When Sarina and Gwen McGugan entered the restaurant business
10 years ago, the first thing they did was write down
everything they disliked about restaurants - surly wait staff,
processed foods, static menus, etc. - and vowed never to allow
any of those elements into the new establishment. They
immediately realized that this list was the exact opposite
of all the things they enjoyed about dining with
friends - laughter, a relaxed atmosphere and great food. In
that initial session, they had agreed upon the approach they
"Treat patrons like they are guests in our house."
That philosophy was the basis for their first restaurant, Somewhere In Time, in Mystic, and is evident throughout their latest endeavor: When Pigs Fly, in Waterford. In both cases, the restaurant becomes somewhat of an extension of Sarina's and Gwen's home.
That goes for both the treatment of customers and the preparation of the food. Friendly and accommodating, you'll feel right at home the moment you step into, When Pigs Fly. Take a seat and you are greeted with a smile, a truly creative menu and an inviting ambiance that quickly transforms casual customers into regulars. Some of these individuals even have sandwiches and dishes named after them. Others have brought in pictures, statues and all sorts of incarnations of pigs. Look around the restaurant - they're everywhere, adding a whimsical touch to the surroundings. One other element that catches a lot of customers' eyes is the Christmas tree ornaments hanging from the ceiling. They went up during the first week of operation, when staff had few customers to serve and plenty of time on their hands. It was just one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time. Things got busier soon after that, and nobody has the time - or the inclination - to take them down. They're now a permanent part of the décor.
About the only thing that can match the welcoming atmosphere is the food. Nothing is processed or pre-cooked. This is true, home cooking, where all dishes are prepared from scratch...yup, even the soups. Sarina and Gwen take a relatively simple approach: They serve foods they and their friends like to eat, and prepare them similar to what they would do in their own kitchen.
This method results in a lot of experimentation before any item makes it onto the menu. Specials on that menu change weekly and seasonally. You can be sure that any of the scents and tastes that make each season special will be found at When Pigs Fly. Regulars have come to expect delicacies, like peach cobbler in summer, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin bread French toast in fall, and Christmas French toast made from eggnog in winter. Some other French toast breads include: Banana bread, strawberry bread, blueberry cream cheese bread, corn bread and apple cobbler bread. Avocados have been finding their way into several new dishes, and there is an ever-growing list of items with whole grains, along with more vegetarian and gluten free dishes.
Catering to customer tastes and requests, the offerings, combinations and specials are constantly changing. Three things that will never change are the friendly service, inviting atmosphere and creative selections that have made When Pigs Fly, Waterford's favorite neighborhood cafe.