By Cecily Markland
Drive anywhere near Piggly’s Smokehouse, on Stapley near the 60 Freeway, and the mouth-watering aroma of their “Serious Barbecue” will tease your taste buds and extend an invitation to indulge.
But, it’s when you step inside that the real experience begins. The one-of-a-kind restaurant makes for unparalleled dining satisfaction, with its colorful décor; family-friendly atmosphere; attentive, service-oriented staff and scrumptious menu of barbecue and fair favorities.
“We want families to be able to come and, when they walk through that door, we want them to know they’re somewhere special,” says Janine Sawyers. She and her husband, Craig, are co-owners of Piggly’s, continuing the family tradition started in 1964.
“His parents started in Washington State,” as a concessions company that served burgers, hot dogs and Piggly’s famous curly fries at fairs and festivals “all up and down the west coast,” Janine says.
Craig still runs the concessions side, supplying Piggly’s signature selections at barbecue events, carnivals and community festivals from Arizona to Canada.
“But,” Janine says, “the restaurant was always our dream. It was always our goal to bring our food and our flavors to our neighbors and community.”
And, they wanted to do it in a way that would attract both kids and seniors—and everyone in between.
“We use all local meats and do all our smoking in-house,” Janine says. Their fried zucchini, onion rings and Piggly’s famous fries are “all fresh vegetables, fresh cut and hand-dipped.” Along with delicious hamburgers, turkey legs, pulled pork and ribs, they offer a “kids and seniors” menu with chicken tenders, corn dogs and delicious barbecue sandwiches. Daily specials include beef ribs on Thursday and an all-you-can-eat catfish fry on Friday. Then, there’s Piggly’s handcrafted desserts—including old-fashioned funnel cakes, sundaes, sweet-tooth satisfying cotton candy and deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies and Snickers.
Piggly’s offers both full-service or fast casual, so customers can order and pick up their food at the counter and help themselves to the condiment area for extra fixings. Their newest service option is a barbecue buffet at lunchtime. In addition, Piggly’s provides catering services and box lunches for community events and parties; and, families or groups can reserve the patio area, free of charge, where they can enjoy a buffet-style meal for 25 to 100 people.
“We’ve made it fun, so kids color on the paper tablecloths, draw on the chalkboard, play the beanbag toss, or sit in tilt-a-whirl style benches—and it’s all free. Parents don’t have to shell out an extra $20, $30 or more for games,” Janine says.
Janine says they look forward to sharing Piggly’s food and family-fun. “Come and ‘experience the legend,’” she says.
Piggly’s Smokehouse is located at 1633 S. Stapley in Mesa. See their menu at www.PigglysAtTheFair.com. For reservations or takeout, call 480-707-9009.