Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Matchbook Memories: Pig Stand
Another old school matchbook leads us to back down south to fill our bellies with pork and nostalgia. The Pig Stand is a Texas icon and pioneer in the restaurant business who, at one time, had around 130 locations in several states. But if you want any Pig Stand memories today you have to either head to San Antonio, to their only remaining location, or to eBay to buy an antique matchbook:
The original Pig Stand in Dallas was known as the home of the country's first drive-in. The restaurant's other claims to fame include inventing the onion ring, the chicken fried steak sandwich and Texas toast. These claims are harder to verify but the drive-in portion survives today in the San Antonio location. Although you also have the option to dine inside:
The menu has standard diner food with a southern slant. Their signature item is the Pig Sandwich - sliced BBQ pork on a bun with "special sauce." The platter comes with fries, onion rings and cole slaw. If you ever find yourself eating across Texas, this is one of the famous foods that should be on your list:
The BBQ itself may not be the best in the state but it's got great flavor and, wisely, the "secret sauce" is the Stand's own signature barbecue sauce. While the sandwich is good, it easily gets overshadowed by the sides. I'm not a huge french fry guy but the fries and onion rings are the best I've ever had. Texture and flavor combine in the best way and these guys could have been their own meal.
While you're munching on history it's important to take a moment to remember the Pig Stands of the past that are no longer with us, some of which were commemorated on the back of the matchbook (with accompanying original artwork):
I think we've got representations of NASA, the State Capitol, the Alamo and possibly the Cotton Bowl for Dallas? Let me know if that's not right.
So we now archive this one in the matchbook file as well as the full stomach file as we hit the road to the next stop.