Waterville’s new restaurant, Proper Pig, a carnivore’s dream come true

This past week my dad visited for the day and we decided to try out the Proper Pig for Saturday lunch after a friend recommended it to me. Her first question when I asked for a restaurant recommendation was “Do you like meat?” The Proper Pig is definitely the place to go if your answer, like mine, is an emphatic yes.

Strolling down Common Street in downtown Waterville, we were greeted by a sign starring a smirking pig in a top hat and bow tie. The modern-style black and white sign fits with the theme of The Proper Pig: modern and high quality but also witty and fun. The inside of the gastropub is dark and sophisticated. On brick and dark wood walls hang cartoon signs depicting pigs with captions like “I like pig butts and I cannot lie.” I could imagine the wait for this place getting pretty ridiculous in the winter when the outside patio closes, as the inside is small and has tables for no more than five groups.

The Proper Pig is located on Common Street. Photo courtesy of The Proper Pig.

The Proper Pig is located on Common Street.
Photo courtesy of The Proper Pig.

The Proper Pig opened this past summer after receiving a grant from Waterville as part of the efforts by city officials, business owners and President David Greene to expand Waterville’s downtown and draw more people to the area. The restaurant is run by Fred Oullette, co-owner of the popular American restaurant The Last Unicorn.

The menu boasts an impressive number of appetizers, including pulled pork nachos, bacon-dusted fries and pork belly mini buns. Although heavy on the beef and pork, the restaurant offers a variety of salads and a veggie burger with avocado and citrus chipotle aioli. It also has a large bar with a number of draft beers and specialty cocktails. I was feeling bold – and hungry – so I ordered the “Big Bad Wolf”, a burger topped with pulled pork, onion rings, fontina cheese and barbecue sauce. The menu warned me that I would be “huffing and puffing all the way home!” I’m not the biggest fan of french fries and the pile of fries that came on my plate were nothing special. I would definitely recommend the burgers, as they seem to be the specialty at The Proper Pig. The 12 cleverly named burgers come with toppings like grilled pineapple, pork belly and Dijon roasted garlic mayo.  I haven’t heard amazing things about the sandwiches, and my dad complained that his had too much bread, as it was served on basically an entire baguette.

Portion sizes are fairly large, and I wasn’t quite able to finish the entire burger, as delicious as it was. There’s an option to order a single patty burger as well, if you are feeling ‘boar-ing’, as one of the burgers is named. For the amount of food, the price was pretty reasonable, with the burgers ranging from $10-$12.

I can’t wait to visit the bow-tie pig once again and stuff myself with more delicious burgers! This is definitely an amazing addition to Waterville’s downtown, with something for everyone.

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