The first thing you notice about Hog & Rocks is that it is POPPING. This place is packed with all manner of Missionites and visiting interlopers, and even on a brisk 64 degree evening (no wind chill), all the patio seats were taken.
The second thing you notice is the bourbon specials on the wall, advertising rare barrel-aged and small-batch options. Good sign.
The third is the menu, with a focus on namesake pig parts, oysters ("rocks", get it?), and fancy fried foods. We like fried. We like fancy. Sign us up.
So does Hog & Rocks come through on its promises? The scene is definitely a strong point — the atmosphere buzzes, and you feel like you're having fun by osmosis. The bourbon is excellent — best by itself, but wonderful in old-fashioneds and the like, if you get a good bartender. The food...eh. Can't win 'em all.
On a recent visit, the oysters were killer, but everything else had a tragic flaw. Especially the $17 foie gras burger add-on. Its flaw was it was tiny. Like three bites tiny. It's hard to wash the feeling of getting completely hosed on price out of your mouth, but if you're going to try, we recommend single-barrel bourbon.
Will we be back to Hog & Rocks, despite food problems? Probably. It's too much fun to hang out at the bar for two hours with good friends, knocking back Four Roses poured over giant luxury ice cubes. But this would be a way better restaurant if they improved on execution.
The gold standard in this field is Benton's Country Ham,which is superior to most of its schmancier European counterparts (looking at you, iberico). Unfortunately this is not the Gold, Silver, or Bronze standard. It's probably something like the Zinc or Cobalt standard. Periodic table zing!
Awesome. Particularly enjoyed the Beausoleils, which remind us of the beautiful sunshine we get to see every day, unlike people living in BOSTON or NEW YORK. Am I right? East Coast zing!
Chewy and sadly not that far above ballpark level. We love pimento cheese, but this is not that strong an example.
One question: where's the trotter? Give us more of that pig foot flavor.
SO GOOD, except for the fact that (the foie version) is $34 and half of that was a complete waste. By itself, though, this is one of the best burgers we've had in a long time. We know we shouldn't have gone for the sucker foie gras upgrade, but c'mon, we hadn't had legal goose in a while.