The word barbecue derives from the Native American Arawak word barabicu, which means “sacred fire pit.” The Arawak apparently loved barbecue just as much as modern Americans.
In Marlinton, it’s been pretty much do-it-yourself for barbecue fans unless the church or fire department is holding a fundraiser. But now you can get good barbecue, seven days a week, without firing up your Smoky Joe on the back deck.
Business partners Breck Gibson, Susan Gibson and Drew Grimes opened the Pink Pig BBQ & Shrimp last Thursday. The mobile kitchen and barbecue stand sits next to Suds and Duds laundromat on Second Avenue. Grimes is the barbecue specialist; Susan Gibson is the shrimp specialist; and Breck Gibson is the manager and all-around assistant.
Breck and Susan worked in the restaurant business for several years, until recently deciding to go into business for themselves.
“My wife had worked in the restaurant business for quite awhile up at Snowshoe,” said Breck. “I had managed some restaurants myself, so we decided to bring some unique and different food to Marlinton.”
Susan Gibson, originally from Cass, uses a Southern recipe to prepare the shrimp.
“You won’t need to count, they’re big enough they’ll fill your plate.” she said. “They’re marinated and then we put a special batter on them, and then they’re deep-fried. A young lady, who I met in New Orleans, is a phenomenal cook and she’s the one that showed me how to do the tender shrimp.”
Pink Pig uses only traditional methods to cook barbecue.
“The three factors that go into making barbecue are the wood, the rub, and then it comes down to the sauces,” said Breck. “We do it traditional. We don’t use propane; we don’t use pellets, we use real wood, like apple or hickory, to give it that real smoked flavor. We smoke it for 16 hours minimum.
“Another thing that makes a difference is the rub. Everybody has their unique rub that makes their barbecue unique. The rub gives a taste above the smoke flavor and gives a unique flavor. Then, of course, having a selection of different sauces, depending on the taste of the individual.”
Grimes refined his cooking skills at Hog Wild BBQ in southern West Virginia.
“No, no, no – this is not the same recipe,” said Grimes. “We created our own West Virginia barbecue recipe and it’s for our house only. All of our products are wood-fired from point A to point B,” he said. “No propane – nothing else is necessary. It starts with wood and ends with wood.”
“It’s made with love,” added Susan, revealing one of the secret ingredients.
The partners want to keep prices low so that everyone in Pocahontas County can enjoy some gourmet barbecue. You can get a barbecue or shrimp dinner at the Pink Pig, including fries and cole slaw, for $8. A shrimpburger or barbecue sandwich with cole slaw is $6. You can get a hot dog for $2, fries for $3 and nachos for $4.
The Pink Pig is available for catering.
“In West Virginia, we are licensed as an establishment, so we can actually go in and do catering that’s open to the public, and we do private events also,” said Breck. Call 304-799-6095 for information on catering.