To say Ladner isn't exactly the hotbed of food in the Lower Mainland is akin to saying that Chinese restaurant washrooms are dirty. So whenever I'm out that way, it is a struggle to find something interesting to eat. Whilst waiting for Hot Mama and VW-Girl (no, she doesn't have a TDI), Zamboni Guy and I took a stroll through the village and stumbled upon The Dancing Pig. Formerly, the Boot & Sombrero and before that, the popular Uncle Hebert's, this seemed like an interesting enough place to grab lunch due to smell of smoky BBQ emanating from the front door.
Hot Mama didn't want to partake in any BBQ, so she decided to have the Chicken Lettuce Wraps instead. I guess it is to keep her Hot Mama figure... Anyways, for a whopping $13.99, all she got was a minuscule portion of dry pulled chicken hidden under buttermilk kale slaw and crispy rice noodles served with iceberg lettuce cups and garlic & ginger dipping sauce. Not only was this not a fulfilling dish for the price, there was a general lack of impact other than the accompanying sauce. There wasn't even enough filling to properly use up all of the large lettuce cups.
The rest of us did decided to try their BBQ and went for the Dancing Pig Feast. It came with nearly all of the meats including Pulled Pork and Smoked Brisket. Meaty while still moist, the pork was drenched with enough BBQ sauce for flavour and moisture. It was rather sweet with a mild tang. We didn't get much smoke essence though from the sauce nor meat. As for the brisket, it was far too soft. In fact, it was hard to pick it up without a chunk falling off. Now on the positive side, it was moist and tender though. There was a bit more smokiness to the meat than the pulled pork.
Prominently featured on the middle of the wood board, there were 2 half-racks each of the Baby Back Ribs and St. Louis Ribs. The baby backs were soft with meat falling off-the-bone, yet it was lacking moisture. Again, the sauce was rather mild and didn't really bring the ribs alive. Predictably more meaty and chewy, the St. Louis side ribs were sufficiently tender. It was a bit smokier than the baby backs which meant there was more impact. We were universally unimpressed with the Half-Chicken as it was really dry (even the dark meat). Although the skin was nicely rendered, it lacked flavour as well as the meat itself. The side of chipotle cranberry BBQ sauce was bland and a unappetizing shade of pink.
Our sides included Fresh-Cut Fries, Kale Slaw and Corn Bread, which was served on our individual plates. I thought the fries were pretty solid being lightly crisp while maintaining plenty of potato texture inside. Vibrant, crunchy and only lightly dressed with a touch of acidity, the kale slaw was my favourite item of the meal (which isn't saying a lot). We disliked the corn bread as it was dense, too sweet and dry with not discernible textural contrast from the outside. Now if you can take a wild guess (or not), you can ascertain that we weren't exactly thrilled with our meal at the Dancing Pig. Too bad really as there is so much potential since there is not a whole lot of interesting eats nearby.
- Something different for the area
- Comfortable and spacious seating
- Decent service
- Pricey for what you get
- Food needs major improvement