Why I Went to Birmingham to Chase Pigs and Talk to Nick Pihakis
Posted on July 9th, 2012
Birmingham-based barbecue chain Jim N’ Nick’s is a sponsor of Meatopia, a fact I’m especially proud of, given how high-minded they are — and not just for a barbecue chain. Barbecue, it will be remembered, was invented to make the best of crappy meat, and to this day you can generally expect to get the worst commodity meat available on the market when you eat in one. Owner Nick Pihakis didn’t want to serve it, though, any more than I want to, so he and his partners are trying to develop their own pork farming operation. It’s a somewhat quixotic pursuit, because they serve a lot of barbecue, and right now they have only a few Mangalitsa hogs. But you have to start somewhere. I went down to Birmingham to meet Nick and his pigs, and I made this Ozersky TV video about it.
Jim and Nick’s will be serving one of these Mangalitsa hogs (possibly even one of the ones in the video) at Meatopia, cooked under the watchful care of Rodney Scott, Sean Brock, Drew Robinson, and Nick himself. Come eat it!