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How The Inked Pig creates a new take on barbecue
New barbecue place opens Friday, Feb. 15
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The Inked Pig is set to officially open Friday, February 15, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

Barbecue is coming back to midtown Gainesville.

Andrew Elliott and Jimmy Ellis, co-owners of The Inked Pig, have fired up the smokers in preparation to deliver savory food to the citizens of Hall County.

The restaurant, located on 893 Main St. SW in Gainesville, will hold its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.

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Jimmy Ellis, co-owner at The Inked Pig, checks on some barbecue in the smoker on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. The Inked Pig is set to officially open Friday, February 15, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele
Both seasoned cooks with a combined experience of 33 years, Elliott and Ellis plan to impart their own take on barbecue.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the barbacoa brisket, puts a new spin on the classic barbacoa dish.

“It’s traditionally cooked in an open fire,” Ellis said.

Elliott and Ellis first coat the brisket with a rub that includes guajillo chilis. They then allow the meat to soak for 24 hours in a marinade composed of garlic, onions, cilantro, lime juice and other ingredients.

The last step involves putting the restaurant’s signature barbecue rub on the brisket, then smoking it for 11 hours. The dish is served with a chimichurri sauce.

“I enjoy different regions of cuisine around the world like Argentina,” Ellis said. “That’s why we wanted to do the chimichurri. It’s something you don’t typically see in barbecue restaurants in the South. We wanted to bring something different to the table.”

For the smoked pork butt, St. Louis cut ribs and smoked turkey, the cooks use a yellow mustard base and their own recipe for a brown sugar rub.

Elliott said he would describe these options as Southern-style barbecue.

Not a big fan of spicy food, Ellis said the brown sugar rub gives people a sweet option. For those who want to add heat to their meat, The Inked Pig offers a choice of sauces.

Out of all of the dishes, Ellis said his personal favorite includes the sweet tea smoked chicken.

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Barbacoa cooks in the smoker at The Inked Pig on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

Making a brine out of sweet tea, he marinates the chicken for 24 hours. The next day the chicken receives a nice coating of the brown sugar rub and is smoked for three hours.

“The whole purpose of the brine is to season the meat evenly throughout,” Ellis said. “It makes it super moist and tender. Smoking it adds that sweetness of the tea. With the rub and chilis, it’s delicious.”

In addition to the meats, the restaurant provides sides like smoked chicken mull — a porridge-like stew based on smoked chicken — collard greens with bacon, creamy mac and cheese, buttermilk fried okra and smoked baked beans.

Elliott and Ellis encourage those who can’t make it to Friday’s grand opening to come out on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Inked Pig will have a beer truck parked beside the building, and live music from Jimmy Buffett cover artist, Jim Asbell.

The restaurant will stay open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday. Elliott said the business may extend its days depending on demand.

For more information about The Inked Pig call 678-696-5611.

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Barbecue cooks at The Inked Pig on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. The Inked Pig is set to officially open Friday, February 15, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele
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