REVIEW: Pignic Continues to Blaze Trails with The Pig Shack Eatery (Subscriber Content)

Masas de Puerco

After setting the bar in community grilling, craft beer and chic cocktails, Pignic Pub & Patio and Revision Brewing Company Taproom will soon debut their permanent kitchen trailer, The Pig Shack Eatery. The gastronomic foci will be on creole and southern soul fare. Dishes will include French omelettes, slow scrambles, burgers, BBQ lunch plates, salads, sandwiches, tacos and build-your-own dishes.

Pignic’s Partnership with Revision Brewing Company

I had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Goldhammer about the opening. In addition to the new eatery, he is also the co-owner-operator at Pignic as well as the co-owner-operator at the Noble Pie Parlors in Midtown and downtown.

Revision Brewing and Pignic partner to create magic. Image: Kaitlin Young.

Revision Brewing came in as an overall partner with Pignic in February 2019. The branded Revision taproom is located upstairs in the main building on Flint Street, and it features Revision-only brews. The bar downstairs offers Revision beers as well as products from various vendors for spirits and cocktails. When Revision partnered with Pignic, the first step was to get the taproom running well and the second step was to begin work on the food plan. The Pig Shack Eatery was the food-arm of the partnership.

Operating The Pig Shack Eatery

Well-trained chefs will cook inside the permanent kitchen trailer. The trailer was custom-made in Portland, OR for The Pig Shack Eatery.

The chefs will also use a pantry kitchen in the basement of the main building and a great many ingredients from the establishment’s edible garden. The chefs will also use the grills and smokers in the grill yard to do prep work.

The Pignic patio and The Pig Shack Eatery
The Pig Shack Eatery seen in the distance from Pignic’s patio. Image: Kaitlin Young.

The Pig Shack will feature breakfast, brunch and lunch served tableside Tuesday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with additional walk-up service available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. A chef’s-choice Sunday Supper Club is also on the horizon.

Collaboration with Gatekeepers

Outside of Tortas Ebenezer on Wells Avenue, Goldhammer advised that The Pig Shack Eatery is likely the only permanent trailer kitchen in all of northern Nevada. Because well-established precedents for operating a trailer kitchen were not available, Goldhammer collaborated with the City of Reno, Mayor Schieve and the Washoe County Health District to usher The Pig Shack Eatery through its infancy.

Many community members will remember the regulatory struggles Pignic faced with the Washoe County Health District in 2017.

The Pig Shack Eatery and edible garden.
The Pig Shack Eatery and edible garden. Image: Kaitlin Young.

Goldhammer described the regulatory process with the county for opening The Pig Shack Eatery when he said, “We actually had a fairly easy time with the county. They were, if anything, actually very helpful. We feel like through everything we went through, our relationship has been pretty solidly repaired. Our relationship with them now is probably better than when we started. I would say before, we didn’t really have a relationship at all, and then we kind of got into a hairy one. Now where we’re at, we do have a relationship because of everything that we’ve been through. I would categorize it as pretty strong and pretty healthy at this point.”

He went on to characterize the relationship that he’s developed with the City of Reno, “I think the biggest struggles we went through were with the City of Reno and how to categorize this thing. Is it mobile? If it’s not mobile, how is it hooked up to utilities? It’s just sort of a really grey area.”

Next, he discussed what a shame it is that places like Los Angeles, Oregon, Texas and Washington have already broken ground with new restaurant models and Reno has been reluctant to join the party.

We concluded this part of our discussion when he said that Chris Pingree, City of Reno Building & Safety Manager, and Mayor Schieve have really opened themselves up to being facilitators that simultaneously maintain public safety while working to help local businessowners advance forward-thinking ideas for our community.

The #4 Lunch Plate Tips Its Hat to Cuba

My wife and I attended the complimentary media preview on August 14th.

I ordered the #4 lunch plate, regularly $12, and a cup of Magpie coffee. My meal included Cuban Fried Pork with Caribamma White BBQ sauce, Cajun dirty rice & red beans, potato cakes, a dinner roll, jalapeño-honey butter and some fresh fruit. If anyone hasn’t sampled Magpie yet, it’s outstanding coffee.

The #4 Lunch Plate
The #4 Lunch Plate. Image: Kaitlin Young.

Goldhammer found the inspiration for this dish while honeymooning in the Caribbean.  He describes the process for cooking the pork here:

“That’s where the Masas de Puerco came in. It is a Cuban dish. It’s a low and slow braise that you do with lard and water. Instead of water, we do our brine. What they typically would use are sour oranges, and we don’t have sour oranges here, but you can easily mimic that with limes and oranges. You basically get a sour orange. We do that; we brine it, and then you take that brine liquid and you add your lard and you start cooking it. You start braising it and all the water and all that brine liquid start to evaporate – that citrus liquid. Then it concentrates the flavors down, and then you’re just left with the lard. Then it continues frying until it’s ready. So, what you get is a very soft, braised but very intensified flavor. It’s a one-pot meal; something they would normally do in a big clay pot. It’s got coriander, cumin, cinnamon, dried oregano, we make our own Cajun seasoning blend, bay leaves and red pepper flake. A little spice, a little sweetness and a whole lot of awesome. It’s a really cool process.”

Cajun dirty rice & red beans
Cajun dirty rice & red beans. Image: Kaitlin Young.

Achieving this level of awesome requires a 24-hour brine-period followed by a one-hour braise and a short fry period. The Caribamma White refers to a riff on an Alabama White BBQ sauce that features a white wine gastrique, liquid smoke, orange, lime, fresh cilantro and blackening seasoning. The name marries Alabama with the Caribbean.

I loved everything about this plate. The pork was tender, fatty and distinctly seasoned. The Caribamma White BBQ was delicious. The rice, beans and latke-esque potato cakes all carried their weight. Even the dinner roll, house-made butter, fresh grapes, cantaloupe and grapefruit contributed to the experience. The menu designers and chefs really achieved something impressive by paying homage to the dish’s cultural roots while riffing here and there to create something just as engaging as it is comforting.

Chicken Mac & Cheese That’s Sure to Please

My wife ordered the Chicken Mac & Cheese, If You Please! Chicken Mac & Cheese, If You Don’t Please, regularly $15, and the Blanco Americano cocktail, regularly $9. The cocktail featured Chareau Aloe Liqueur, Giro Extra Seco Vermouth, soda, orange twist and mint served over. Master beverage slinger and co-owner-operator of Pignic and Noble Pie, Trevor Leppek, schooled us on European Americanos, the origins of the alcohols in the cocktail and the philosophy behind a drink-more-than-one cocktail. The drink was beautiful, tasty and we were grateful to sponge up a fraction of Leppek’s tutelage.

Chicken Mac & Cheese, If You Please! Chicken Mac & Cheese, If You Don’t Please. Image: Kaitlin Young

The name for the longwinded mac and cheese dish alludes to the film, Lady and the Tramp. The dish is available in the style of a French omelette or in the style of a slow, southern scramble. Goldhammer noted that both methods are easy on the proteins in the eggs. The composite parts of the dish include slow BBQ chicken thigh, green chili mac, pepper jack, fine bird butter, potato cakes, toast and fresh fruit.

Chicken Mac & Cheese
Comfort dialed to 10. Image: Kaitlin Young.

Eggs and macaroni and cheese are an unstoppable duo. The tender, fatty chicken and splash of hot sauce easily elevate this dish from side to entrée. Leeks, onions, eggs and matzo-meal flavor and bind the potato cakes. The cakes were rich with butter and expertly cooked to create a crisp exterior and tender interior. The toast was thin and crisp. The fruit was ripe and delicious.

Our meals were served on metal trays that pay homage to the eatery’s southern roots. Everything about our experience, from the gorgeous patio to the attentive service to the well-crafted food and drinks, was a testament to what careful planning and a resolute outlook can do for a restaurant and a community.

The Pig Shack Eatery’s Details

Visit The Pig Shack Eatery, Pignic Pub & Patio and the Revision Brewing Taproom at 235 Flint Street, Reno, NV 89501. The Pig Shack Eatery offers breakfast, brunch and lunch served tableside Tuesday through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with additional walk-up service available Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The Pig Shack Eatery opens to the public on Saturday, August 24th with the grand opening scheduled for Saturday, September 7th. Call the establishment at 775-376-1948.

Kyle Young
About Kyle Young 77 Articles
Kyle Young is a local freelance writer. He offers content writing, blog posts, copywriting, and editing services. His current writing foci are food, cooking, and the oddities native to Reno, Sparks, and Tahoe. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in English writing. He gained some food chops while working as a dishwasher, line-cook, and food-truck operator. He learned quality control, imports/exports, and logistics at a local spice and seasoning manufacturer. When not hustling as a writer, he plays Scrabble, cooks, wrangles three pups, and attends live music/comedy with his wife.