Brooklyn transfer brings pigs-in-blankets to East Village
April 29, 2014
Brooklyn Piggies, an artisanal pigs-in-blankets shop, recently opened its first brick-and-mortar location at Avenue A and 12th Street.
Owners Missy Koo and Stacy Cole first started their business back in 2012 at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.
“Smorg is like the Flashdance of food,” Koo said. “You have to audition to get in, so just being accepted was incredibly exciting for us. Then, our second week on the market, we had no idea but we served Oprah’s staff. We ended up making the Oprah list [Oprah’s Favorite Things] just a couple of week into business.”
The Oprah shout-out caused orders to spike, so Koo and Cole decided to delay their plans for opening a storefront while they managed the high demand.
“We decided to wait and circle back to the store once we got a handle on the business, which is where we are now,” Koo said.
The small store is elegantly decorated and filled with the mingling smells of mustard, sizzling sausage and buttery bread. The walls are charcoal gray and accented with black and burgundy. It is both homey and sophisticated, with an endearing old-timey vibe.
“I’m all about nostalgia,” Koo said. “You know, back in the day you’d go up to the butcher and then to the fishmonger. It’s only very recently that we have these one-stop shops for everything. It’s really convenient, but at the same time there’s a loss of character. Here, we pull from a bygone era.”
Growing up in Brooklyn, Koo’s family had a longstanding tradition of “walking picnics,” where they would pick a neighborhood and stop in different shops for different specialties.
“We’d stop somewhere for Chinese lemon tarts, then we’d go a few blocks away for this one type of lollipop,” she said. “I thought it was fun targeting places for very precise items.”
That tradition is why the recent trend of single menu-item restaurants caught Koo’s attention.
“There’s something I find so appealing about getting behind one thing and doing it really, really well,” Koo said.
Brooklyn Piggies definitely does pigs-in-a-blanket well. The pigs-in-blankets are available in original (lightly smoked beef and pork), spicy (100 percent pork seasoned with garlic, paprika and peppers) and chicken (seasoned with oregano, basil, fennel seeds and parmesan cheese). The meats are specially developed for the shop by a sausage purveyor. The franks are wrapped in buttery puff pastry, which is perfectly flaky and light.
Served with catsup, mustard or barbecue sauce, these little piggies make a satisfying spot. At $24.95 for a 14-count tray, they would also make a great contribution to a party or potluck dinner with friends.
A version in this article appeared in the Tuesday, April 29 print edition. Chandler West is dining editor. Email her at [email protected]