10 May 2012

Lost City: Asheville Edition: Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

When I'm down south, I look for barbeque. Recently, I was in Asheville, North Carolina. I was told that Asheville was not a big barbeque town. Nonetheless, I looked for barbeque. I had heard of an old roadside place called Little Pigs—a name that is hard to resist. So I asked after it. I was warned off it, told it wasn't very good.

But I've got a hard head, so I went anyway. Little Pigs was founded in Asheville by Joseph Carr Swicegood Sr. in April 1963. In January 1986, he hired Bob Conner, a former district manager for Burger King, as the general manager. Conner still runs it. According to the website, he embraces "the philosophy that Little Pigs must maintain a clean and comfortable environment with great food and superior customer service. Little Pigs offers personal service and we recognize our regulars on a first name basis."

Lot of stuff on the site about cleanliness and customer service and value for your dollar. Which is great. But I go to barbeque places for the barbeque. And, while I love the Little Pigs sign and the building and general ambiance of the place, the barbeque was disappointing. Perhaps the most lackluster bbq I've had in the south, with next to no flavor. It tasted of "I don't care." The beans were a little better, and the hush puppies were good. But those are side attractions. I hope Little Pigs remains in business. The potential there is huge. But I also hope they start putting some effort into their product.


Tim D. said...

I've only been to Asheville once, but 12 bones bbq was very good. Worth a stop if you are still in town.

Laney said...

I grew up in Asheville. I remember passing this place on my way to the local Planned Parenthood when I was in high school. It was back before cell phones and digital photos, but each time I passed this place, cop cars decorated the parking lot (even my adolescent self recognized the truest form of irony). I could have paged you with a photo opp.
This place merely represents a moment in time...when things were newer, younger, naive, and maybe arteries less congested. Hey, it *is* across from the hospital...there are some good cardiologists in town.