Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two visits with a Pig

Pig Decor

A couple of months ago when Daniel was graduating and getting a haircut at Liberty Barbershop we decided to lunch at Pig BBQ Joint as both located in the Atrium building on Blanshard between Yates and Johnson.
I fell in love with pig over a buffalo and blue cheese schnitzel slider they served at the 2011 Culinaire Event but Bernard has always been less of a fan, though not a hater, as you can see by his initial review of the place.  On this particular Saturday they had a full size variant of the schnitzel slider on which is what I had and I continued my love of Pig.  Bernard on the other hand continued his rather rocky relationship when he opted to try their Brisket Burrito.  The meat itself was, as it always seems to be at Pig, quite tasty.  However, the rice that accompanied it in the wrap was not stellar at all.

Now, Bernard tends to be more critical than I when it comes to dining out, and also more willing to say something about it.  This has created some stress in our dining experiences both because I am a bit uncomfortable with bringing it up and because it often becomes a minor confrontation that doesn't end well - at least for me.  In his defense, Bernard does have legitimate complaints, and that overcooked, mealy, gluey rice in the burrito was no exception, but his complaints are often met with some level of hostility or apathy that is upsetting and really not ideal customer service.

Why am I writing about this now, over a month later?  Why am I on about reactions to complaints? To answer the second question first - because we experienced a very different response to Bernard's complaint that day. He debated even saying anything not wanting to be brushed off or to argued with about the crappy rice.  Finally, he did go and talk to the woman at the till.  He returned impressed, and a bit surprised, they had not only accepted the validity of his complaint and offered him a different meal but when he turned down a replacement they gave him two $5 gift cards.  He was very happy, not just with their honest concern about the food but that they actually offered him something to compensate him.

I was happily finishing my schnitzel burger, relieved that no uncomfortable scene unfolded, when I noticed one of the staff erasing something form the inside menu board, and then proceed to the outside one.  With some amazement - and much delight - we realized they had removed the offending food from the list.  Hoorah!  We thanked the staff member for their very good response to Bernard's concern and applauded their great customer service.  The staff member was a bit confused that we would be so excited - after all she said - that rice wasn't right and we wouldn't want anymore people getting poor food.  What a delight it was to see that attitude.

Now we go back to the first question about why I am writing this so long after the fact - and for that matter - what's up with the title?  Tonight we were dropping Stephen off for a pizza making course at Cook Culture that his grandparents gave him for his birthday and decided to make use of our gift cards to Pig.  What was our experience this time?  Sadly, no schnitzel sandwich for me - but I enjoyed their basic pulled pork sandwich and Stephen devoured his absolutely smothered Chili Cheese Dog.

The Chili-Cheese Dog
The crowning moment though was Bernard's dinner.  After all it was his dubious lunch that had got us the gift cards so would our return visit redeem the Pig?  Bernard ordered a special again, this time the honey garlic chicken wings.  I noticed he worked his way through them quite quickly and with no complaint, so I knew they were okay, but the final word came a bit after dinner on the ride home when he told me they were the best wings he had ever had.  A tasty but not overpowering sauce, very crispy skin and juicy, succulent meat.  On a bit of a butcher's side not they looked like legs rather than wings - but they definitely came from a chicken and weren't the fingers either.
Honey Garlic Wings

A happy ending for this tale of two Pig visits and kudos for the good business and food practices that turned a rocky visit into a triumphant return trip.

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