3 Little Pigs

  • Restaurants
  • Western
  • Western
  • Restaurants
  • Western
  • Hamburgers
44 Xiezuo Hutong
Opening a restaurant within Beijing’s Second Ring Road can be risky business, and there’s surely an analogy to be made between a bunch of pigs losing their homes and the raft of closures currently plaguing the hutong F&B scene. Ominous parallels aside, the resilient swine building a new brick house, in this case, is Andy Horowitz of Andy’s Craft Sausages, who’s been carving up droves of meat in Beijing for just over half a decade.

For fans of Andy’s world of wurst-craft, 3 Little Pigs marks a significant upgrade from his previous digs in Sanlitun, despite its limited seating. With its wooden rafters, all-white walls and tidy bar, there’s something refreshingly informal about the sandwich shoebox, which serves up classic American sandwiches such as hoagies, cheesesteaks and Reubens in a manner that suggests they’re entirely unconcerned about whether they meet the approval of Beijing’s Instagram-ready set.

At this point, it’s worth noting that 3 Little Pigs doesn’t just specialise in house-prepared deli meats. It’s aggressively meaty – or as Andy dubs it, ‘a safe space for meat-eaters’. Between its pulled pork-laden burgers, sausage-stuffed breakfast sandwiches and puffed pork rind lengths, even its tater tots, which accompany each sandwich, are fried in duck fat.

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And yet, somehow this psychotropic fever dream of meat, bread and grease works. That’s due to the fact that at its core, 3 Little Pigs specialises in serving up what’s essentially straight-up comfort food. Or drunk food (is there a difference?). It’s comforting, in that magnificently reassuring way that anything that’s calorific and carb-heavy is, but also in the sense that it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Take the Reuben sandwich (65RMB), for example. Made with slices of house-corned beef and Swiss cheese piled high on slices of toothsome rye bread, it skilfully straddles a tasty line between plentiful layers of rich meat and zingy house-made sauerkraut.

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The Italian meatball hoagie (65RMB), on the other hand, layers well-spiced meatballs with peppers and marinara sauce in a crisp baguette. And the pulled pork egg and cheese (60RMB) features a heaping pile of Berkshire pulled pork, juicily squelched between a buttery brioche bun topped with a fried egg and slice of cheddar cheese. You won’t find any fussy flourishes, revisionist Reubens or deconstructed subs here – this is food made to be eaten with your hands and smeared all over your satisfied face.

A meaty bonus is the Wheel of Fortune-style meat raffle held every Wednesday, with a glut of carnivorous prizes on offer, and while 3 Little Pigs itself doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it does drive home the charms of tried-and- true classics done well. Diners looking for healthy options will certainly need to look elsewhere, but for those who like sandwiches with a bit of meat on their bones, then one could certainly do a whole lot worse than 3 Little Pigs.

By Leanne Wong

Venue name: 3 Little Pigs
Contact:
Opening hours: 11am-10pm daily
English address: 44 Xiezuo Hutong, Dongcheng district
Chinese address: 东城区协作胡同44号
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