The first part of my experience at Pigwich was the adventure to get there. It takes a 25 minute drive all the way to the East Bottoms, through a part of Kansas City I haven’t been to more than once or twice in my life. In passing, I got to see a lake, famous in the ‘80s for being a dumping site for dead bodies, the casino boats along the river and the Christopher Edge S. Bond bridge. It was a nice reminder that we really live in a bubble and a good reason to get out of the Johnson County.
When I first arrived, I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t going to be eating in the building that sat on the corner of Guinotte Avenue. Pigwich is actually a food stand on the side of a butchery, The Local Pig.
As soon as I pulled into the gravel parking lot, I was hit with the smell of onions and slowly cooked meat. I was also shocked by the amount of people there at 11:30 on a Sunday morning. The line was at least eight people long, with another 10 people waiting for their food.
I got in line and began to scan the huge chalkboard menu that sat right next to the stand. Their menu consists of five sandwiches: porchetta, cheese steak, falafel, double cheeseburger and a reuben. They also feature a sandwich that changes weekly. Not only is it a special because it changes, but it is called their “charity sandwich” because every week part of its sales benefit a different charity. This week the sandwich was a BLT and the charity was the Boys and Girls Club of KC.
Despite the line, I didn’t wait long to order my food. To try as many sandwiches as possible, my group ordered the reuben, the porchetta and the cheese steak. For a combo, each sandwich was $8. The combo came with one sandwich, a drink and their homemade potato chips.
I then went and waited in their only seating: a covered outdoor area with large picnic style tables. Since the stand was busy, we had no choice but to squeeze in next to people we didn’t know at the tables. At first I was a little uncomfortable, just because I was sitting essentially shoulder to shoulder with a large man who I didn’t know, but within two minutes I got over it because everyone was in the same situation.
The wait was around 30 minutes, but it was understandable. There were only four people or so making every single sandwich fresh. It gave me the opportunity to visit the shop next door, Urban Provisions General Store. They had a collection of items: KC T-shirts, locally made soaps and other interesting local art.
By the time I got my meal, I was having a bit of buyer’s remorse spending eight dollars on a sandwich, but it only took one bite realize it was completely worth it.
The first bite in all the sandwiches were amazing. Each was unique in its taste but they all shared the same intense smokey meat taste and greasiness.
My favorite was a tie between the porchetta and the cheese Steak. The porchetta was more had italian pork roast, greens and truffle aioli. The cheese steak had beef, three cheeses, onions, peppers and mushrooms.
But for me, the highlight of the meal wasn’t the sandwiches. It was their homemade chips. They were perfectly salty and crisp, and solely responsible for why I overate.
After about halfway through eating the Porchetta the taste was getting a little old. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but it was a lot of rich greasiness to eat for an entire 10 inch sub sandwich. But nonetheless, the deliciousness over-powered and I finished the sandwich.
I left stuffed and feeling more than satisfied with my meal. Not only was I hooked on the food, but also the vibe. I would recommend Pigwich to anyone looking for a relaxed, unique atmosphere, an interesting location and an unforgettable meal.