The Booze • Hooch-hounds and beer lovers will find thirst-quenching libations aplenty. There are 14 beers on draft with local and regional craft commanding a good portion of said taps, including Busted Sandal Brewing Co., Shiner and Karbach Brewing out of Houston. Bloody mary fans should know by now that Pigpen's is worth every dollar. It's moderately spicy, plenty tangy (though I would add just another hint of Worcestershire) and you guessed it, topped with a slice of Smoke Shack brisket. To be completely honest, I wanted to hate the bloody and all its gluttonousness. But after ordering it during our weekday visit, I have to admit I'm a total convert. The brisket adds more smoke, while giving the drinker just a quick snack to hold them over. Don't miss this drink.
The ambience • Instead of the dim lights found at One-O-Six, the Pigpen turns up the lighting to an 11— in a good way. You can take in all the country-bar fixtures from wooden picnic tables to, U.S. of A flag-backed stage and corrugated metal walls. My favorite addition was the faux-tailgate seating that lines the right-hand side of the bar. It doesn't get more country than that ... or does it?
Sounds • Turns out it does. Though my bar-buddy and I joined for a happy hour session on hump day, jam bands are slowly being added to the regular lineup. The Smokehouse Guitar Army played last Friday night for some blues and barbecue, which brings me to the food.
Bites • Other than the badass bloody mary, and remodeled space, the other main reason patrons will enjoy Pigpen is the Smoke Shack trailer parked in the patio (more on this later). The menu varies, but expect to find barbecue nachos, BBQueso with brisket, smoked wings, brisket/pork/shrimp tacos and smoked chicken salad sliders at prices comparable to the Smoke Shack, so you know it's good.
Patio • Pleasantly perfect. Think rustic Friendly Spot and you're halfway there. The addition of the globe string lights keeps it charming, while the playground will keep the kiddos entertained. It's a nice addition to the Broadway corridor.
Barbecue, brisket-topped bloody marys and a cozy urban oasis make up the Pigpen's appeal. It'll be hard to beat come springtime when the patio will surely turn into a hotspot for Alamo Heights bar-goers.