom to choose to ignore calorie and cholesterol counts – to “pig out” as it were. “Size Matters” is another B&H slogan. It’s all about unapologetic American-style consumption. Don’t believe me? How about the fact that many of the dishes are served on plates the size of automobile hubcaps. 15 inch plates, I was told. Pancakes are so large that they’re put in pizza-size boxes for takeout. The portions are ginormous – “Part of our charm,” said Godsill, regarding portion size. Assistant GM Alan said to us, if you go home hungry it’s your fault. Full disclosure: Godsill invited me to visit Biscuit & Hogs and sent me a gift certificate which covered a portion of our massive meal there.
I’d suggest ordering a libation right off the bat, because it’ll take some time to deconstruct the menu. It gives The Cheesecake Factory a run for its money in terms of volume of dishes to choose from. The menu is divided into 10 sections: B&H Specials, South of the Border, Egg Classics, Benedicts, Scrambled, Snacks, Greens, Between the Bread, Burgers, and Supper. There are 15 different egg-based dishes alone, ranging from Smoked Brisket Benny ($18.99) and Ribeye Steak & Eggs ($24.99), to Mac & Meat Cheese scrambled eggs ($16.99), and the Farmhouse – sous vide pork belly bacon with smoked andouille sausage, country ham, three scrambled eggs, and much more on the plate ($17.49). Other popular brunch-type items – available all day – include Chicken & a Waffle ($17.49), Biscuit French Toast Combo ($16.99), Chicken & a Biscuit ($17.49), and The Hog ($18.99), which is two eggs served with B&H’s signature pork belly bacon strips, Idaho home fries, a half-biscuit, and smothered in country gravy.
In fairness, I should mention that Biscuit & Hogs does serve a couple of salads, listed in the “Greens” section of the menu. There is a house salad ($4.99/side or $9.49/full) and a Cobb salad ($15.99). Both have pork belly bacon in them. If that’s not enough protein in your salad, guests can also add more pork belly bacon bites, chicken, or ribeye steak to their salad for significant upcharges. My wife – who doesn’t eat much meat and watches her cholesterol – found almost nothing she could eat at B&H, despite the extensive menu choices.
She finally settled on the Spicy Avocado Turkey Bacon Melt sandwich ($15.99), which the kitchen was kind enough to prepare with gluten-free bread. Our dogs got to enjoy the bacon. It’s a generously-portion sandwich of grilled bread (normally sourdough) with avocado, turkey, melted jack cheese, bacon, and spicy red pepper aioli. For her side dish, she chose the spicy slaw which was super.
Biscuit & Hogs sports a full bar area with multiple big screen TVs for watching sporting events – possibly left behind from Iggy’s Sports Grill. There are various specialty cocktails, including one called a Mango Mingo which is served in a pink flamingo, beer options, mimosas, but alas, no wine available. Granted, this isn’t very wine-friendly fare to begin with, but still … You’d think they might at very least have some boxed wine behind the bar.
The “Snacks” portion of the menu – aka appetizers – isn’t light eating. Although, no surprise there by now. Pulled Pork Sliders ($15.99), Avocado Fries ($12.99), Deep-Fried Pickle Spears ($8.99), Pork Belly Bacon Strips ($7.99/3 strips), Carne Asada Fries ($17.79) and such occupy most of the Snacks menu. Being forewarned of the portion sizes, we opted for something we knew wouldn’t ruin our dinner: homemade tortilla chips with red salsa and creamy queso ($5.99), which was very good.
“Suppers” at Biscuit & Hogs are (mostly) entrees served with a choice of two sides. Side dish choices include a Side Salad, French Fries, Sweet Potato Tater Tots, Mac n’ Cheese, Spicy Coleslaw, Cob Ribs, and Loaded Crispy Baked Baby Red Potatoes. The French fries were surprisingly crispy and tasty; the Mac n’ Cheese was completely forgettable.
I decided to try one of Biscuit & Hogs’ “Suppers” and settled on the Meatloaf ($17.99). Not surprisingly, the meatloaf – a mix of pork belly, ground chuck, herbs & spices – was bacon-wrapped. It was also topped with an odd white “meatloaf BBQ sauce” and crispy onion straws. What it tasted like to me, mostly, was salt. For some reason, my supper came with a side of house fries, which I hadn’t ordered. Other Supper options include Chicken Fried Steak ($19.99), Giant Fish Fry Platter ($16.99), Smoking BBQ Platter ($23.99), and USDA Ages Beef Ribeye ($28.99).
A word about securing a table at Biscuit & Hogs. They don’t take reservations. However, you can sign up to put your name on a waitlist online at OpenTable, which I did, knowing that the place is wildly popular and wait times can be lengthy. But when we got to the restaurant, we were told it would be a 45 minute wait for our table. The problem with the waitlist – as explained by Alan, the Assistant GM, is that guests should be advised of the length of their wait as they are at the Meridian location, not just their place in the waitlist line. But due to an unresolved (for now, anyway) glitch, they are not. So you could be 2nd in line on the waitlist and have a 5 minute wait or an hour and 5 minute wait. There’s no way of knowing. They might be better off using the system that Weller’s Bistro in Layton does: Guests call the restaurant, get on their waitlist, and are advised by a human of the approximate time they’ll be seated.
I think you can tell the Biscuit & Hogs is not really my kind of place. I don’t love country music (which is ubiquitous there), or the faux Southern vibe (branding, branding, branding). But you just might. If so, I can guarantee one thing: You will not leave hungry.
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week: “Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.” – Francis Bacon
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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.