Food Porn: The Whole Hog

I found out about The Whole Hog only a couple days ago, so I didn’t have enough time to get myself too excited.  Since Lloyd proved that Food Trucks in Buffalo could work, I’ve been wondering what other Buffalo-ians would try to do.  There are so many types of cuisine that can work in a “Food Truck form”; all it takes is watching “The Great Food Truck Race” to make a foodie drool over what ‘could be’ in our city.  The Whole Hog are doing something a little different then the other 2 food trucks in Buffalo, going out of their way to offer a menu composed of all local ingredients.  But this does mean their prices are slightly higher then what’s expected for a food truck.  Were not talking about anything horrible but $7 for a BBQ Sandwich and $5 for French Fries could potentially be a hard sell for the locals.  We managed to try both of them this weekend while they were parked at Holly Farms (before they got shut down, more on that later) and liked what we saw and tasted.  Here’s what we thought….
Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Food Truck
  • Cuisine: BBQ/Southern
  • Prices: Sandwich $7, Fries/Beans $5

Alli and I had wanted to try The Whole Hog on their first day, Friday, but when we walked by a bit before midnight we saw they had closed up.  The early reports were they ran out of food but when we visited Saturday we over heard they were shut down by the Buffalo Police.  I didn’t talk to the owner myself but as she talked to the female police officer I heard them discussing permits and other legal stuff that I don’t understand.  Since there was an issue of “selling food” my friend Danny and I gave “donations” for our food.  We were the first people in line and since the menu is currently only made up of 4 items, they had some orders already prepared and we got our food with in seconds.  I took my BBQ Sandwich and French Fries back to my house to sit down and eat.

When Buffalo.com talked about how messy this sandwich was, they weren’t kidding.  Not only is the pork generously covered with their homemade BBQ Sauce, but it’s a pretty large sandwich.  The roll (from Luigi’s Bakery) is big and does a decent job of holding everything together but we found ourselves having to use a fork to eat a lot of this sandwich.  The Pork itself couldn’t have been more tender, it was melting in my mouth as I ate it.  The only dilemma with their pork was that we ended up picking out a lot of fat.  I understand having some melted fat with the meat gives it some flavor, but these were large pieces of fat that were chewy and not that tasty.  Otherwise I was really happy with the tenderness, flavor and quantity of pork.  The sauce is a very sweet tomato based sauce with a unique spice to it.  It was so good that I’d probably pour it onto of almost anything, which brings us to the French Fries….

Currently the Whole Hog is offering Fresh Hand Cut French Fries and Sweet Potato Fries, I “ordered” a side of Fries and with the recommendation of the chef we had some BBQ sauce poured on.  Normally, an order of Fries will be $5, which is a little expensive for French Fries on a truck or even in a restaurant.  They didn’t have the crisp crunch but they were seasoned to give the potatoes some extra flavor that worked great with the BBQ sauce.  Alli and I actually fought over the last fries in our order. While a little overpriced, I’d definitely order them again.

It’s hard to really critique The Whole Hog, their truck literally arrived in New York Friday afternoon and they’ve only had two (short) outings so far.  The food was pretty good and if they were parked in Allentown every week (like they want to be), I could see Alli and I ordering at least some fries from them on a regular basis.  If they become more affordable and add a few more options, I think they could start to develop a cult like following like Lloyd has over the last year.  I also understand that they will get better over time, even Lloyd has gone from being “good” to “we need to drive across town before they close up because its so great”.

I love what Kathleen Haggerty is about (local ingredients) and I really hope that this truck gets more and more popular.  Some minor tweeks, maybe more menu items and lowering prices and I think they will blow up.  Buffalo will be getting another Food Truck next month with The Roaming Buffalo and there are supposedly 2 more coming after that.  As someone who watches way too much Food Network and Cooking Channel, I am excited that Buffalo could start to mimic some of the great Street Food cities in the US.  The Whole Hog will have a regular spot at the intersection of Washington and South Division (Fireman’s Park) every Monday through Friday from 11am to 2pm.  Check out their calender to see where they are heading next.

The Whole Hog (Mobile) on Urbanspoon

3 thoughts on “Food Porn: The Whole Hog

  1. Robert jordan

    Very good review, thanks but I think you mentioned price 3 or 4 times. I wish folks would stop talking about the prices. If you want high quality locally grown/raised food you have to pay for it. And really is 7 bucks expensive for a huge sandwich? I mean Gabriel’s Gate charges more than that for a beef on weck and I see people gladly hammering them down… If you care to eat cheap then go to mcdonalds and eat meat that was pumped full of crap and treated poorly while on the hoof.

    • Don Burtless

      Thanks for the comment Robert. Our comments about the prices should more reflect a concern then a critique. Yes, the food at Whole Hog is good and their message about being a locavore is fantastic. If it was a sit down “Whole Hog Restaurant” I wouldn’t have addressed any concern over price, but the idea that it’s more expensive to eat at a Food Truck is a tough sell. Buffalo barely has a “Food Truck” scene and those trucks are working their butts off and finally doing well b/c you get a great amount of food for low price. With the Whole Hog, if my fiance and I wanted to walk down the street to get 2 sandwiches and a fry, it’s going to cost us almost 20 bucks. Every once and a while thats fine, but I cant afford to make it a common occurrence like I do with Lloyds Taco Truck. Also, in almost every Food Porn we’ve written we address how much it costs because in Buffalo price does matter and we are here to inform people about stuff like that. Sorry if we seemed like we focused on it too much for you but with pretty good food, the price would be the only thing that may hold The Whole Hog back. We want the food truck scene here to thrive and, again, we are just concerned that higher prices may drive people away.

  2. Thanks for the review. Just wanted to share that our Allen Street Opening taught us a lot about our fans! We’ve decided that everything on our menu will be $5 flat! The only exception will be our lemonade ($2) and our dessert (price varies).

    By the way, the fries we served at our Allen Street Opening was a side-sized serving, not a regular size. Our $5 order of fries will be much larger than the side-sized serving. Thanks again for the review. We are looking forward to serving up more delicious and nutritious food to Buffalo!

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