Pig in a Pickle chef-owner Damon Stainbrook has an impressive background that includes stints at Lark Creek Inn, One Market and as sous chef under Thomas Keller. The kiosk at Public Market is Pig in a Pickle’s second spot, with its Corte Madera location having put the restaurant on the map as a regular on “Best Of” lists.
A recent write-up in Eater noted that “Stainbrook hits a range of regional styles … He rubs and smokes brisket for 18 hours in the vein of Central Texas. His hot links are based on Cajun andouille. He calls his dry-rubbed, smoked, and pulled pork shoulder dressed in a vinegar-based sauce ‘very North Carolina.’”
We caught up with Damon as he worked the counter, in between preparing customers’ orders.
Q. What attracted you to open at Public Market Emeryville?
A. I liked the size of the unit here, the central location. It’s close to the bridges, close to a lot of the communities. There’s a real diversity of clientele, diversity in age groups. You get a lot of different people in here and I like that.
Q. How do you come to work in the food business?
A. I started doing it when I was 16. I liked the craziness of it. I thrive in that environment, where you figure it out and make it work. Plus, I like to eat. I like to eat all food, so it’s fitting.
Q. What’s the popular dish at Pig in a Pickle?
A. Brisket, brisket and more brisket. We’re selling brisket like crazy here. Hot links, too.
Q. Do you have any particular favorite dish from other Public Market purveyors?
A. I really like ramen at Shiba, and I really like the fried chicken at Minnie Bell’s – those are probably the 2 things I eat the most.
Q. Any favorite restaurants you have in the Bay Area?
A. Yucatasia. It’s this tiny little taqueria in the Mission with incredible Yucatan food. It’s one of the few places you can go where there’s still a grandmother cooking. There are no burritos – just real Mexican food from the Yucatan, made by older women who came from there and know their food.
Q. What goals do you have for your business?
Q. I just am focused on running it right, day by day. Just want to make sure we get this right and always serve great food for our customers.
With 5-star reviews, Pig in a Pickle seems to really be getting it right. Visit the new barbecue spot at Public Market today and taste for yourself!