As you stroll along a homely street in West Seattle, your nose suddenly picks up a smell. It wiggles “Bewitched” style and your eyes brighten because what you smell is…bacon! Fist bump!
The Swinery is an artisan butcher shop located in West Seattle and sells basically everything pork. More on that later. Lodged snugly by it is the Swine Courtyard where street-food style eats can be ordered and eaten on their little benches or simply taken to-go. When I went, many people chose to sit down on the benches, relieving their legs and breathing in every bit of porcine heaven.
Let’s start off with the butcher shop. Here you find a great array of sausages such as Rosemary Sausage, Bratwurst, Italian Sausage, Hot Italian Sausage, and Merguez, along with other types of meat (but the sausages seemed to be the most popular). Something of interest: they offer a Paella class. Head on over to their store and check it out.
But being the baker and sweet-lover that I am, meat just isn’t enough to excite me. So you’re probably wondering what got me excited about this place. Bacon brownies, bacon caramels, bacon chocolate-chip cookies, and bacon joys. Oh my goodness. That got me going. They gave out free samples of their bacon brownies and bacon chocolate-chip cookies. Shall I talk about them one by one (or will you start drooling before I even start)?
The bacon brownies were dense and fudge-like with delicious, chewy bacon bits wedged in the heart of the chocolatey sweet. The bacon chocolate-chip cookies were small, warm, and had the same bits of bacon as the bacon brownie. The bacon caramels I did not try (they were pretty pricey), so I’ll be sure to give it a shot the next time I go there. But the bacon joys..I bought.
Have I ever told you I love coconut? So, naturally, I have a semi-infatuation for Almond Joys. Take toasted coconut shreds, topped with chocolate, and with almonds and bacon bits burrowed inside, and you have got something that I am willing to spend my wages on.
And then I traversed to the Swine Courtyard and had brunch.
So some background information. The Swinery is especially famous for its Bacon Dogs (1/4 pound bacon hot dog), the Breakfast Sandwich (2 eggs, Swinery sausage, and cheese), and the notorious Swinery Burger (1/3 pound of fresh ground Thundering Hooves with caramelized onions and cheese).
If you’re not into bacon by now, get out of here. Just kidding. You can stay here because I’ll make it my mission to turn you into a baconholic. I am a recent convert myself.
Above you see my half-eaten breakfast sandwich. Two eggs, my favorite swiss cheese, and that unadulterated deliciousness known as sausage. It was half-gone before I knew it. I was that hungry. But after going all the way to West Seattle from Bellevue and waiting 40 minutes in line, you would probably be too.
The best part? They make it right before your eyes. You see the kitchen staff in the back forming the ground pork into little patties and carrying them to the front where the chefs grill them and make your sandwich. It reminded me of a teppanyaki…only with the best sausage ever.
And what is that mess you see above? It’s…a breakfast hash. The reason it looks like a mess is because it was half-eaten before I even whipped out my camera. We were hungry like wolves (don’t you love Duran Duran?).
Their breakfast hash consisted of grilled potatoes, shredded pork, poached egg(s), and a side of pickles. It was ready before the rest of our brunch so that went the quickest.
Can you imagine my delight when I dug my little plastic fork in and came out with shreds of pork and a hearty chunk of grilled potato with some parsley? Mm that was really good.
My little conclusion: Food definitely deserves a plus. Chocolate+bacon+eggs+coconut=about as good as food gets. Atmosphere-wise, I love the homemade feel of the whole place and how they turn pork into something like an art to be practiced. Service also deserves a plus. The people who took our order were extremely patient and always maintained a good sense of humor even when we switched back and forth between cheddar and swiss cheese.
Only issue I have with this place…the line for the Swine Courtyard. I strongly suggest that you go with a group so that while someone stands in line, you can go into the butcher shop and try out samples and examine their meats and vice versa. Otherwise, it could be 40 consecutive minutes of standing in line by yourself. Not something I would want to do. (There is typically no line in the butcher shop if that’s what you’re going for.)