Meet Jimmy Ellis and Andrew Elliott! The duo opened The Inked Pig a few months ago in the old Big Bear Cafe in Midtown.
Both men are barbecue enthusiasts, Georgia natives and committed to bringing the freshest main dishes and barbecue sides to Gainesville for many years to come.
“We’ve worked together going on 10 years. We met at Chateau Elan back in 2010, we worked together for a short while and went our separate ways…and had recently reconnected when we decided to do this,” Andrew said. “We were going to do catering but the cost of running a kitchen for catering was more than having our own restaurant. We were lucky to have the same vision at the same time.
“It’s been good, crazy ride so far, we are getting busier and the word is getting out.”
The Inked Pig boasts menu items like smoked pork butt, barbacoa smoked beef brisket, sweet tea smoked chicken, a classic BLT with two types of smoked bacon, rosemary lemon mayo and sides including creamy mac and cheese with charred jalapeno, house pickles, crispy shallots and Southwestern style cream corn, among others. For more information go to www.theinkedpig.com.
Inked Pig chef, Jimmy Ellis, is professionally trained and was inspired to start cooking at age 15 by his father.
“I started processing deer and fish, which got me into it,” he said. “My first job was in barbecue when I was in high school, I went to culinary school from there.
“The barbecue at The Inked Pig is a mix, it’s Georgia, Southern barbecue, we do some Texas stuff like a Southwestern style brisket, then we do traditional style pork butt, ribs, St. Louis-style ribs. We feature four sauces that are from different areas; two vinegars, one hot, one regular, Carolina mustard sauce and an Alabama white sauce that we serve with our okra and a chimichurri sauce that we serve with our brisket. We don’t put any sauces on our meats, all the sauces are on the side. You shouldn’t really need sauce. We wanted our meat and our sides to be equally as good, we put a lot of effort into our sides.”
We want to thank Jimmy and Andrew for recently spending time with us and telling us more about their life and love of Hall County.
Question: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
Answer: (Andrew) “Can we say the Inked Pig?! But seriously, I haven’t tried a lot of restaurants in the area due to the fact that we just moved here but I did try Zen Ramen on the square and it was good.”
Q: What events do you have coming up at The Inked Pig?
A: (Andrew) “The City of Gainesville is putting on Skate the Greenway on June 22 and we will be in attendance for that and then on June 29 we have an event with Left Nut Brewery, just down the road. They are creating a special cask for us with some smoked guajillo chilis and raspberries, it’s going to be an IPA. We’ll have a band playing and have a low country boil; it’s going to be a good time.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Hall County and why?
A: “Teo and Tracy Barth, to be honest. They are in here three to four times a week, they are here all the time. We hang out with them a good bit. When they aren’t here, we are with them at Downtown Drafts or something like that. They are cool people.”
Q: What is your favorite craft beer right now?
A: (Andrew) “I would say Left Nut’s Hooch Shootin’ and the Southern Brewing IPA.”
Q: What is your favorite menu item on The Inked Pig’s menu?
A: (Andrew) “The ribs are good!”
(Jimmy) “The ribs and the brisket and the Sweet Tea Chicken is good, too. We can’t pick! Next week, we are going to be doing Jerk Chicken, sweet plantains and homemade pork rinds.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: (Jimmy) “I’ve always wanted to go to Spain, Madrid or we’ve been talking about doing a trip through Texas, a barbecue tour through Texas.
(Andrew) “I would say a tour through Europe or New Zealand, would be my two choices.”
Q: What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: (Andrew) “Yes, it was ‘Jurrasic Park,’ I was terrified and we had to leave.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: (Andrew) “I definitely want to go sky diving one day, I haven’t done that yet.”
(Jimmy) “A fishing/hunting trip in Alaska is on both of our lists.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
A: (Andrew) “The community, there is a great community and we’ve met a lot of really cool people here and everyone has been really supportive. The culture is really cool.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: (Andrew) “In three to five years, I’d like to open a second restaurant and in seven years have a third. That’s what we’ve been shooting for since we came up with the concept and we want to hold true to that.
(Jimmy) “Soon, we are going to bottle or sauces and spice rubs, homemade pickles.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.