It was PACKED when we arrived at around 1pm on a Saturday, even after all these years of being in business. Good for them! We were looking at roughly an hour wait unless we grabbed a seat at the bar. So we put our name down on the list to be seated, and headed upstairs to the second bar in hopes of scoring a seat a little faster. To our great fortune, a group of four people were getting up from the bar to be seated at their table. When I went to grab a pair of stools for my wife and I, a woman slid over one seat and was claiming the two bar stools in the middle of the four. I asked her politely if she could move over in one direction so that my wife and I could sit, but the loser wouldn’t move.
Four spots open up and she jumped into the center two, by herself, while waiting for her guest, who wasn’t even there yet? That’s just bad social etiquette. She was nasty, too, and had horrible breath. When I explained that there are four available seats and four people who want to sit, she started to argue “but we are getting lunch.” Newsflash: so are we! And she was getting aggressive and loud! So I alerted the manager. He politely asked her and her guest, “Ken,” who had lightly shoved me at one point after his date called me “scary,” to move. They wouldn’t move . The manager kindly sat us right away when they wouldn’t shift, I assume effectively jumping us ahead in the wait line. We ended up with a much better seat anyway, downstairs, with plenty of elbow room.
My wife had one of the $14 cocktails called “Novo Mundo,” made with a Brazilian rum type booze (cachaca), egg white, sugar and lemon.
I had a pair of Naragansett beers, which I like to call Manhattan’s new PBR, because it’s cheap, in a can and because I’ve been enjoying it way before it made it onto the Hipsters’ radar. They always seem take what I like and fuck it up. Whether it is gentleman’s caps, twisty butcher mustaches, vintage graphic t-shirts, bacon, beards or beers. Fucking animals.
We ordered some starters. The pickles were WAY the fuck overpriced, at $6 for what is typically a free amount at a place like Keens. The deviled egg was a little pricey at $4. Both items were tasty. The pickles were bright and tart, and consisted of carrots, gherkins, radish and green beans.
For the entrees, my wife ordered sisig pork. It had some bits of pig ear and other nice things, topped with a runny fried egg. Essentially this is their English “bubble and squeak” dish, but with Filipino spices and herbs like cilantro. It was good, lots of pork meat, but too salty, and a little greasy as well.
The burger I ordered was good, perfectly cooked. The bun was great, durable and grilled. The negatives: the Roquefort cheese was a little overpowering of the burger meat, and it definitely could have used a slice of tomato and some lettuce. I’ve had this burger in the past, about 10 years ago. I think it may have cost around $16 back then. It’s $21 now, but since it comes with “fries” the cost is very fair.
The shoestring potatoes had fried garlic slices and fried rosemary mixed throughout, and tasted and felt, crisp/texture-wise, like the old school potato sticks snacks.
The banoffee dessert was very good – not too sweet; just right. Essentially this English dessert pie is made from bananas, cream and toffee made from boiled sweetened condensed milk.
THE SPOTTED PIG
314 W. 11th St.
New York, NY 10014