The Salty Pig – Back Bay, Boston, MA

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Recently, Nate and I decided to duck into The Salty Pig in the Back Bay, where we indulged in some meats, cheeses, and carbs (the holy trinity of all meals).

We were in a bit of a rush and we also just wanted something to hold us over until we had dinner later that night (they say you’re supposed to eat six small meals a day, and like our friends Kevin Malone and Pam Beesly, we decided to take that literally and make the Salty Pig our First Dinner™).

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So, rather than ordering off the full dinner menu, we decided to go with what makes the Salty Pig famous — their charcuterie boards. The charcuterie menu is split into three sections: “Salty Pig Parts,” which includes a variety of beef, pork, and duck selections; “Stinky Cheeses,” which includes goat, cow, and sheep cheeses ranging from mild to completely funky; and “Round Out The Plate,” which is basically a list of wild card spreads, sauces, and snacks that you can add to the meat and cheese you choose.

Nate and I aren’t very handy people — our DIY expertise extends pretty much to changing light bulbs — but we built one heck of a charcuterie board (if I do say so myself). We went with the Pȃtè de Canard en Croûte — I’m a huge duck fan, so any menu that has a duck-related option is good with me, and this pȃtè was infused with sour cherries, almonds, and brandy, which gave it a slightly sweet, very savory, and extremely rich flavor. I could have eaten an entire plate of it and been in heaven. For our cheese, we went the non-stinky route and got a Challerhocker — raw cheese made from cow’s milk and aged 12 months. It had the same sort of flavor profile as a sharp cheddar, but with a nuttier undertone that complemented the pȃtè very well. For our wild card, we rounded out the plate with some fig jam, which was good but not wholly necessary — I would have preferred more cheese and pȃtè. The board also came with wedges of grilled baguette, homemade pickles, and tangy mustard.

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The rest of the menu at the Salty Pig has standard pub fare — pizzas, pastas, and steaks. The charcuterie boards are what have put the restaurant on the map, and with literally dozens of possible combinations, I know I’d like to go back soon and try my hand at creating another one.

TL;DR:  Prices are what you’d expect from a trendy restaurant in one of the busiest neighborhoods of the city and portions are small, but if you’re in the market for the holy combo of meats and cheeses, then the Salty Pig is worth a visit.

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