DYER | During peak dining times, the grill at Hog Haven can look like a dinner scene from "The Flintstones," with the eatery's signature quarter-inch thick chops spread over the heat.
It's the most popular menu item at the swine-themed restaurant, where pig pictures and tchotchkes cover the walls and shelves.
Hog Haven, 1514 Joliet St., is a hot place for those who carry a badge, with wall space dedicated for police officers and firefighters to autograph.
A bulk of the customers order the go-to pork chop, which takes 30 minutes to cook so they ask you to call in advance. But a jaunt to other parts of the menu for ribs, chicken, brisket and burgers is worth the risk.
I recently ordered the BBQ pulled pork sandwich, which comes with a side of fries. The pork had slow-cooked tenderness with a sweet zip of sauce. It tasted like the cooks put just as much love into this not-as-ordered dish as they do the chops.
Northwest Indiana isn't known for its barbecue, but places like Hog Haven will challenge anyone who thinks you can't find that flavor outside of St. Louis or Texas.
For more information, visit www.hog-haven.com or call (219) 322-8108.