I almost drove right by the restaurant at 1700 South and Main, thinking that the sign on the side of the building was a promotion. But it was over a separate door, so I stopped to investigate. This wasn’t part of the adjacent bar, but its own restaurant: Pig Out BBQ, opened by Tokomea (“Toko”) and Eileen Mafua one year ago.
Toko Mafua was a roofer until 1995, when he sustained an injury that put him in the hospital. Upon returning home, he found that his sons had shut down the family roofing business, knowing this was the only way to keep him safe going forward. Following their passion for food, they went mobile and operated food trucks and trailers. In May 2013, they realized their dream of a permanent location for their barbecue.
The name “Pig Out” isn’t just eating instructions, and the menu—barbecue and otherwise—certainly isn’t limited to pork: There are rotisserie barbecue plates with Vilo Vilo chicken & ribs; Southern-style barbecue with pulled pork and smoked beef brisket; American Indian fry bread; and, drawing on Mafua’s Tongan roots, island grilled plates with marinated chicken and beef. Sides include macaroni salad, barbecue beans, cole slaw, rice and corn bread.
It’s easy to think that all pulled pork is the same, but that’s not the case. Here, it was so tender that it almost dissolved in my mouth. The thick-cut beef brisket was beautiful and tender, with an attractive smoke ring. The marinated grilled chicken from the island plates had a perfect crispy exterior, and a delicious, moist interior.
Their signature sauce is the aptly named Pig Out barbecue sauce, which you can slather on anything. It’s thick, delicious and has quite a zip to it—not necessarily spicy, but enough to grab your attention.
Pig Out BBQ may be easily missed as you drive by, but once you go, you won’t forget it.
PIG OUT BBQ
1702 S. Main