Barbecue lovers have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the Union Square brick-and-mortar location of catering company The Bearded Pig, the latest addition to an area of Somerville that has seen a huge influx of new eateries lately. This coming Monday, July 30, is the day, according to the restaurant's Facebook page. ("Should I bring my own spork?" asks one excited fan.) Owner/pitmaster Michael Schmidt, a native of Florida who formerly managed a barbecue spot in Washington, DC, became "fed up with the barbecue" in New England after living around here for three years, at which point he began to cook his own.
The counter-service restaurant, located at 445 Somerville Ave., will have about 40 seats, and the no-frills menu features a small selection of barbecue staples, such as pulled pork and chicken, ribs, and brisket. Sides include mac and cheese, "bearded" baked beans (as opposed to clean-shaven?), and Texas corn pudding, with cookies and banana pudding available for dessert. Sauces touch on sweet, spicy, mustardy, vinegar-based, and standard barbecue. Schmidt is using a mix of old family recipes as well as recipes he developed at his grandmother's, according to an interview with The Somerville Journal.
The location lends itself to a good compromise among groups of vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends heading out to eat: those who don't want meat can go right next door to vegetarian Indian restaurant Dosa Temple.