The Buzz: Union Pig and Chicken

With this being my first foray into the “Blogosphere” (I just wanted to use that word before it becomes obsolete if it hasn’t already), I’ve chosen to write about two things that I’m reasonably familiar with: books and food.

The food part:

I’m part of a team of librarians that will be taking book discussions into non-traditional, non-library spaces via CLP’s Book Buzz initiative.  Book Buzz will be premiering on Tuesday, July 16th at 7 PM at East Liberty’s Union Pig and Chicken.  I have the distinction of working in East Liberty, and I’ve personally sampled Union Pig and Chicken’s offerings.   The name doesn’t lie – the menu is just that, barbecued pork, chicken, and beef, fried chicken, and a plethora of delicious sides such as mac and cheese, cole slaw, cornbread, and potato salad.  My personal recommendation is the brisket sandwich…the brisket is chopped but not before being smoked to the point of falling apart tenderness.  This sandwich presents the perfect balance of bark and burnt ends on a roll, topped with a tangy sauce.  If you closed your eyes while in Union Pig and Chicken, you’d think that you were in one of Texas’ legendary barbecue joints eating off of a tray covered in wax paper—and that’s a good thing. (Take it easy, Carolina ‘cue fans – I mentioned that UP&C serves pork and cole slaw also!)

The book part:

Union Pig and Chicken opened earlier this year, and is the brainchild of legendary local restaurateur and James Beard nominee Kevin Sousa.  What better location to discuss a book written by a highly acclaimed chef and James Beard Nominee?  July’s Book Buzz will feature Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef.  Chef Hamilton is the owner of Prune Restaurant in New York, and has been recognized for her food and her writing.  Oh yeah, another thing…she beat Bobby Flay on “Iron Chef America.”  One more thing – Anthony Bourdain called Blood, Bones, and Butter “Magnificent…Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever.”  I was talking about this book with somebody recently, and she summed it up by saying: “It’s crazy.  She’s (Hamilton) crazy.  It’s great.”  Bottom line: you really need to read this book and talk it over with me while eating barbecue and drinking a sweet tea at Union Pig and Chicken on July 16th.  If you want to order the book to check out with your library card, call or stop by any Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh location.  What are you waiting for?  Your food’s going to get cold!

Chris, CLP – East Liberty


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