Happy Hour

Pig & Pickle in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

The Spot: Pig & Pickle 2922 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale 480-990-1407 www.pigandpickle.com

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The Hours: Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 until 6 p.m.

The Interior: Pig & Pickle might not be what you expect on the outside if you've heard all of the same rave reviews we have. On the inside, the large wood mural of a pig enforces the pork-centric menu theme. The rich colors and materials match the food, too. During happy hour, you can pick to sit at a table, the bar or on the patio.

The Food: We already said pork-centric, right? Out of the seven items offered for $5 during happy hour, only two (the "dump truck" salad and chicken strips) don't contain piggy goodness. One of the newest happy hour offerings was actually a late-night menu item -- the udon noodle bowl. Though this technically is a chicken-based noodle dish with veggies and a tangy, sweet ginger sauce, you can (and should) add pork belly to it, which is why we don't count it as a non-pork item.

The charcuterie plate comes with a chef's choice selection of different sausages and other meats, bread, butter, mustard, and house-pickled treats. We loved our little purple pickled egg and the licorice-y pickled grapes. However, if you really need a wallop of pork in your diet, try out the pork tostadas. Piled high with tender, flavorful pork shoulder, and kimchi, the super-filling plate of two tostadas embodies the restaurant's namesake -- with the vinegary kimchi and fatty pork working in perfect harmony.

The Drink: Pig & Pickle offers four different drafts, three wines, and three cocktails for $5 during happy hour. The list has a nice selection of local and national brews, along with two white and one red wines. We just couldn't help grabbing a couple of tasty cocktails, though. We started with the astoundingly simple and classic gin ricky, which was refreshing and light. Then we decided to pair a whiskey sour, made with fresh sweet and sour, with our delicious and decadent seared carrot cake to finish.

The Conclusion: With knowledgeable service and a comfortable atmosphere, Pig & Pickle is a great spot to relax during happy hour. The simple $5 price list doesn't necessarily jibe with beer, but everything else is pretty much a steal at that price point. The pupu plates are as delicious as the main menu items, giving people on a budget the perfect opportunity to try what Pig & Pickle is all about without breaking the bank.

Grade: A

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch