I've been going up to Vermont (Trapp Family Lodge wooo!!), for a good long time, and there was always this one place that everyone kept telling me to check out: Prohibition Pig. The name alone was enough to intrigue me. It was one of those places where I kept saying to myself 'Why haven't I gone down to Prohibition Pig yet?'. Well, for one, it's incredibly difficult to get off the Trapp Family Lodge mountain (it's just so picturesque). But finally, one day me and my sister decided that we couldn't put it off any longer, and so we went over to Waterbury to check this place out. Sitting right on the corner of South Main Street and Elm, there's no mistaking that this establishment serves up some of the most mouth watering meats imaginable. Right there on their window is the logo: a big fat pig with dotted lines marking all the different cuts to be had. And located in the heart of Vermont's beautiful countryside, you can only imagine all the local farms around you that they're working with. Not satisfied with just making succulent smoked food, Prohibition Pig also brews their own deliciously unique beer to pair with it. Located just around the corner from the main restaurant, the Pro Pig Brewery is a nice relaxed space with a good long bar. The brewery even has a small patio for outdoor dining if you're feeling the need for some fresh mountain air with your beer. They have a wide range of brews from the classic IPAs & Blonde Ales to the more adventurous tropical ales or even dry-hopped sours! (which I love). The brewery also acts as their merchandise store, selling shirts, hats, and sweatshirts, as well as a place to get your growlers filled. Me and Chris have visited the brewery a few times before (Chris usually ends up buying a new hat each time we visit...), but this time I wanted Chris to see the restaurant—so off we went.
We ended up coming in on a Wednesday around 6PM and it was PACKED! We almost had to wait to get a seat at the bar, but luckily someone was leaving right as we entered and so we were able to snag ourselves a couple of seats at the end of the bar. Inside, the atmosphere was chill and darkly lit. The ceilings were raised up high, with large circular lamps
hanging overhead to light up the space. The restaurant itself was laid out in a U-shape, with a long 16-seat bar on one side of the U (where you entered) and then swung around into the main dining room. For tables, they had about a dozen or so four-tops on the other half of the U, plenty of seating for groups of all sizes. Like most restaurants in Vermont, warm natural wood surrounded you like a cozy blanket. And rather than a nice warm fire or a good book, what took all your attention was the enormous bar that dominated the room. On either end of the bar, tall shelves that reached the (super high) ceilings were filled with a wide selection of whiskeys, wine and a variety of other spirits. The shelves reached so high, that the bar had its own library-style ladder that the bartender could roll out if a top-shelf spirit was needed. Sandwiched between the two shelves were the impressive beer taps (20 in all!), with half the lines dedicated to their own brews, and the other half a good mix of other local and guest beers.
In my opinion, when a place makes their own beer, it seems kind of silly not to order it, right? Plus their draft list is always changing, so you never know what crazy new concoctions they've brewed up this time. And with such fun names like 'Make Em Say Goes-uhh' and 'You Go Glen Coco' how could you not want to try them? I went for the Pro Pig Pog, a tart wheat ale brewed with passionfruit, blood orange, and guava; and (after that) the Pro Pig Daly Palmer, a cream ale made with black tea and lemon zest. Both did not disappoint. I've had their beer numerous times before, and each time I'm simply amazed at the flavor profiles they are able to make—it just keeps me wanting more. Chris got himself their Mosaic Blonde, which he described as so good, that it made his heart sing. His second beer, Pro Pig's Little Fluffy Clouds (which he ordered solely because of the name) was a pale ale brewed with three kinds of hops (Simcoe, Amarillo, and Nelson). It had a lot going on in terms of the hops but together, they balanced each other out very nicely, leaving you with a hoppy light beer, with flavors of citrus, pine, and earthy malt. Now, that our bellies were nicely filled with beer—it's time for the main event: Meat.
Whenever I go to a meat-inspired restaurant, I always get very excited. Living in the Berkshires, I'm surrounded by acres of farmland, which means I get good meat, very good meat—so my expectations are pretty high. Had we not been
barhopping all day, we may have gotten ourselves burgers and brisket, but we were just so full. So, we decided to go for the poutine, I mean we're so close to Canada after all. It came in a cast iron skillet, filled with french fries fried in duck fat (yeah), Maple Brook cheddar curds (oh yeah), hot hearty gravy (oohooohh yeah) and of course we topped it off with some chopped pork...because, ya know, we're just trying to be healthy (plus you can't go to Prohibition Pig without getting some pig). The poutine was a wonderfully delicious mess of a meal. The cheese was so gooey and stringy that I had to eat it like how I ate my spaghetti when I was a kid: mouth wide open, head held back, mama-birding this delicious cheese into my mouth, even though most of it got on my face (my mother would be sooo proud of me). The shredded pork was so tender and juicy, it nearly melted in your mouth. It had the perfect amount of gravy as well, it didn't puddle up at the bottom making all the fries super soggy within five minutes. It also wasn't too large. I love things like poutine or nachos, but the biggest problem when ordering those is that you never know how much you're going to get. A lot of the time, it's so much that you lose your appetite for your dinner. So when me and Chris were served this poutine in a 6" skillet, we were pleasantly surprised. Next we tried their Peach Bourbon BBQ wings that were on special that night. They came served with pickled carrot sticks and ranch dressing. The wings had such an amazing smoke to them, with just a hint of peachy sweetness. The guys at Prohibition Pig definitely know how to smoke meat, these wings can vouch for that.
After finishing up our wings, and licking our plates clean...we actually noticed something peculiar about the plates. They're all made out of tin or some kind of metal—whatever the material is, the plates couldn’t break. That's clever. They were also incredibly light, so there's little strain on the servers' wrists. Me and Chris can relate to that; our forearms and wrists have been through some serious carnage. There's definitely been a few nights after work where we're massaging each other's forearms—carrying three plates in one hand is tough work! Especially if you serve poutine in a cast iron skillet!
After having some beers, and enjoying some quality food, we were now enjoying each other's company in this cozy restaurant. Watching the bartenders hone their craft, double straining their drinks (always a good sign), watching the servers take orders then quickly put them into the computer; it shows the foundation of a greatly run restaurant. The staff worked hard and diligently to make it all appear effortless to anyone watching. Everyone around us was completely engrossed in conversation, catching up with the guys after work or even just having an early family dinner. Even on a Wednesday night, Prohibition Pig was so busy and full of life. And just like how we arrived, as soon as we got up to leave two guys waiting in the back grabbed our seats. Prohibition Pig is number one in our book for when you want expertly smoked meats and a pint or two to go with it. Head on up to Waterbury, VT and grab a table or a seat at the bar—believe us, you'll need to be quick!
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Prohibition Pig Illustration
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