THE BLIND PIG
214 Linden St., Fort Collins
Telephone: (970) 493-9197
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
Rating (Out of 4 stars): Three stars
Walking by The Blind Pig “pub and grub” restaurant a few weeks ago in downtown Fort Collins, I made a mental note to return for a lunch or dinner review. It is the latest place to occupy the space on Linden Street, which has housed so many restaurants and breweries to date.
Surprisingly, it was for Sunday brunch that I returned to the Blind Pig after hearing about its extensive and ever changing all-you-can-eat buffet.
What struck me right away was how different the interior décor looked. The focal point is still the large bar area, this one square shaped, which sits smack dab in the middle of the restaurant. Floor to ceiling book shelves on two walls add a nice touch and there is plenty of seating, indoors and out.
While a basic menu (burgers, salads, sandwiches) that leans a little on the side of Mexican fare (quesadillas, tacos, salsas) exists for lunch and dinner, weekend brunches have a rotating theme.
The Sunday my family and I arrived, it was a Southern theme, complete with fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and macaroni and cheese.
That was just the start of course. For $13.95 per person, we filled our plates with cheesy scrambled egg-sausage casserole, blueberry French toast, bacon, sausage patties, cobb salad, pork-laced green chili over rice, fried okra, fresh fruit and desserts.
Buffets are notorious for serving up lackluster food in high quantities rather than quality food in normal-sized portions. While some items at the Blind Pig suffered slightly from this fate, the majority was downright terrific tasting.
The scrambled eggs, alone and in casserole form, toughened a bit from sitting in their warming tray all morning, as did the blueberry French toast casserole. Both were a little on the chewy side.
However, some items held up extremely well. The fried chicken, for example, was as good as any I’ve ever had. The meat was supremely moist and the coating perfectly crunchy and flavorful.
The biscuits and gravy were very good, as well. Warm and flaky biscuits paired with the creamy, herb-enhanced gravy, made this the favorite item of my husband and two daughters.
Fried food can sometimes turn to mush when sitting around too long, but the fried okra retained its crunchy exterior and tender interior with every bite.
The Cobb salad was particularly impressive with super fresh ingredients and wonderfully balanced dressing choices of balsamic and ranch.
Also impressive was the assortment of fresh fruits which included mixed berries, various melons and pineapple.
The macaroni and cheese got a little tough around the edges, but the spicy green chili with pork, served alongside rice, was hearty, tender and had a great consistency.
The desserts appeared to be a purchased assortment of small pastries and cookies. They were tasty, but held no particular connection to the South. A peach or pecan pie would have put this buffet over the top, Southern style.
One of the Blind Pig’s most unique offerings is its extensive $5 Bloody Mary bar with a glut of make-your-own options available.
My husband and I decided to try the $1 mimosas instead. We weren’t expecting much for a dollar and we weren’t disappointed. A splash of champagne mixed with a very sweet juice cocktail mix makes the dollar price tag on these drinks just right.
With a great location, catchy name, revamped interior and some very good food, I hope the Blind Pig does not go the way of its predecessors. I can only speak to its brunch, but for that alone, it’s a worthy reason to give it a try.
Shannon Teslow has been a Windsor resident since 1995.