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Hoppy Pig

December 30, 2019

  • 135 N. Kinzie Avenue
  • Bradley, IL 60915
  • (815) 614-3134
  • Website
  • Menu

It was our turn to head to Illinois for Christmas.  My family just came to Michigan for B’s birthday over Thanksgiving weekend and we needed to do Christmas with my family early because L was having her tonsil’s out and wouldn’t be able to travel.

We did something a little different this time.  We got a hotel instead of staying at my parents.  It’s at the point there’s just not enough beds so a hotel was really the best way to go.

We got in to town late Friday night then headed to my brother’s house about 20 minutes south of Kankakee, IL Saturday morning.  We spent the day with my family, opened presents, and ate Italian beef for lunch.

My mom wanted all the kids to spend the night at her house.  My brother needed a babysitter that night anyway and J and I could use a night to ourselves every once and a while too so we gladly let them go to Grandma’s.

J and I headed back to our hotel on the south side of the Kankakee metro area around 5:00.  There are no hotels near my parents or brothers…so this was the closest.  We had eaten a pretty big lunch  but we also weren’t going to pass up the chance to go out for a meal with no one whining about when their food was going to get there.

Pretty much all of my family was pushing us towards The Hoppy Pig.  I mean, beer and BBQ.  That pretty much sums up my life.

The Hoppy Pig is in Bradley, IL on Kinzie Avenue just north of Broadway Street.  We have actually eaten at this restaurant before…a few years ago when it was known as Ale House Pub & Eatery.

The parking lot is pretty tight but we found a spot near the side door which serves as the main entrance.  You walk right in to the bar area then have to take two steps down to get to the host stand.  Someone came over right away then grabbed a few menus and took us to a two top pub table on the other side of the bar.

The Hoppy Pig is pretty classic sports bar.  The place is loud and covered with TV’s.  As I noted in my last blog post about this building, it’s surprisingly large.  We were sitting next to the bar but there is another dining room and a live music venue in the back of the space that we didn’t even see this time.

There’s also a huge pub table right in the middle of the bar for large groups.  One of my buddies did his 40th birthday party here…but I was unable to make it home.  The bar is really conducive to large parties but it is also a nice cozy place…albeit loud, to enjoy a beer and watch a game.

The beer list is pretty large.  It’s divided by styles and two pages long.  There’s a lot of really good stuff and even some hard to find beers as well.

One of the rare beers on the list was Goose Island’s 2018 Bourbon County Brand Wheatwine.  I haven’t been able to get any of the variants the last few years so my eyes lit up when I saw this on the menu.  It was a little pricey but totally worth it.

J tried to order a cider, but, surprise, that was the one thing they ran out of….because it always is.  This happens to her all the time…I feel like bars are still underestimating how many people are drinking ciders now and it can be really frustrating for a non-beer drinker who just wants a drink.

She ended up ordering the House Old Fashioned.  She really likes the Old Fashioned at Green Door Distilling Company but doesn’t usually drink whiskey other than that.  This one was made with Sazerac Rye, Demerara simple syrup, Bitter-cube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitter and a cherry.  She was hoping for a more vanilla flavor than what she got but it was still very whiskey-y.  It was fine but she really wanted a cider.

The menu is a lot of of what you’d expect.  Bar food and BBQ.

I ordered The Bradley Porker.  This burger is a 1/2 lb beef patty with pulled pork, smoked pork belly, bacon, crispy onion straws, beer cheese, and a Bourbon BBQ sauce on a brioche bun.  Yeah, the sandwich was a lot but it was a pile of porky goodness on top of a delicious burger.  I really liked the pork belly used in place of traditional bacon.  The portion size of both the burger and the pulled pork would have probably been enough for most people on their own but I was determined to beat this sandwich….I almost did too…I stopped with just a few bites to go.  The sandwich came with pretty underwhelming fries on the side.

J started her meal with Crispy Brussel Sprouts.  She asked for them as the side to her meal but they came out as an appetizer.  The bowl of roasted brussel sprouts came with a balsamic drizzle and Pecorino cheese on top.  I don’t like sprouts so I didn’t even try them but J said they were very tasty.

For her meal, J picked the Pulled Pork Sliders.  The three little brioche slider buns came with slow smoked pulled pork in a sweet and spicy sauce.  These simple sandwiches didn’t have to do much.  They had just three ingredients to deliver on big flavor and they did so.

It took a little while to get our bill which we had come to expect at this point.  Our waiter was pleasant enough but he seemed to be pretty new and was struggling a little bit.  Food came out at different times and I think J’s drink came after we got our meals.  He came and took our plates but didn’t drop off the check.  It took a little while for him to come back so we could ask for it.  We were both still sipping our drinks so it was fine…we’re just typically in such a hurry for the check we didn’t know how to just sit there and enjoy ourselves.

The bill came out to right around $50 and we paid cash.  My mom and aunt had given us both cash as gifts so we used that instead of putting it on our cards.

The Hoppy Pig is a nice little bar in Bradley.  When I was growing up, the Kankakee Metro area was mostly chain restaurants or hole-in-the-wall diners.  Places like this are fairly new and I look forward to seeking them out whenever we go home for a visit.


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