Fancy Pig has replaced the short-lived salad bar next to Romeo's Juice Bar in Kensington Market. It's the newest endeavour from Mike Tucker and Ted Zacharopoulos of Scratch Kitchen , who are implementing their made-from-scratch, farm-to-table philosophies at this not-so-fancy late night walk-up window.
At their uptown restaurant, the duo practices whole beast butchering and the cuts of meat served here are of the same premium quality. There's nothing complicated about the menu - there are four sandwiches: The Hogfather, The Mooley Ray Cyrus, The Cluck Norris, and The Fun Guy. Each sells for $7 with a bag of house-made chips.
Each of the meats incur a three day process that allots a day each for brining, marinating and smoking. I'm told the drippings from the brisket are used to baste the pork, and then the drippings from pork are used to confit the chicken.
The Mooley Ray Cyrus comes with certified Angus beef brisket topped with caramelized onions, house-made pickles, sauerkraut and mustard. As with all the sandwiches, the meat is piled high onto to fluffy, scratch-baked milk buns - though Tucker admits he won't be able to sustain the baking himself once this place takes off.
Then there's the Hogfather, a mess of succulent, pulled Ontario Berkshire pork tossed in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce then finished with maple cider slaw.
The Cluck Norris sees moist, pulled King Capon birds paired with pesto mayo, arugula and roasted peppers.
To keep the chicken from drying out, the poultry spends just an hour in the smoker for a hit of wood smoked flavour, before being bathed in the aforementioned pork drippings and confit'd in the wood oven back at Scratch Kitchen.
The Fun Guy simply offers the option to substitute the meat in any sandwich for smoked cremini mushrooms.
Knowing my limits, I split the pork and veg sandwiches then farm out sampling the other two to friends. The pork is commendably tender and saucy, and the bun is so fresh and delicious it just sops of every bit of jus.
I find the mushrooms too salty for my palate, but the toppings are well balanced in the case of the brisket, and while the chicken is on the greasy side, it's still very good.
Some recipe finessing is likely in order but everyone agrees they'd go back. Seating at Fancy Pig is limited to a handful of cafe tables lining the sidewalk.
Photos by Jesse Milns