The Boston Phoenix
May 27 - June 3, 1999

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The Squealing Pig

Deliverance (from sterile food)

by Melinda and John Buntin

ON THE CHEAP
The Squealing Pig is a true Boston amalgam: an Irish bar with the menu and gleaming open kitchen of a trendy restaurant. In an area where art students and MDs alike are forced to subsist largely on cafeteria food, its gourmet bar menu is the perfect antidote to Longwood Avenue's antiseptic atmosphere. Sandwiches are the highlight. The pressed bacon and blue cheese sandwich ($5.95) and the pressed sharp cheddar and tomato sandwich ($5.95) are the apotheosis of that familiar comfort food, the grilled cheese. More-adventuresome eaters should try the fried oyster sandwich, an impressive pile of oysters served with spinach slaw and a tangy tartar sauce ($6.95), or the mysterious quesadilla ($4.95), the precise contents of which are always a surprise. The oversized sandwiches all include a serving of new-potato salad (which is enlivened by carrots, spinach, and an assertive whole-grain mustard dressing). Or you can drop an extra dollar for a heap of crispy brown fries.

"The Pig" has Guinness and Harp on tap, of course, and a decent selection of English beers as well. And despite its gourmet aspirations, you'd never mistake the laconic Irish waitresses for overly friendly modern "servers." They take your order and promptly disappear (back to the Auld Sod for that beer?). Then again, it's the Pig's undeniable quirks that give it much of its charm.

The Squealing Pig, located at 134 Smith Street (off Huntington Avenue), in Boston, is open daily from 10 a.m. to midnight. Call (617) 566-6651.


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