Restaurant Review: Restaurant Review
As the name suggests, the menu is centered on all things swiney
Reviewed by Rachel Feit, Fri., Dec. 10, 2010
Mon.-Thu., 10am-8pm; Fri., 10am-9pm; Sat.-Sun., 8am-8pm
Noble Pig Sandwiches11815 FM 620 N. #4, 382-6248
Monday-Thursday, 6am-3pm; Friday-Sunday, 6am-5pm
On a blustery Saturday in November, I packed my family into the car and headed north in search of a recently opened sandwich shop called Noble Pig. By the time we emerged from a frustratingly sticky traffic snarl emanating from Lakeline Mall and made several U-turns in search of the tiny cafe, we pulled up to the storefront feeling annoyed and famished. Central Austinites beware: Noble Pig is a fair jaunt from home. But for residents of Cedar Park and North Austin, I have these words to say: lucky you.
Noble Pig is one of those rare eateries with complete integrity. Everything here is not only made from scratch but made with love. Owners John Bates (formerly of Wink and Asti) and Brandon Martinez (formerly of Whole Foods) fled the fine-dining scene to start their own venture selling artisanal sandwiches and charcuterie. "We wanted to take a tired concept, the deli, and breathe new life into it," says Bates. Toward that end, Bates and Martinez bake their own bread, cure their own meats, and make all their own condiments, slaws, and sides.
As the name suggests, the menu is centered on all things swiney – pork belly, pork sausage, bacon, and pulled pork. These are the cornerstones of Noble Pig's repertoire. The Noble Pig sandwich ($8), crafted with house-made ham, bacon, pulled pork, and melted provolone on toasted bread, is not to miss. I devoured my Sando ($7), a daily special sandwich made of crisp, salty pork belly, chipotle aioli, fried egg, and tomatoes. But don't shy away from pigless outliers such as the house-cured duck pastrami ($8) or the Cajun-spiced catfish with tomato tartar sauce ($8) because these too are exceptionally tasty.
This quaint blue-and-white-checked cafe is open for breakfast and lunch only. The menu is manageable and doesn't overreach. As business owners, Bates and Martinez are taking baby steps for now, but it's clear their footing is solid.