There’s still time to go hog wild on a road trip across Pennsylvania.
Hit the Pork BBQ Trail of PA for the Big Pig Out, a self-guided tour of the state’s 21 finest barbecue joints, including two spots in the Pittsburgh region.
Through Sept. 30, visit any of the 21 participating locations to obtain a passport (or download a printable version), chow down and get a stamp. If you collect four or more stamps on a single passport, mail that sauce-stained document to the PA Pork Producers Council by Oct. 15 to be eligible for prizes.
For many Pittsburghers taking part in this swine-and-dine excursion, the first stop will be Big Rig’s BBQ located at 226 Center Road in Monroeville. Josh and Susan Toney opened the place in October 2019 and their smoker, which runs on hickory, cherry and apple woods, has been busy ever since.
Chef Eric Delliquadri is dishing out smoked meats, sides and sandwiches seasoned with house-made dry rubs and sauces.
Big Pig Out players can get items such as sliced pork belly, kielbasa, pulled pork shoulder, baby back ribs and glazed pork belly burnt ends. Or try The Twisted Pig sandwich with pineapple kielbasa, pulled pork, chipotle pineapple BBQ sauce and jalapeno mustard slaw on a toasted roll.
You can also get your oink on at Pig and Fire House of Barbeque in Washington, Pa.
At the height of the pandemic, owners Matt and Susanne Sager transformed Palazzo 1837 Ristorante — the fine dining restaurant they’d been running on the site at 1445 Washington Road for a decade — into a BBQ joint located. Customers squealed with approval.
“During one of our takeout-only weekends in May we decided to do a pop-up BBQ menu (because who doesn’t love comfort food?) and we sold out,” Susanne Sager says. “We sold out again the next day and so on. When Governor Wolf gave us the green light to open in June 2020, we were now Pig and Fire House of Barbeque. It was that quick.”
The couple has already stamped more than 200 passports. Diners are coming in for the pit-fired pulled pork BBQ sandwich and the Pig and Fire Poutine, which includes Amish cheese curds, pulled baby back ribs, homemade gravy and seasoned curly fries.
Road hogs who visit these two places in the Pittsburgh region will be halfway to earning a Big Pig Out T-shirt, so they can represent the state — which ranks 13th in the country for pork production and boasts more than 2,750 pig farms. Other prizes include a variety of barbecue sauces, grill accessories and tools, and a Traeger Grill of your choice.