Tauraso’s Mark on Urbana: Black Hog

Michael Tauraso is the owner of Urbana’s Black Hog Bistro.

In mid-July, Michael Tauraso, well-known name among Frederick County’s restaurateurs, brought his name to Urbana. He opened his second Black Hog restaurant, known for its flavor-packed BBQ and weekly deals on ribs.

“This is my fourth, current restaurant venture,” Tauraso said, sitting at a high table next to the bar. The Black Hog, he said, dishes up two things well — meat and drinks.

Since opening in mid-July, he said, “We sell 300 to 400 pounds a day of meat … pork BBQ and beef brisket.”

He laughed. His first Black Hog location in downtown Frederick, he said, is about 20 to 25 percent smaller.

“It’s all the same recipes, the only difference is our bar, which is bigger,” Tauraso said. The bar at the new restaurant has a bigger selection of micro brews as well as a wider selection of mixed drinks.

“We have the pineapple infusion that we stole from The Tasting Room,” said Tauraso with a laugh. The drink mixes pineapple-infused vodka with simple syrup and is garnished with fresh pineapple. “It’s good!”

The restaurant also serves a Black Hog Bloody that includes the restaurant’s own Black Hog BBQ sauce, he said.

But when eating BBQ at the Black Hog, Tauraso says to go light on the sauce.

“My philosophy is that you should taste the smoke of the meat and add the sauce as the condiment,” he says. “To me, that is the classic way to eat BBQ.”

The Black Hog makes its four BBQ sauces on premises, he said. Sauces range from the Original, a thinner sauce, to the Kansas City, a thicker and sweater version. Also offered is the Mustard BBQ sauce. And if you’re a no-tomatoes kind of person, Tauraso welcomes you to ask for the Eastern Carolina sauce. He said it’s a “true-grit vinegar sauce” without tomatoes.

“It’s in the kitchen,” he said. “Ask for it if your interested.”

In addition, the Black Hog serves Cheerwine, a cola-like soda that’s a legend in the South. Tauraso said that, to his knowlege, he’s the only distributor of Cheerwine in the area.

“It’s indigenous to Carolina BBQ,” he said of Cheerwine. He added that he began to serve it because he wanted the Black Hog “to be authentic.”

Tauraso said that Urbana was an easy pick when expanding the Black Hog to a second location.

“It’s a good area,” he said. “There is a high density of people with a pretty good income level, and there are not many restaurants.”

Tauraso, who began his career by washing dishes at age 14 at the Red Horse Steakhouse, said he’s taking the next year off.

“I’ve opened two places in three months,” he said, including Freez King, a burger and shake joint just on North East Street in Frederick, and Urbana’s Black Hog. “Next year I am going to chill a little bit.”

He added that after a year’s break and some travel, he hopes to take his Black Hog farther down I-270.

Tauraso said that the Urbana location will host the same weekly specials as the downtown location. This includes Monday night pork night ($12 for two pork sandwiches and two sides), Tuesday night rib and wing night ($15 for a full rack of ribs and one side; $5 for 10-wing platters) and Wednesday night beef night ($15 two beef sandwiches and two sides). Each of the specials begin at 5 p.m. and run until close.

Black Hog is located in the Urbana Village Center and hosts “feeding times” from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily as well as carry-out. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the bar is open until 11 p.m.

Black Hog BBQ & Bar

Urbana Village Center



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