Like all first-tier belly-busters, Hoggy’s rewards its customers’ eating prowess. Conquer the “Hoggy Challenge” ($24.99), a half slab of ribs, a half chicken, a 7-inch pork sandwich, cornbread and a side, and you get a free T-shirt. I was more interested in experiencing the depth of the kitchen and ordered the “Grazer” BBQ Platter ($15.99): ribs; three mini sandwiches, one each of beef brisket, pulled chicken and pulled pork; and sampler sizes of the no-bean chili, coleslaw, baked beans and mac-n-cheese — with a huge square of cornbread for good measure.
The barbecue sauce on the ribs and meat was thick, sweet and punchy, a solid sauce for a chain with a pig in its title. Even though my stomach was bursting, I managed to shovel down the chili (if you’re a no-bean chili lover like me, this is the place to get it).
Mondays are all-you-can-eat wing night ($7.99), and my companion was equally satisfied — his first plate came with 15 wings. The focus here is on quality — each restaurant smokes its own meat — and quantity. You may find it helpful to bring a designated driver (perhaps a vegetarian) so that once you’re in the car you can just lay back and digest.
Hoggy’s Barn & Grille, 5975 Canal Road, Valley View; (216) 328-9871 or www.hoggys.com.