Although the menu items look like comfort food—lasagna, for example—there is a low-fat version at The Skinny Pig—except with pasta made of beets or other healthy substitutes.

Owner Jodie Ashby set up shop three years ago at the 21149 Eva St. location but has lived in the Montgomery area since 1997. Now, she has five children and 21 grandchildren.

“It’s healthy, and everything is fresh and clean. That’s just mine and my daughters’ goal,” Ashby said. “Once [customers] come in and see the menu, they see that it’s part skinny and part pig. Our goal is to make people happy eating clean.”

All the food is fresh and made in-house, where crystal chandeliers hang above chalk-painted birdcages, vintage mirrors and pink upholstered chairs. The display case is usually stocked with decorated sugar cookies, cake balls, brownies and gluten-free almond cookies—before they sell out.

“My daughters helped me design and decorate [the place],” Ashby said. “We do catering, we do weddings, we do all kinds of cakes.”

Ashby has 45 years of experience in the wedding and event industry and wanted to start a local health-based comfort food restaurant.

“I sneak [healthy ingredients] in on my husband, and he does not know the difference,” she said. “I can take a fattening menu, and I can make it taste almost the same.”

The menu offers healthy mix-and-match salads, skinny bowls and comforting seasonal specials.

“Most people think it’s skinny food, but we have a lot of specials—meatloaf, potatoes, green beans and garlic bread [this week],” Ashby said.

As for the restaurant's name, she came up with it with her family.

“My daughter Crystal [Carwile], she’s so skinny, but she eats like a pig—but she eats all the healthy stuff,” Ashby said. “We were just knocking around names one day, and I said, ‘Oh gosh, Crystal, you eat like such a pig; we need to do something with a pig.’ And she goes, ‘How about The Skinny Pig?’ and we all fell over laughing and we knew that had to be it.”

Another of her daughters, Brooke Kirk, also helps out with the restaurant when she can.

“Brooke has really just hung in there and helped me a lot,” Ashby said. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without either one of them.”

Besides her two daughters, Ashby employs two more workers: Emilee Derossett, a new Montgomery High School graduate who has her own cookie business and bakes desserts full-time now at The Skinny Pig; and Chelsea Romano, who works front-of-house and remembers all her customers.

Romano also knows the most popular menu items.

“The skinny bowl, the bacon avocado grilled cheese, and the new [recipes],” she said. “During the holidays, we also take orders for everybody’s Thanksgiving pies, Christmas pies, cakes and cookies.”

A private room can host up to 10 guests, and customers make reservations from as far as Magnolia.