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International White Bread 

The Flying Pig reconfigures the familiar

click to enlarge Gina Thompson enjoys a cold one at the Flying Pig Pub. - MEGHAN KIRK
  • Meghan Kirk
  • Gina Thompson enjoys a cold one at the Flying Pig Pub.

The Flying Pig's eponymous signature dish ($7), a cold roasted pork sandwich with herbed cream cheese, cranberry sauce and mustard stuffed between thick slices of white Wheat Montana bread, conjures up thoughts of Fourth of July luncheons and mid-century Dagwood sandwiches. It's retro without even trying. This lack of pretense is what imbues the condiment-laden, midafternoon meal with cold comfort. The herbed cream cheese, made in-house, is light and dotted with fresh green herbs. The cranberry sauce is tart and sweet and the mustard has zest, which leaves the tender roast pork to act as the sandwich's stolid foundation.

The Flying Pig Café opened three years ago on East Sprague, the International District's main drag, and although the pork sandwich remains on the menu, it isn't as popular as it once was.

"Customers seem to want the burgers," says Jacob Rauth, who co-owns the place with his wife Erin and father Hans. About two months ago, when the kitchen was expanded to include a grill and fryer, the menu grew from cold sandwiches to hot and fried food. That means some uniformly golden, crisp onion rings can now accompany your Flying Pig sandwich or any number of hot items, from classic cheeseburgers to a pineapple-bedecked Island burger ($7-$9). There are also melts and BLTs; instead of a ham melt, vegetarians can opt for drunken mushrooms (shrooms sautéed in sherry) to accompany their melted Swiss.

Even better is the café's generous breakfast menu, a meal they serve until 3 pm, when the café side of the Pig closes and the pub side opens.

About a month ago, the Rauths acquired the space next door, the former Rainbow Tavern, and have transformed it into the Pig's Pub. There are eight rotating taps, featuring local brewers Budge Brothers, also in the International District, and a full bar.

"Kind of what we are right now is a neighborhood place, our customers come in and they like our food and they tell their friends, and as far as the bar goes, we are hoping to continue that trend." says Rauth. ♦

The Flying Pig • 1822 E. Sprague • Mon-Wed, 7 am-10 pm; Thu-Sat, 7 am-midnight; Sun, 7 am-8 pm • • 863-9591

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