Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lunch Review! The Skinny Pig

If you're looking for a busy man in Cincinnati, I'm not sure if you can get much busier than Josh Campbell. Relatively fresh off the opening of his amazingly convenient, craft beer-carrying Mayberry Foodstuffs, he decided to open yet another eatery. Where he finds the time and energy for all of this is beyond me. It just opened on Monday and when folks were looking for recommendations for lunch, I suggested Skinny Pig.

The Skinny Pig is located in a "you wouldn't know it was there if you weren't looking for it" storefront on Woodburn Avenue by Desales Corner. It's always good to see new restaurants open in Walnut Hills; god knows it needs to redevelopment.

The Skinny Pig goes in a completely different direction than Mayberry , Campbell's downtown spot. Rather than delicious, yet food coma-inducing giant burgers, tater tot casserole, and grilled cheeses, the Skinny Pig serves two things: blue corn flatbreads and salads. Certainly a lighter (and theoretically healthier) fare than that at Mayberry. The restaurant space is filled with a handful of high top tables, with a restroom and the kitchen in the back . The interior was relatively sparse when it came to decoration. Not sure if that is a byproduct of the recent opening or just a minimalist touch. The stain glassed windows in the front are beautiful, though.

Unlike Mayberry, orders are taken at the table. The flatbread options include those topped with turkey, pork tenderloin, chicken, garlic beef, and two vegetarian variations. Each of these dishes are themed differently, with assorted vegetables, cheeses, and sauces involved. I settled on the garlic beef flatbread, which also came topped with  horseradish, asparagus, goat cheese, and a tomato chutney. The pork loin and the chicken flat breads were also ordered at my table.

Though you can't tell from my picture, these flatbreads are beautifully prepared. They don't skimp on the toppings, either. So: what is blue corn flatbread like? It almost reminds me of a whole grain cracker. It was crisp around the edges and pliable where the juices from the toppings had soaked in. The asparagus was crisp and tasted fresh, the beef was pretty tender, and the goat cheese was abundant. My only complaint is that I didn't taste any horseradish at all. More (or some) would have been nice to cut the sweetness of the tomato chutney a bit. Overall, a good showing.

The adobo pork tenderloin was a bit hit with one of my coworkers, so I would love to try that the next time I'm there. Either that or one of their salad offerings (which you can add as a side portion).

Will I be back? You bet. It's close to where I live and temporarily work, so that is definitely a plus. The food tastes fresh and seems healthy. I certainly wasn't faced with the after lunch drowsiness I get with a lot of places. It's open for dinner, too, which is definitely cool. At right about $10 for the meal and a drink, it is reasonable priced.

I have to say: if he keeps it up, Josh Campbell is going to be running this city before we all even notice. He continues to pump out new, creative ideas and they keep being successes. Can't argue with outcomes. Also, kudos to him for taking a risk and opening a place outside of downtown. DeSales Corner has a lot of promise; hopefully this is just the beginning of development there. In other words, get your butts over there and give him some business.

The Skinny Pig on Urbanspoon

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