New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells suggests the same in his recent review of this east Memphis hotspot. He experiences the joy of eating high on the hog in Memphis, with nary a dry-rubbed BBQ rib in sight.
Wells piles on (and praises!) a selection of Hog and Hominy's eclectic, Southern-meets-Italian items: spicy fried sweetbreads, a beef and cheddar hotdog, and a piece of peanut butter pie. He even suggests that this younger sibling of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman's first restaurant, has surpassed its older brother.
I was helping myself to a slice — okay, several slices — of the Red Eye pizza the night the Times photographer came in to document this year-old golden child of Memphis' dining scene. I sidled up to Ticer, pointed to the cameraman set up in a corner of the restaurant, surrounded by so many perfectly plated wedges of pie, and asked who he was shooting for.
"The New York Times," Ticer said softly. "A critic was in last week."
Both Ticer and Hudman seemed too nervous to admit the review might be a good one. That night, the entire restaurant was tense with the knowledge that something important was happening, or perhaps wishing they'd worn a better outfit for the mystery cameraman's photo session.
Now, with this glowing review behind them, the pair can breathe a little easier. But only for a moment. They've got a surge of business ahead of them, no doubt. Let's just hope there will still be room for us locals.
Hog and Hominy, 707 W. Brookhaven Circle, 207-7396, hogandhominy.com