by Ian Froeb
Last week, Feast noticed a new barbecue restaurant among its -- and several other local food-media sites, including Gut Check's -- Twitter followers: Capitalist Pig.
It turns out that Capitalist Pig is the latest project from Ron Buechele, owner of Mad Art Gallery (2727 South 12th Street; 314-771-8230) in Soulard. In fact, Capitalist Pig will be located at Mad Art Gallery.
Each weekday, Buechele tells Gut Check, "we'll transform the courtyard and a portion of the gallery into a temporary restaurant."
(The gallery already has kitchen facilities.)
Buechele says he is employing a "broad" definition of what barbecue is. Capitalist Pig will offer such staples as pork ribs and shoulder and beef brisket, but it will also have specials that, for now, Buechele describes as "a bunch of exciting things."
As for the woods used to smoke the meat, Buechele says, "I tend to like fruitwoods, apple and cherry," for the more subtle flavors that they impart, but he won't be a stickler. "Certain things take more to hickory."
Adds Buechele, "My source [for the wood] is an arborist. A lot of the wood will be natural trimmings from apple and cherry trees."
This is one example of Buechele's larger vision for Capitalist Pig: "It's going to be completely sustainable."
"We're using Berkshire pork from small, family-owned farms in Iowa and Minnesota," he says. "In order for it to be certified 100% Berkshire, you have to be able to trace the pig back to the original Berkshire heritage in England.
"That's part of the goal. I can tell everyone where [their food] came from, the city, who was responsible for it."
Capitalist Pig will also recycle or compost all of its waste and is working with a paper supplier to develop a to-go container that is "at the very least" recyclable and, ideally, compostable. The restaurant's green commitment also includes energy-efficient lighting and appliances and even "greener" dishwashing chemicals.
Capitalist Pig will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Buechele is aiming for an early August debut. We'll have the exact details of the opening as soon as we learn them.