Dinner for $20: The Improper Pig


The Improper Pig in Cotswold appears to be a barbecue-vegetarian fusion restaurant and if that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry, it didn’t make sense to me either. Until I went there with my family.

The menu has all of the barbecue standards like St. Louis-style ribs, brisket and smoked half chicken, but then then it veers off the beaten barbecue path with ahi tuna salad, beet lover’s delight and edamame.

I didn’t have a problem keeping my dinner under $20 even though I ordered a $6 Dogfish Head IPA straight out of the gate.

For starters, we had the barbecue kale chips. Before you roll your eyes and assume that kale is stupid and that you’re done with it already, I would encourage you to give these a try. They’re served with ancho BBQ seasoning and they’re delicious.


For my main course, I had the Cotswold plate. There are five choices for meat: chicken, pork, tofu or, for a small mark-up, andouille or brisket. I went with the chicken. My two sides were the jalapeño cheese grits and the chef’s choice Brussels sprouts.

The meal

The Brussels sprouts were pretty good. The only problem with them was that they paled in comparison to the jalapeño cheese grits. I would eat those grits every day.

Accompanying the meal was a sixer of sauces.



I had the Tong’s Thai, Queen Bee, and the spicy Hoisin. Tong’s Thai is reminiscent of a sweet and sour that you would get with spring rolls.

Combined with the jalapeño cheese grits, the spicy Hoisin sauce was making my cheeks flush a bit, but it wasn’t enough to make me stop eating it.

The Queen Bee was my favorite of the three. It was sweet, tangy and one of the best sauces I’ve had in a long time.

I was able to snag a few of the tasty Improper nachos made with pimento cheese and house chips from my wife before risking getting poked with a fork and, when I go back, the nachos will be at the top of my list.

Polka Pig

My total tally was $6 for the beer, $3.50 for the kale chips, and $9.50 for the Cotswold plate for a grand total of $19. The tip is not included. 


Clayton Hanson enjoys naps and pizza. He’s also the author of two novels. Follow him on Twitter @SnuffyMcDuffy.


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