In The Spotlight
Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen
So you think you are a fan of Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen? Well get in line behind me, because I'm at the front of the cheering section! I spent some time with proprietors Roger "Roddy" and Aaron Browning last week so that I could share with you more about them as well as the hows and the whys behind the way they run their Oceanside and Vista restaurants.
Aaron and Roddy Browning
Roddy and Aaron both have been in the restaurant business since their early teens and have a real passion for the industry. In their younger years they worked night shifts at a restaurant and getting off at 11pm, they would then have friends over for a late night dinner back at their house, Roddy at the stove. It felt right to work a job they loved then come home and have friends gather around their table in the comfort of their home for food, drink and community. This is just the feeling they want you to have when you dine at one of their restaurants, that you are a guest in their home. They want you to be comfortable and leave feeling you have been recognized, appreciated, catered to and that you have been served a memorable meal.
The Brownings are partners in the truest form and graciously applaud each other for their differing strengths. Roddy, who not only runs the show at both locations is also a certified sommalier who personally selects the exquisite and ever-rotating wines served at their establishments. He believes in supporting the smaller wineries that make small-batch wines. He's got the "we're all in this together" attitude. He is ever-present in the dining room greeting guests and chatting with them at their table. He admits he is not so great at remembering names, but his strength is in the details. He will notice and anticipate his guests needs, and he will remember your face and different things about you. Aaron's focus is important but behind-the-scenes work like bookkeeping, dealing with financial matters and making sure things run smoothly at both Flying Pig establishments. They both worked together as a team to create the interesting and eclectic ambiance you experience at Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen. They love to hit up local thrift stores and Craig's List for mismatched plates, napkins, silver trays and inspired decor items to stock their restaurants.
The Oceanside restaurant is farm-to-table based and was designed to have a gastropub feel and menu. It has been open since March of 2011, in a most improbable location off of Hwy 101 in Oceanside. If you know the place, it sits back hidden from the main road, so it's rise to popularity is a true testament to what the Brownings have created, a masterpiece of atmosphere, eclecticness and delicious food! I'm quite sure you will never see a sparsely filled room at Flying Pig Kitchen Oceanside! The Vista restaurant, opened just weeks ago after a 7 month total makeover (the building used to be a bank), was designed to have more of a European bistro feel with a wide-open room and bistro-type menu, which is still a work-in-progress. You will notice the same fun, imaginative look here as well. It is fascinating to hear the history of each component of the restaurant and how items were upcycled to create something new and useful as well as interesting to look at.
The Browning's philosophies in every aspect of running their restaurants are most admirable. Their convictions influence the way they do absolutely everything in their four walls. The environment is important to them. Green is important to them as well so you will find they employ LED lighting and make use of the steady breeze running through the roll-up doors on the Vista property. Electrical use will be kept to a minimum and natural light will be utilized when available. As I mentioned before, making new use of something discarded is high on the list. They believe in old, quality and sturdy and their style reflects that through different antique pieces. Furniture has been custom-designed and created from repurposed materials. Interior tables have been fashioned from the wood of an old barn. Old, discarded water heaters have been re-imagined into table bases on the patio. Water-wise plants have been used in the landscaping, often watered by grey water taken from the restaurant. Plants and water-conserving succulents as well as rock have been transplanted from the Browning's home.
Let's talk about the most important thing...food! When it comes to ingredients, it's all about fresh, whole, local and organic whenever possible. Again, quality comes first. They make their own pasta by hand each day and I got to witness the painstaking process. Oh but the end result is so worth it! They choose relationship with their farmers and providers of meat, so that they know exactly what they are serving to their customers, with no questions. They are willing to pay for the purest and the best. You can expect to have clean food devoid of steroids, antibiotics, etc. The only meats used at Flying Pig are certified organic. Again, they care about quality, healthfulness and the process, or should I say lack of processing.
Roddy and Aaron are truly good people and very humble about their accomplishments. They are very careful to give the people behind the scenes proper credit and applause for the success they feel they have all created together. They give props to talented and creative Chef Mario Moser, Justin Lappies who is Chef de Cuisine, Stacey Marshall, in-house Cicerone, Jon Wright of Green Applications who was pivotal in the Vista construction process, Sean Gaulden Designs who worked on plumbing, as well as all the metal work and garden designs/implementation at the Vista restaurant. They also give kudos to the servers and people in the kitchen who work diligently and passionately to make your experience the best.
So if you've always envied the folks that hung out at Cheers bar, where
"everyone knows your name," then Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen might just
be for you. You will be treated to delicious food, and like a customer
that matters and is appreciated. If you have not been to either of
these locations, I encourage you to try them soon and tell the Brownings
that you learned more about them on Around The Town. I hope you
enjoyed hearing their back-story as much as I enjoyed hanging out with
them and learning more myself. I find myself utterly inspired by their
passion, creativity and the way they were able to successfully bring
their dreams to life!
Would you like to see your business featured here? Contact me. Get the word out and see new customers come through your doors.