Hog Heaven BBQ
 Canton, Ohio         Date of Visit  04/07/12        

Our last trio visit to Canton resulted in stellar disappointment at Peter Shears. We were looking for redemption and some of the more unique items of Hog Heaven's Appetizer list sent us South. Very close to some college stomping grounds, Hog Heaven took over one of the many defunct Friendly’s locations and I don’t know if they tore it down or renovated the building but you would never know. The smell when we stepped out of the car was enticing, it increased in intensity when you stepped inside the door.



Oh, No! It's Back!

The interior is all blonde stained wood with a mix of tables and booths. The lack of a two wheeled ride in my life was rubbed in my face as Hog Heaven makes full use of the double entendre showcasing Harley’s from all over. The floor and the bar are busy with diners and drinkers. The staff is young but on the ball and outside of delivering dinner on the heels of apps did a pretty fair job.

What caught my eye when deciding where to go were two of the appetizers. Hog balls and prehistoric hog eggs. Those were defiantly going to happen we added a couple of types of wings, and three combos. Ribs, Ribs, Ribs. One with chicken, one with pulled pork, one with brisket. Sides included cottage cheese, Brew City fries, slaw, potato salad and baked beans.

One sign of trouble. The ketchup on the table. Harkening back to the disaster of Milich’s Village Inn; the table is supporting a bottle of Red Gold! Criminal in and of itself. Judgment is suspended and a couple margaritas (regular and peach) arrive.

Enough Peach Margaritas Might Make Ketchup Taste Like Heinz

The Wings Were Surprisingly Excellent


Especially the Super Crispy and Delicious Old Bay

The Dregs of Old Bay Wings at Hog Heaven, Finger Lickin' Finger Bowl

The wings come first, one dosed with their medium sauce and one with a rub of old bay seasoning. The medium sauce is actually unbelievably tasty. It starts with a shot of sweet moves through some different spicy notes and finishes with a healthy but completely pleasant heat. Even better was the old bay rub that contained the wealth of ingredient found in a can of old bay. Crispier, more nuanced, still juicy inside, we all agreed we would return for the wings alone. I can’t wait to try other flavors. They have 15. MMMMmmmmmm.

The weirdo apps quickly followed. The hog balls are seasoned pork meatballs with their bbq sauce. The meatballs are lusciously rich and balanced the sweetness of their sauce, something not everything on the menu would accomplish. The prehistoric hog eggs are scotch eggs (battered and deep fried hard boiled eggs) sprinkled with Cajun seasoning and served with hot sauce. I have never entered into the world of devious chip shop frying and had a scotch egg. It tastes like a battered and fried egg. Until you add the hot sauce and Cajun seasoning take something eggy (good), fry it in beer batter (better) and give it a serious punch with hot sauce and spices (awesome). If this is what hogs evolved from that explains why they are still so frightfully delicious.

Hog Balls. Yup, Hog Balls

Very Tasty, Worked Better With Their Sauce Than Anything Else

Prehistoric Hog Eggs

Interesting But Would Have Failed Without Hot Sauce

The combo dinners were less successful. The ribs were tender and smoky but the sauce (apparently prepared with Red Gold instead of Heinz) is doggedly sweet and needs balanced by either vinegar or spice. Luckily the ribs were complicated enough to fight off the sweet. The pulled pork and the chicken failed miserably to cast off the sweetness. The chicken was better without the sweet sauce, the pork needed more than the sauce could provide. Steph said it tasted like dirty water. It did. No sauce is going to help that. The brisket was imbued with entirely too much smoke and needed the sauce which couldn’t begin do what was required. The Ribs were good. Stick to the Ribs. Avoid the combos. Stick to the Ribs.


Ribs Were Best Q In The House by Far

Boring and Off Tasting Chicken


Way Worse Than Boring and Off Pulled Pork, Gross, actually Gross

Welcome to What The Walls in Hell Taste Like

Great Tater Salad; Slaw Embodies Definition of Ehhhhh

If You've Had Brew City Fries You Already Know

The sides were also a mixed bag. The fries were just dandy. They are Brew City Fries and if you live around here you have probably seen them on other menus. The potato salad, suggested by the waitress, was layered scrumptiously. Tatery, tangy, hint of sweet, dash of pickliness. It was a great suggestion. The beans were sweet and fine, I would still go back to the potato salad. The slaw was a complete non entity, terrible disappointment in a Q hut. Hint of cabbage with no discernible other taste one way or the other.

Hog Heaven might very well represent the best wings and Q in Canton OH. The wings are an accomplishment, the Q faces much less competition and it shows. If you’ve been to the other well known Q joints (The Pit/Slow’s) there is no competition. If the mileage is a problem you could do worse than Hog Heaven. If you never have the chance to join in on our adventures, some tasty stuff is available locally, even if it sits on the same plate with some serious misses.

Q Sauce is Way Better With a Dose of Their Hot Sauce




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