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Jan 21, 2009 10:35 AM

On the Strait and Marrow at The Greedy Pig - A Chowdown Report (Vancouver)

About a dozen 'Hounds met up at The Greedy Pig for the second Vancouver Chowdown. It was great to meet all the newbies and lurkers and to put faces to names. Some of the familiar names include me (fmed), grayelf, Cancuk, Mawson Plan, tom_edo (aka Vancouverslop), twinkienic, and "the lurkers" - you know who you are ;-)

We all arrived at around 7pm on this foggy evening and were shown to an array of small tables pushed together to accommodate the crew. The service that night was uniformly stellar - friendly and attentive. We ordered individually...I had the Bone Marrow and Bread dish and a couple of pints of dark beer. I saw that others had Duck Confit, the Braised Short Ribs, some salads, and assorted other dishes. (Post your pics!)

My Marrow was great. It was roasted and topped with bacon. The marrow meat itself was expectedly unctuous, fatty, and buttery. It was served with bread, a side of salad and small dish of sea salt. Marrow is one of my weaknesses - I usually don't have it as a main dish - rather, it is usually a bonus part of another main - usually in a braise or a soup. I would say that this dish was more of great appetizer - and since I had partaken in a couple of pints - it was actually just enough to fill the gaps in my belly.

I also had a taste of the Braised Shortribs. It was tender and had a nice complex, slightly sweet and caramelized flavour. Definitely something I would like to order myself one day.

I have been to the Pig on a few other occasions in the past. I have had their lunchtime sandwiches (a particular favourite of mine is the Roast Beef with Foie Gras and Truffle - I'm not even sure if they still serve this). This is only my second time here in the evening - I think it is a great spot to drink and have apps.

The ambiance was great - though I found the sound system a tad loud. The nice interior design made full use of the exposed timber of the old building. The beer and wine list is nice and focused - it isn't extensive, but it had decent selections in the inexpensive side of the price range. (I didn't have wine tonight -- I felt like a beer.)

Off the the next Chowdown...Hunan cuisine, I believe, is our next meal.

More pics:

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  1. Pictures look amazing fmed. Thanks for the review!

    It's good to hear that Vancouver still has such an amazing food scene. *sniffle*, miss it so! Oh well, only another month or so before I get to swing back through that neck of the woods. Will have to keep the Greedy Pig in mind when I do my meal planning.

    1. Oh man, fmed, your pictures are killing me - in a good way!!! So sorry I had to miss out!

      2 Replies
      1. re: ck1234

        Definitely a fun place that I would recommend for upscale comfort food. I went with the express purpose of trying marrow bones, a hole in my food experience for sure. Cancuk and I decided to start with salads and trade halfway through. We were pleased with our choices, and both gave a slight edge to the bruled roast beet salad over the shaved fennel. Cancuk went for the pig pot pie as a main which I'm sure he'll chime in on. I of course had the marrow. Not sure what to say about it as I've never had it before. It was more or less what I was expecting in terms of texture (unctuous as fmed said, a bit gelatinous) but I was surprised at the lack of flavour. I was expecting some kind of beefiness. The accoutrements were fine although I didn't "get" the garlic confit and the salt was not Maldon I would say. It also came with a bit of mixed greens as well as the baguette. I think I will have to try it again as a starter -- as mentioned above it appears to be a better appetizer though it would be a pricey one at $16.50. The SO went for the bangers and hash which was grilled toulouse sausages on a very tasty mash with a side of brussel sprout and carrot that had a toothsome char/caramelization to it from my fork forays over the border :-). I would order that dish for sure, even though as the SO said you could make something similar at home, you likely wouldn't!

        Other items of note: they had a good looking list of choices for their butcher's block of 3 meats and 2 cheeses with some local charcuterie represented, and the roast beef and truffle sandwich is still on the lunch menu, fmed. In fact, all the lunch sarnies sound worthy -- check out their website for that and more (though it is a bit whacky so be warned -- apparently their web guy is brilliant but a bit elusive):

        SO and I both thought the service was as mentioned stellar, down to the ease with which our server divided up the bills for all 12 of us in different configurations, warning that a 15% grat had already been included (some places don't warn you which bugs me). We were moved to top this up to reflect the level of service...

        Another excellent Chowdown, and of course we were talking about where to go next before we'd even finished eating. It sounds like Xiang/Alvin's Garden in Bby. As we've mentioned before, all are welcome, and that includes out of towners, bdachow. Let us know when you are coming in case the stars align...

        1. re: grayelf

          Thanks grayelf for the invite! Would love to attend if stars do align. Am in Vancouver Mar 6 & 7th. Rest of the week is up in Whistler getting my fill of ski and snow.
          Sometimes I seriously wonder why I live in a country with no snow and then I remember shovelling and trying to battle other drivers in it. Lol!!!

      2. Thanks for the reviews. I'm putting the Greedy Pig on my Vancouver restaurant list for our next visit, hopefully next year Spring Break on our way to Whistler. I hope they have a menu online soon, as nothing came up on their website last time I checked. Sounds like my kind of place though, warm comfort food, perfect for cooler weather.

        7 Replies
        1. re: curiousgeo

          The full menu is on the website but as I said the website is a bit odd. You have to click on menu (near the bottom right on my screen) and then hold and drag the corner, like turning the pages in a virtual book.

          1. re: grayelf

            Got it grayelf, thanks. The pig pot pie sounds delicious as does the duck confit with cassoulet.

            1. re: grayelf

     THAT's how you do it.

              1. re: fmed

                Forgot to mention the drinks -- SO had the Okanagan Springs black lager on tap which he enjoyed whilst I tried the Ripper (Tenessee sour mash whisky with pureed white peach, creme de peches, lemon juice, bitters and egg white on the rocks. It was more sour than I had anticipated and I didn't taste much in the way of peach but it was quite refreshing. I think all their signature cocktails are rye or whisky based, thereby likely avoiding the once-you-mix-all-these-great-sounding-ingredients-together-this-cocktail-secretly-tastes-like-cough-syrup fandango :-).

                1. re: grayelf

                  I recall that their signature drink is the Roughrider - which hints at the proprietors' Saskatchewan roots.

                  1. re: fmed

                    Ah yes, the Roughrider is fantastic. Rye, ginger, berry purees and I'm sure I'm missing something. I'm pretty sure Nick Devine designed the cocktail list back in the day.

                    I'm glad the chowdown went well! Service there for me has always been awesome. Super friendly but professional.

                    1. re: peter.v

                      That is the tipple recommended by the server and silly me, I went off on my own tangent instead. RR next time for sure.

          2. Great review and pictures. It's also good to see everyone getting together for the mini chows. Still can't wait to come tag along.

            1. how fun. i want to go to the next one!

              1 Reply