Savor: This Little Piggy…

…serves exactly the portions you would expect.

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Photograph by Thom Thompson http://www.thomthompson.com

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Before you dig into the North Carolina pulled pork at the Pig Out Restaurant in Dover, you can’t help but notice the decor—800 antique piggy banks housed in glass cases that run along both sides of the shotgun-like building.

“We found the first piggy bank in 1985,” says owner and cook Kenn Lucas. “We like to collect stuff, all kinds of stuff.”

Hands off: The collection is valuable. That first piece, an American Bisque cookie jar bank, is worth $1,000.

Not that it overshadows the chow. That pulled pork is cooked for at least five hours (Lucas isn’t spilling the recipe), and when the spirit moves him, he’ll whip up a batch of Louisiana gumbo or jambalaya.

The Pig Out caters to business lunchers with overstuffed sandwiches and platters that scream for doggie bags. The Piglet is a slider-like mini-burger with nicely seasoned beef and dinner rolls made from scratch. The Pig Out Hot Dog (or sausage) rests on a crusty hoagie roll, topped with a mountain of peppers, onions and home fries. Two sides, such as collard greens, red beans and rice, or garlic french fries, are available, but good luck finishing them. Southern-fried ribs and mustard-fried catfish are top sellers.

The piggy banks aren’t for sale, but the homemade Pig-Stomping Jalapeño Relish and the homemade barbecue sauce are. Sandwiches range from $5 to $6.50. Platters are $9. The Pig Out is open until 6 p.m., though evening hours are in the plan.

The Pig Out is becoming the spot to be seen. Legislators, inspectors and all sorts of Leg Hall staffers have discovered it. “So have a few judges,” says Lucas, “But, of course, we can’t say who they are.”

—Maria Hess

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