Blinky Pig

Posting “Cornbread” made me hungry, so here’s a follow-up:

There are right many barbecue restaurants in this area. 12 Bones is probably one of the top spots, and deservedly so. The food is good, the location groovy, and the parking/length of time waiting in line for lunch after parking a hike away on the river bank, is terrible–must mean they’re doing something right!

But that’s not my topic–I’m thinking Blinky Pig today. It’s real name is Barbecue Inn, and it’s been a fixture in West Asheville my whole life (it was there long before I was). There used to be a covered wagon out front—sort of a compact Conestoga that was too small for the whole family, but perfect for a starter-wagon—to clue you in that this was a barbecue joint. Best of all, the Barbecue Inn sign featured a funky red pig face that used to be outlined in blinking bulbs–hence the nickname “Blinky Pig”, which is how we identify it in my office. “What’s for lunch?” “Hmm…I was thinking maybe Blinky Pig. You?”

The interior is just as pointedly porcine as the nickname suggests; every surface is covered with a pig collectable of some variety. There are plastic pigs, pine pigs, porcelain pigs, piggy banks–you name it, if it’s pig-related, it’s in there somewhere. My office mates and I usually end up sitting under a pig-themed something  that looks like a wall-mounted paper towel holder…with a series of what might be pig-shaped napkin rings hanging from it. We’ve never asked the staff what it really is; we’re just happy to eat next to it.

Speaking of eating, we don’t usually order barbecue, even though it’s really good. It’s hard to get past the Brunswick stew, which is warm and comforting and served with slaw and hush puppies. The “Little Squeal” is another favorite: Blinky Pig pit-cooked barbecue on a hotdog bun (smaller than the standard whopping portion of chopped pork on a bun or plate; perfect for ladies who lunch).

I think I’ll save everything else I could write about Blinky Pig for another post–I haven’t even covered Piggy Petals and the teeny little golf pencils you use to mark your order form–but I’m too hungry to do it justice. Gotta’ get me some Blinky Pig (1341 Patton Avenue) soon!

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