“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– William Shakespeare
Certainly as a lexicologist, the Bard of Avon should know darned well that what something is named does matter…or maybe not so much. In Waco, Texas, a burger joint has eschewed politically correctness by calling itself “Fat Ho Burgers.” Diners line up for as long as an hour for burgers with such culturally sensitive sobriquets as the Supa Fly Ho (a single patty with cheese), a Supa Dupa Fly Ho (two patties with cheese), a Skinny Ho (no pickles and tomato) or a Dried Up Ho (plain meat with cheese). The restaurant’s inclusiveness is demonstrated with a Tiny Ho burger, the Fat Ho’s kid’s meal.
In a February, 2012 example of a restaurant living up to its name, a patron dining at the aptly named Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada, suffered precisely what the name on the marquee practically promises with meals that feature nearly ten-thousand calories: a heart attack. The diner was merrily consuming a “Triple Bypass Burger”–one and a half pounds of beef and a dozen slices of bacon when he began complaining of chest pains. News reports didn’t indicate whether or not the scantily clad “nurses” (waitresses) who take “prescriptions” (orders) from their “patients” (customers) tended to the victim.
With the aforementioned examples of gratuitous appellations, it’s easy to forgive the fact that the Piggy’s in Albuquerque’s Central Avenue is not a barbecue joint as the name might imply (seemingly every other “Piggy’s” throughout the fruited plain serves bodacious barbecue). So, what’s in a name? If the name is “Piggy’s” and it serves hot dogs and hamburgers, it’s taking the city by storm. As of this writing (March 7, 2012), 98 percent of respondents to its Urbanspoon page indicate they “like it.”
There’s a lot to like on a menu that’s surprisingly ambitious considering Piggy’s is strictly a take-out operation. You can order an assortment of fast food favorites by either walking up or driving up to designated windows. The hot dogs and sausages menu includes couple of surprises including a “pig tail” which is actually an andouille sausage on a skewer. Burgers are available in single, double and monster sizes (no references to ho’s anywhere). The “Piggy Burger” is made with “Piggy Sauce,” a blend of A1 sauce and mayo. Both hot dogs and burgers are available in “meals,” served with fries and a drink. Also available are a number of sandwiches (including a Philly cheesesteak) and chicken nuggets.
Piggy’s is located at the A-framed former home of La Hacienda Express, a long-time Mexican food favorite on Route 66 just east of the heart of Nob Hill. With its garish pink facade, a rotating sign and the anthropomorphic pink swine of a mascot, Piggy’s would have fit in nicely during the neon-spangled halcyon days of the Mother Road…even moreso if they served shakes and malts. Cavalcades of cars snake around the building with eager diners waiting to place their orders.
The onion rings are a mix of small, thick onion ringlets and large, oblong rings all battered lightly and fried to a golden hue. Served in a Styrofoam box, they’ll burn your tongue until you let them cool off. Alas, there aren’t a lot of them to go around. A better bet is an order of fries and an order of rings.
The double-cheeseburger is a half-pound patty double meat, double cheese burger with onions, pickles, tomatoes, mustard, mayo and ketchup. That triumvirate of condiments–mustard, mayo and ketchup–is fairly uncommon as a standard offering, but it’s a combination that works well. Of course you’ll want green chile to truly crown the burger with greatness. If you’re a cheese fanatic, you’ll also appreciate that the cheese drapes over the beef like a molten lava flow. The beef patties extend to the entire circumference of the buns.
The cheese drapes over the green chili (sic) cheese dog, too. In fact, as the picture below depicts, the melted cheese almost completely obfuscates everything but the bread. That’s not necessarily a good thing because the cheese also detracts from the aroma and flavor of the green chile which has a discernible bite (not quite medium piquancy). The hot dog itself is thick and juicy with a snap to it when you bite down. You can ask for an all meat hot dog for a pittance more.
Proverbs 22:1 reminds us that “a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Since its launch in November, 2011, Piggy’s has made a name for itself and is firmly in discussions of the Duke City’s up-and-coming favorite hot dog and burger joints.
Piggy’s Hot Dogs and Hamburgers
4400 Central Avenue, S.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
LATEST VISIT: 4 March 2012
# OF VISITS: 1
COST: $ – $$
BEST BET: Green Chili Cheese Dog, Double Cheeseburger, Hot Dog, Onion Rings