Off the high of taking down corporations with the power of dance, my friend Sean and I headed over to the newly opened Hog & Hominy. (Get it? Get the title? Get it? Punny.) On the west side of the Brookhaven Circle, chefs Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer opened up their second restaurant, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Here’s how the chefs describe Hog & Hominy.
What happens when you combine a brick oven, family meals & bocce courts with southern cookin’, a lively bar & a love of pork?
Hog & Hominy, that’s what happens.
I am so glad I didn’t wait too long to try it. Sean and I decided to split a pizza and a plate. The menu is split into three main sections: Plates, Pizza and Farmers.
The plates are meat or cheese based appetizers that are meant to be ordered with a farmer or a pizza. The pizzas are 12-inch brick oven-fired pizzas. The Farmers are vegetable or starchy sides.
Sean and I opted for the Calabrese from the plates menu and the Boom Baba from the pizza menu. The Calabrese came to us with a sausage topped with red onion sofrito on a bun – essentially a gourmet hot dog, but it was delicious. The sausage was nice and spicy with a perfect texture. The sofrito on top complemented the sausage so well – I only wish there had been a little more of it.
The Boom Baba pizza was topped with fig, lardo, fennel, prosciutto, balsamic reduction, and talegio cheese. After a couple of bites, I kept murmuring to myself – “Good job, guys.” And Sean said it was a “flavor explosion.” Everything on that pie was balanced. The sweet fig balanced the tangy, sweet balsalmic, which balanced the salty and fatty prosciutto and lardo. And then, let’s talk crust – can we all agree that a crust can make or break the pizza experience? Well Andrew and Michael know how to do it right. The edges were light, yet chewy, and the center was perfectly thin. Then, when you add cooking in a brick oven? Shut up. It’s perfection.
The whole restaurant is set up to just hang out and have a good time. I love how the menu is the perfect combination of high-end foods but delivered in a casual, fun environment. We sat down in yellow and metal chairs, drank water out of upcycled wine glasses, and had a view into each kitchen. While I didn’t venture outside, there is a patio and the city’s first bocce court at a bar. Sounds like a good time to me – now I need to learn to play bocce.
Congrats, Andy and Michael. Hog & Hominy is going to be a favorite in East Memphis for sure.