A BLT where the “B” stands for (pork) belly. A third-pound Painted Hills ground-beef burger on a brioche bun from Macrina Bakery. Carolina-style pulled pork. Pair any of these with the house Danger fries—tallow fries doused in bacon and cheese—and you’re eating in The Swinery’s courtyard, which feeds the masses during weekday lunch and weekend brunch. Here, the focus is on flavor, and the chefs maximize this by incorporating bacon and bacon fat in any number of ways. Their renowned bacon dog even attracted the carnivores of United States of Bacon.
Inside The Swinery proper, cases brim with the fruits of old-school butchery practices. Meats that have been properly aged, hung, and prepared jostle with housemade sausages and world-renowned cheeses. The result: smoked tasso ham alongside English bacon and loukanika sausages flanking barbecue brisket, all of which combine to solidify the shop’s title, “The Temple of Porcine Love.”
Apart from using old-school butchery practices and maximizing the use of bacon fat, The Swinery ensures top flavor by following sustainable practices. Butchers ship in whole animals from small farms within 300 miles of their shop and use every piece they can. And whenever possible, they select animals and products raised and made with organic practices.
After more than 25 years in corporate America, Charell moved to the small business world by opening Firefly Cafe & Creperie. Her cozy, artwork-adorned cafe fills daily with the inviting aromas of sweet and savory crepes, into which she piles everything from apple-smoked bacon to dulce de leche. She even whips up gluten-free and vegan versions including breakfast crepes with tofu scrambles and dessert crepes with sliced almonds and cashew cream. Along with beverages from her espresso bar, Charell complements mains with organic smoothies and juices chockfull of healthy fixings such as mango and kale.
Set in a brick carriage house in the heart of West Seattle’s Junction neighborhood, Hotwire Online Coffeehouse dishes up more than just a great cappuccino and quick morning muffins. Custom coffee creations rotate with the seasons, and customers can enjoy fifteen minutes of free work time at the small shop’s bank of computers with every beverage purchase. New this year, patrons can also belly up to the in-house “Helios Bar” for a free 15-minute hit of light therapy, an antidote that pairs well with caffeine for combating Seattle’s lengthy rainy season. Busy commuters can also text in coffee orders for maximal time efficiency, but why rush away? In summer, Hotwire’s compact outdoor patio is a great place to pause with pooches or strollers over a steaming cup of joe before tackling the rest of the day.
Beer Junction is a hybrid pub and beer retailer that boasts more than 35 refrigerators full of brews, as well as hard ciders by the bottle or six-pack, growlers to go, beer steins and various other accessories. Beer geeks who find a favorite bottle in the fridges can drink it onsite for a small corkage fee, and a rotating events calendar features guest brewers or themed tastings representing multiple different breweries. Beyond the bottles, Beer Junction sports several taps of locally made craft beer, as well as a few wines by the glass. If you’re hungry, Beer Junction sells munchies like nuts and popcorn, but focuses its expertise on beverages rather than food. Patrons with bigger appetites are encouraged to order in from the handful of local sandwich and pizza joints that deliver or offer nearby pickup, or bring in their own food.
Family History Three generations of the Miller family have run Husky Deli. First, there was Herman Miller, who stood his ice cream maker—which he dubbed “Husky”—in the front window in hopes of drawing customers. Then, there was Herman’s son John, who woke his own sons up early in the morning to help him with the ice cream. Jack, one of those sons, leads the staff today, which also includes eight members of the Miller family’s fourth generation.
In the Press
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Flip through the stacks of vinyl at Easy Street Records, which staffers claim is Seattle’s “longest-running record store.”
After: Get a treat for your four-legged friend at Next to Nature (4543 California Avenue SW)
Started in 1982, St. Christopher Academy, a private, non-religious high school, focuses on students in grades 9-12 who are at-risk academically, or have learning differences such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and more. With experienced special education teachers and a supportive learning environment, students experiencing challenges in high school can learn at their own pace. Class sizes are typically 5-8 students, and the curriculum emphasizes study skills, along with social skills, positive self-image, self-confidence and the ability to achieve success in school. There are also numerous extra-curricular activities which students can take part in. The academy is located in the Seattle Lutheran High School in West Seattle, and students can also participate in their no-cut high school athletic program.