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It's okay to make a pig of yourself at The Berkshire

Berkshire chef Woodie Thomas shows off a bacon flight.

The Berkshire, which Andy Ganick opened in December in Stapleton, is all about the pig. It’s named, of course, after the most famous of the heritage breeds. Its décor is piggish, though not cutesy -- focusing mainly on the repeated motif of the restaurant’s logo, a big, tusked and leaping Berkshire hog. There are quotes from famous thinkers (Churchill, Twain and, yes, Elvis) sketched onto the walls, mostly dealing with eating pig or drinking. Near the door, there’s a rotary slicer polished to a bright sheen, and used in full view of the floor to deconstruct the bagged and laced meats hanging nearby into beautiful, thin slices of hog. And the menu?

The menu is like something out of my sickest, most indulgent food fantasies: all pig, all the time. Pig for lunch, pig for brunch (a plate of bacon and a can of Pabst as the house “hangover special”), pig for dinner and a little pig in between. Almost every plate on the menu has pork worked into it somehow, and I think that if he could get away with it, Ganick would even garnish the bar’s cocktails with pig: a plug of pork belly shoved into the neck of my Corona in place of a lime, a little twist of pork rind depending precariously from the lip of a martini. As it is, the bar does offer bacon-infused vodka.

And by the time you leave the Berkshire? You, too, will be bacon infused – full up with the love of the pig and bursting with hoggish goodness.

Seriously, this place seems made with me in mind, since it focuses on the food I love most in the world, offers it in gigantic proportions and wild variations, and on the wall has one of my favorite quotes about pigs, from Sir Winston Churchill: “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

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Damn right.

Obviously, I head deep into porcine territory for this week’s review of the Berkshire. But the fun doesn’t stop there. In Bite Me, there’s an interview with Berkshire owner Andy Ganick about the inspiration behind his porky menu, as well as some news about last week’s review subject, Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, and recent goings-on at the new Farro Italian Restaurant and Wine Experience Café. But in Second Helping, I return to pig – specifically, baby back pork ribs at Big Papa's BBQ.

Hog heaven. – Jason Sheehan

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