When I returned from running the Peachtree Road Race on Friday, my wife suggested that we go to dinner at Woodfire Grill that night. Perhaps she was hoping to catch me off-guard and mentally woozy you know, more so than usual to coax me into taking the family to her favorite restaurant. She made a compelling case, however, because that night Woodfire offered a three-course, $29 price fixe Pig Roast, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Save the Hooch fund. The menu also featured "all you can drink" (with $2 suggested donation) glasses of Sweetwater Brewery's India Pale Ale and Hummer, a summer Belgian white ale with hints of orange and coriander in the flavor. The phrases "all you can drink beer" and "pig roast" worked their magic on me, so I suggested we go for it.
It seems like a great new tradition for July 4. Woodfire's elegant approach to Southern cooking provided, as usual, for a delicious meal. The entrées included a salad of arugula and luscious heirloom tomatoes, along with cornbread croutons that would make an addictive bar snack; a slow-roasted Berkshire hog from Gum Creek Farm in spicy (but not overpowering) barbecue sauce, served with grits and succotash; and blueberry and peach crisp with vanilla ice cream. It's possible that I've never tasted better off-the-bone BBQ pork before, certainly none so lean and tender, and the vinegary sauce didn't overwhelm the flavor of the meat. The pork didn't come in the kind of huge portion that would buckle a paper plate at a backyard barbecue, but was ample to whet my appetite. I probably shouldn't each too much pork, anyway.
Part of what made our Independence Day visit to Woodfire a special occasion was that my wife and I brought our five-and-a-half year-old daughter with us. She likes princesses and books like Fancy Nancy, and we knew that she'd be excited at the chance to go to a nice restaurant, although we refrained from wearing neckties or other formal wear it was a pig roast, after all. We pointed out the wood-fired ovens and the cheese cave to her, and Woodfire proved quite accommodating to her, plating half-sized portions of the entrées for her, putting the sauces on the side (and cutting the price in half as well).
If they do it again next year, we'll be the first to show up.
(Image courtesy of Sweetwater Brewing Company)
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