|Smoked Duck Breast with Cornbread Pancakes, Sweet Potater Tots and, Uh, More Cornbread|
So...this one started out as an "Eat It" review in the back-and-forth style made famous by our review of 8 Oz. Burger Bar. This is how it began -
Colin: So...what'd you think [of Hogzilla's], Chef BoyarAndy?
Chef BoyarAndy: I had high hopes coming in Colin...which normally sets you up for a let down. Not this time though. It was all I hoped it would be. Kinda like the first time I had Pappy Van Winkle bourbon or the first time I saw Boden dance. Did you have a favorite dish?
Colin: I think I have your football in the back of the CCTV (Country Club Tailgating Vehicle, which we had driven to Dolphins game), btw. My car smells funny today. Shouldn't the restaurant just be called "Hogzilla"? I don't like that it's possessive. It's not owned by Hogzilla. I wasn't terribly hungry by the time we arrived at dinner since I'd eaten a decent amount of appetizers over at our warm-up at Chophouse, though that didn't stop me from trying most things we ordered as well as wanting to try several desserts. I'm also getting very hungry thinking back on the meal. I loved the cornbread with maple butter. The pterodactyl wings were just a little spicy, crispy and delicious, though somewhat standard fare. The sweet potater tots were a fun surprise. I'd get those again. I wasn't crazy about the pork belly chicharrones (misspelled "chicharonnes" on the menu, btw). They were very fatty and gristly and just aren't necessary when you're eating pulled pork and greasy sausage and stuff. The service was excellent. The owner stopped by several times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. I probably liked the beer can chicken the most. I could eat the redneck tacos with beer can chicken like every day for a month probably.
But then Chef BoyarAndy checked his receipt from the night, and all hell broke loose...
We present to you, Chef BoyarAndy's "Don't Eat It" review of Hogzilla's -
None of these have a place in describing the food at Hogzilla's. The food was tasty, creative, well-executed and memorable.
They do have a place in describing my feeling toward the restaurant after a close inspection of my bill.
$2 for "rocks?" $2 FOR ROCKS???
Any bourbon drinker will tell you that cheap bourbon is for mixing at college football games, good bourbon is excellent over ice and Pappy Van Winkle only touches the glass and your tongue. The words "Woodford on the rocks, please" come out of my mouth multiple times on any given weekend. Never have I had a bar or restaurant add a charge for ice. Notice they did it again on the Patron shots that my buddies visiting from DC had for dessert. Yes, they drink tequila for dessert.
I'm sure somebody out there is thinking "they could just charge you $14 and you'd have never known". Not true...$11-$12 is the going rate for Woodford Reserve...it is $12 at Yardbird and Smith & Wollensky and $11 at Chophouse Miami.
I'm mad. I'm mad that I feel taken advantage of. I'm mad that I can't give them an "Eat It" recommendation based on their food alone. I'm mad that a BBQ joint with a "not on South Beach" feel to it does something so shady.
Maybe somebody at Hogzilla's will see this and change their policy...I truly hope so.
Until then...go to Yardbird.
P.S. Math tends to put things into perspective. My local mini-mart will sell you three 10lb bags of ice for $5. So for the $10 I spent on "rocks" I could have purchased 60lbs of ice.
You could also look at it this way...they are charging you $8 per ounce for the bourbon, since their "rocks" charge is 1/6 of the bourbon charge that makes their ice $1.33 per ounce. That same 60lbs of ice we purchased earlier for $10? Hogzilla's just charged you $1280.00.