No regional qualification necessary: Pig Feathers makes damn good barbecue. We admit to being surprised by this fact. Coastal Oregon is not considered a hotbed of great Q, and we’ve come to expect smoke parlors with goofy names like Pig Feathers, and goofy mottos like their trademarked “Everyone loves a great rack!”, to churn out the kind of ordinary barbecue found in shopping malls across the country. Beware of hasty judgments.
Pig Feathers is owned by Stu and Becky Miller. Stu is a former state barbecue champion, and it shows on the plate. The selection here is relatively focused for an out-of-region barbecue house: there are baby backs and pulled pork, supplemented by smoked prime rib on the weekends. Not only are the meats expertly smoked but the sauces have genuinely interesting flavor. We especially recommend the Ouch! on those ribs.
The menu says they serve babybacks. These don’t look like any baby backs that we’ve ever seen (we are baby back frowners, by the way), nor do they look like spares. We’ll leave it to the Q experts to explain exactly where on the pig these bones come from, but they are far meatier than your garden variety babybacks. Suffice it to say that Stu turns out some really first-rate barbecue. Those in the photo are glazed with Ouch! sauce, which is not incendiary but is hot enough to grab your taste buds’ attention. And, at $14, a full rack with superlative homemade fries and terrific fresh slaw is a bargain.
The pecan-hued French fries are hand-cut and served in copious mounds; the fresh coleslaw, so much more than the usual throwaway, is a cool and crunchy palate-refresher between bites of smoked and sauced meat. Every detail, from the pitcher of Arnold Palmers forward, seems to have been given thoughtful attention. Most of the rest of the menu features burgers and wings, and a host of sides. For you microbrew fans, know that Pig Feathers is connected to the co-owned Twisted Snout brewpub next door, and you can enjoy their good brews with your barbecue if you wish.
The town of Toledo, named after the Ohio city, is only seven miles inland from the coastal town of Newport, along the Yaquina River, but there is not a whiff of the ocean in this hilly town built on the lumbering industry. Today, you can see the huge Georgia Pacific operation, the last remaining mill in town, from Pig Feathers’ front door.300 South Main Street Toledo OR 97391 541-336-1833 Pig Feathers’ Website Pig Feathers on Facebook