Written and photographed by Paul Wolf

As a barbecue fanatic, I was thankful five years ago when The Pig and Pint moved into my neighborhood.

Fast forward a half a decade in and the much-lauded and much visited little joint has become a staple of the local food scene.

General manager and co-owner Chris Clark took time for questions a couple of months past their anniversary.

Five years in and it’s been a success?
Yeah, huge. When we were building out the restaurant, people were coming up and shaking our hands, saying, ‘We’re glad we’re here.’ They hadn’t even had our food and they welcomed us, day one: the creativity here, the fellow restaurants. Fondren is a destination. I don’t think we could have picked a better place.

It’s not just locals who love you.
Social media has been amazing for that. We get people from all over the country, from Europe and Asia. They’re passing through Jackson and want to experience Mississippi. We play Delta blues and have great craft beers…

The food’s not too shabby either.
We’re proud of it. Every year we have been open, the readers of Jackson Free Press have voted us ‘Best Barbecue.’ The readers of Mississippi Magazine recognize us as top in the state. Their opinions are the ones that count. We’re here to take care of the customer.

We know you serve great meats. Can you handle vegetarians?
I have a joke: ‘a vegetarian walks into The Pig and Pint…’ We do fried green tomato tacos with coleslaw and barbecue sauce. And we have our salads. We’re trying to fine-tune our sides so you can do a veggie plate. We’re planning to expand our kitchen early next year. We also have a gluten-free menu, too.

What item has surprised you for its popularity?
The bologna sandwich. It’s that touch of nostalgia. Everyone grew up eating them. We smoke it, serve it with American cheese, B&B pickles, an over-easy egg and comeback sauce on a brioche bun. Food Network called it the state’s best breakfast sandwich. And we don’t serve breakfast!

I also underestimated our barbecue nachos and tacos. Our Pepsi-Cola glazed ribs are unique and different, too.

And save room for dessert?
I love it when someone says, ‘I don’t like bread pudding.’ I bring you some. It’s great to hear people say, ‘Wow.’ They’re surprised. I like to see their face when we exceed expectations.

And we really do want to make you happy. If you could tap into that, provide us some constructive feedback… we’ll love you. We’ll feed you… because that’s what we do.