Don’t tell my husband, but I’m in love with award-winning pit-master Bryan Tyrell, co-owner of the latest Boynton Beach dining destination, Pig Sty. It began as a little gastonomical flirtation when he opened Smoke in Delray Beach, but the food at Pig Sty has me smitten. His way around a rack of ribs and a brisket just makes my heart flutter.
Pig Sty specializes in Kansas City-style BBQ, which is appropriate since Bryan served as the Pitmaster at famed Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formerly Oklahoma Joe's) in Kansas City, Missouri, which was named Best BBQ restaurant in the World by Zagat in 2000 and was a member of Slaughterhouse Five, the competitive BBQ team that won the 1993 and 1995 American Royal, considered the world championship of BBQ.
"Good barbecue is a feeling; it's a touch, a feel, a taste, and understanding that has been earned from years of experience,” Tyrell said. “At Pig-Sty, all of our meats are smoked in-house and we slice 200 pounds of meat a day. We keep the natural juices and flavor in the meat by smoking it low and slow, infusing the flavor within the meat.”
Inside the place is all reclaimed lumber and comfy booths. There’s a play area for kids and a stage for live music (a Grateful Dead jam band on the night of our visit). It’s not glitzy or glam, and it doesn’t need to be, because the food is the star. Is it worth a drive from Fort Lauderdale or Wilton Manors? If you like good ‘cue it is! It’s just one stop light west of 95 and it only took us half an hour to get home.
Although the restaurant serves specialty sandwiches; I prefer to order the meat by the pound along with racks of ribs, along with a couple of sides for a shareable feast. At Pig Sty you order from the counter and either bring a metal baking tray laden with food to your table, or a server brings it over while you make a selection for the array of draft beers or pour your own sodas.
Pork and beef ribs are available, along with chili, soup and chicken wings. Other choices include brisket, pulled pork, turkey, smoked ham, sausage, house smoked salmon and smoked chicken. You won’t go wrong with any of them, but the turkey, brisket and pork spare ribs are my faves. The turkey manages to remain juicy and doesn’t need a whole lot of the delicious sauce. The same can be said for the tender ribs, which offer just enough pull to make getting your hands and face greasy worth it. The brisket is lean and moist, and if you time your visit right on Fridays, you can even get it pastrami style. If you like burnt ends, plan on getting there before 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I also want to stop back and sample Big Al’s Frito Pie; a pile of chips covered with your choice of meat with cheese, roadhouse beans house smoked jalapeños and southern slaw, but I think I’ll need a little herbal preparation for that delicious-sounding munchie!
Sides are all made in-house and include hand-cut, made-to-order fries, phenomenal onion rings, slaw, loaded potato salad, smoked whole sweet potatoes, red beans and rice, cheesy mac with a crumb topping, roadhouse beans and collard greens. Sides are $3 for a small serving, $5 for medium and $9 for large. Spring for the large and bring the leftovers home –they’re that good.
It will be hard to control yourself, but do save room for dessert. An order of freshly made glazed mini-doughnuts, 6 for $3, $5 for 12, is worth every calorie. As good as they are they pale in comparison to the gooey butter cake. Other dessert options, all phenomenal, include: chocolate cookie or banana pudding and sweet potato pie.
The best thing? All this delicious goodness comes at a reasonable price! Sandwiches average about $7.50 for a mound of meat on a fluffy bun, or $9 for a fancy combo. Meats are $17 by the pound, and are available in half pound portions. Ribs are $24 for a full rack, it’s $9 for a half chicken, $7.50 for a quarter of a bird. While a vegetarian could easily make a meal from the sides, there’s also a smoked Portobello sandwich and a chopped vegetable salad. Desserts range from $2.50 to $5.
Breakfast sandwiches, $4.50-$6, are served from 7-10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Brunch is served from 10-3 on weekends, offering such treats as brisket hash, biscuits and gravy and Belgian waffles. Daily specials are served, beginning at 5 p.m. Monday it’s smoked chicken and a side for $9, Wednesday offers a meat double combo with a side for $12 and Sunday’s family platter is $12 a person and features ribs, chicken, pulled pork and two sides.
706 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach
If you’re too lazy to drive up for the Pig Sty experience, you can order from Delivery Dudes, or check out these places closer to home.
3351 NE 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale
1025 N. Federal, Fort Lauderdale
4495 N. Dixie, Oakland Park
500 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park