Every once in awhile along comes a restaurant that does one thing well.
Put simply, Hog Heaven is the place to go for smoked meat meals. Billing itself as a Louisiana Smokehouse, I can attest that they offer lots of smoked meats – pork, beef brisket, beef cheek, and even turkey drumsticks!
I visited Hog Heaven for a family meal and it certainly caters to a range of tastes. Smoked meat meals, gumbo and even pizza are all on the menu. It didn’t occur to us to book ahead, especially on a week night, and when we arrived at the restaurant there were many “reserved” signs on the tables. Fortunately we were there early so managed to score a table. Hog Heaven is part restaurant, part sports bar and part music venue, and it seems to have struck a responsive chord in Newmarket.
There are lots of starter options to try – including the usual salt and pepper squid ($15), but there are other more unusual offerings such as Seven Layer Taco Dip ($18), Stuffed Jalapeños ($16.50) and Oyster Cakes ($16.50) to try – and share. I love corn bread ($6.50) so ordered a small loaf for the table.
There was nothing for it but to try the smoked meats for our mains. My husband ordered the Two Meats Combo (slightly over our Cheapeats budget at $25) which included 250g each of pulled pork and beef brisket, along with coleslaw and green beans. Our daughter went for the pulled pork Sandwich and Fries combo ($12) while I just had to try the special Smoked Turkey Drumstick ($18.50). There are a few vegetarian options available, such as the Vegetarian Jambalaya ($15).
I also ordered a Bourbon Sour ($12) which was made of bourbon, lemon juice and sugar. Delicious!
The corn bread loaf arrived quickly and piping hot. There were a few specks of jalapeño in the bread, so of course our daughter would not try it! The bread was OK, but I prefer a less sweet version made with more cornmeal.
The meat meals were more successful – and large. If there is one thing that you must bring to Hog Heaven it is an appetite! The pulled pork on both my daughter’s sandwich and as part of my husband’s meal was smokey tasting and tender, but the winner was the beef brisket in the Two Meats Combo. Tender and full of rich beef flavour , it stood up well to the smokiness. This meal could have fed two people and we took home leftovers.
The turkey drumstick was large and tender, but in my opinion the flavour of the meat was overpowered by the smoked flavour. The vegetables served with my meal was “Norlines”, a mix of red potato pieces, corn coblets and green beans served in a special Louisiana style gravy which surprisingly I didn’t find very flavourful.
The meat is definitely the thing at Hog Heaven – they take it very seriously and it is good. I suggest that you visit it with a group of friends, order a Bourbon Sour, and enjoy a relaxing evening of Southern style food and music.