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The Yummy Pig moves into Leesburg

The Yummy Pig opened in May on Catoctin Circle in Leesburg. Led by executive chef/owner Jim Thompson, the business serves a variety of barbecue. Times-Mirror/Cynthia Kinsey
If you mourned the closing of The Q Company with its tantalizing grilled, smoky meats, now you can rejoice. A newcomer― and a barbecue restaurant― has taken over the Catoctin Circle location, sending out billows of tantalizing aromas from its out-back wood smokers. And its name, rightly enough, captures the thrill of the grill: Yummy Pig.

Dressed out much like its predecessor with an order station and a pick-up counter in the rear plus ample seating ―tables and booths and an outdoors patio ― throughout, Yummy Pig can welcome singles, couples and families with its piggy (plus beef and chicken) menu. While executive chef/owner Jim Thompson ―who also operates Fusions Cuisine catering company ― has recently opened the end of May, he is contemplating building up the menu.

At present, patrons won’t find any appetizers or desserts, but Thompson is working on introducing some unique and simple desserts. For one, his pastry chef and he are working on a deep chocolate brownie recipe, and they plan to offer samples to gauge patrons’ reactions.

“We are working through what will be the most appealing,” he said, emphasizing that every item on the menu is from scratch, including the flavorful vegetarian beans, a mix of kidney and Great Northern beans in a sweet-hot sauce.
With a functioning catering business, one wonders, why does a chef jump into the barbecue fray?

“I have been looking for several years for a restaurant base for my catering company,” he said. “I wanted it to grow out of commercial catering space …Barbecue has always been a passion, and Yummy Pig was a supplement to our wedding business at the catering company.”

Besides, he added, he began his culinary career as a restaurant chef 25 years ago and wanted to get back into the restaurant business.

When he found this space, a former barbecue restaurant, he moved quickly to procure the restaurant.

“We already had a name, and recipes,” he said, “So we decided to streamline the catering menu down to fit the restaurant. This is my version and philosophy of barbecue.”

As he explained, barbecue restaurants usually define their style as Texas- or as Memphis-style. “But I choose to do it differently,” he said. “I do brisket the Texas way so the smoke has a specific ratio of wood to get the flavors we need. It is not too heavy on mesquite and there is more oak.”

As for the pork ribs, he uses a wet and a dry rub made with fresh chilies, and looks for a specific, deeper flavor, smoking the meat over hickory and fruit woods. “It is not quite Memphis style, but it is just my perspective.”

That should please barbecue fanciers who craved pulled pork or chicken, a succulent beef brisket, all tucked into sandwiches or tacos or heaped onto salad or chili bowls. Sides include not only the beans but sweet potato gratin, braised kale and collard greens and a quinoa-baby spinach salad with dried cranberries, plus much more. The four barbecue sauces include sweet bourbon, tequila mustard, chipotle and 4-pepper vinegar. Note that Thompson has deleted the baby back ribs in favor of St. Louis-cut spare ribs, and these are now offered all day.

Yummy Pig BBQ Café and Catering, 17 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg. 703-629-8669.
Hours: Lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday
yummypig.com.
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