by Spenser Garber
Walking down the street of Alcaniz in downtown Pensacola, I stumbled upon a little BBQ restaurant called the Happy Pig Café. Upon first glance, it looked like a place to enjoy a slow-cooked pulled pork sandwich and some sweet tea, but I was wrong.
I walked into the Happy Pig Café, located on the corner of Alcaniz and Intendencia, at noon on a Sunday. I was back out of the door by 12:15.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was a confusing one. It had a southern feel, but was playing a wide variety of music, none of which was country. It’s good that there was some music playing, because there were very few people there.
All over the walls was pig-themed décor. I can’t remember one thing that didn’t have to do with pigs. For a restaurant that prides itself on a pig theme, they sure don’t know how to cook it.
I sat down and ordered a pulled pork sandwich with macaroni and cheese. The sandwich came back out to me in about 5 minutes. For a good sandwich to be made, it has to take longer to make than 5 minutes. The pork came out dry and had no flavor unless it was drenched in BBQ sauce.
They had 3 sauce choices. One, a mayonnaise-based sauce, had a little bit of kick but tasted terrible. There was a traditional BBQ sauce, one you could find at any BBQ restaurant. The last sauce was something akin to a watery ketchup.
After tasting the pork, I was really hoping the macaroni and cheese would be a nice relief. It wasn’t. It had a weird resistance to it, as if it had just been put in a microwave and then put on my plate. Its taste was similar to Kraft, maybe even worse.
Overall, I’d have to give this restaurant a big “NO.” Its location, atmosphere, and quality were below anything worth the time.