Hog Island BBQ is just a few blocks from my office, and I confess that I've passed it several times without stepping inside to see what it's all about. I had actually wandered over with a hankering for soon dubu chige (spicy tofu soup), but once I smelled the smoke and hickory wafting out of the shop's narrow entryway, it called for a change of plans. (I was also accompanied by my coworker from Alabama, which convinced me that this was a meeting of fates! BBQ Shop, meet my Southern Friend!)
Turns out, the shop is run by a sweet couple of self-identified "food snobs from San Francisco." They brought in and trained a chef from the South, armed with a bona fide South'un smoker and all. My coworker and I were pretty excited.
We both ordered plates of the pulled pork. Each came with two sides, so we decided to get four different ones and share: baked beans, mac and cheese, potatoes, and cole slaw.
In the end, we were full and happy. The pulled pork was tender and smoky. It fell apart easily with a mere nudge of my plastic fork. The plate also came with a plastic cup of BBQ sauce, which was sweet and rich.
We felt the sides were a mixed bag. I was happy with the baked beans because they were tangy and flavorful, but my coworker — who knows much better — said that she's had much better. They carried a pepper bite. The mac and cheese had some impressive number of cheeses inside, but I felt disappointed that they didn't carry more punch. Potatoes were soft and could have benefited from a thicker sauce. Lastly, I enjoyed the coleslaw. (I always find coleslaw so hard to judge — there are just so many types of the salad, doesn't it seem? I'm not sure how it's supposed to taste. The most prominent slaw in my memory is from my elementary school cafeteria, which was either ice berg lettuce and mayonnaise or shredded carrots, raisins, and mayonnaise.) It had green and red cabbage and also a few raisins.
Overall, a fun lunch expedition!