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Dining Out

The Noble Pig (Austin, Texas)

by Michael Chu
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Regular readers of my blog on Orthogonal Thought will know that I love The Noble Pig's sandwiches. What I haven't mentioned before are the dinners that occur only once a month. These dinners are delightful arrangements of local flavors and fresh vegetables prepared with a deftness that reveals that The Noble Pig is no mere sandwich shop.

John Bates and Brandon Martinez have pretty impressive credentials. John came from acclaimed Austin restaurants Asti and Wink while Brandon has cooked in San Francisco's La Folie and Acquerello (Michelin-starred Italian restaurant) before coming to Austin and learning sausage-making and charcuterie while at Whole Foods. Where they came from means nothing if they can't cook - and, thankfully, that is not a problem. The bread (baked fresh every morning) and amazing pork belly and duck pastrami make incredible BLT's and pastrami sandwiches which are both strongly flavored yet subtly nuanced. Their best sandwich, however, is the catfish creole where the fish is cooked just so to a succulent tenderness that I have not experienced before and paired with a perfect tomato tartar sauce. Making a sandwich is not difficult - it's one of the first things I remember ever making to eat - but, making one that is perfectly balanced (from bread to sauce to filling to complement to bread), is very difficult to master. They have definitely mastered it (and that's why I'm willing to drive 45 minutes north to eat a sandwich whenever one of my friends says they are thinking of trying The Noble Pig).

Once a month (so far the first Saturday of each month), John and Brandon flex their fine dining muscles and their sandwich making skills translate perfectly into the most incredible dishes of savory meats (and vegetables in the case of April's dinner) paired skillfully with acids and textural differences. Tasting their dinners makes it easy to see how their sandwiches are just so good. Or maybe it's because they are such great sandwich makers than their dinners are constructed so well.

The Noble Pig
11815 620 N. Suite 4
Austin, TX 78750
(512) 382-6248

March 5th

Bourbon Braised Pork Jowl with Brussel-Fuji Apple Slaw and Reduction

Yellowtail Hamachi with Carrots, Carrot Puree and Green Chili Oil

Lamb Meoguez and Milk Poached Loin with Potato Stuffed Cabbage and Dried Chili Cream

Hazelnut Meringues with Five Spice Chocolate Mousse, Orange Sauce and Espresso Cream

April 2nd

Easter Egg Radish and Butter

Local Arugula Salad with Lime Pickles, Toasted Giant Corn and Green Olive Puree

Potato "Cannelloni" with Ramps, Crispy Shiitake and Caramelized Soubise

Green Garlic Risotto with Flat Leaf Parsley Chip and Garlip Chips

Poteet Strawberry Cake with Ricotta Gelato, Aged Balsamic and Sugar Cured Lemons

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on April 09, 2011 at 04:34 PM
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