Name: Swig & Swine
Address: 1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407
Order: 3 meat combo (pulled pork, homemade sausage, smoked pork belly), vinegar slaw, hash & rice, smoked wings appetizer (link to menu)
Price: $20 for the combo, $12 for a dozen wings
Speedy: On the second day of my college friend bro weekend, I had to lay the smack down. “Dudes,” I said, “I’m a Barbecue Bro. My readers expect – nay! – my readers deserve a second review from my time in Charleston. So what if we had ‘cue yesterday? We’re running it back!” And so we found ourselves at Swig & Swine, which I had driven by a couple of times on Savannah Highway.
Monk: I applaud your dedication to the cause, comrade Speedski!
Speedy: From an atmosphere perspective, this restaurant has everything you want from a new school ‘cue joint – a nice rustic feel, a great bar, and large beer selection. We took a seat in the bar section and our waitress quickly approached. We immediately ordered some smoked wings for appies. I added on to that by ordering the three meat combo (because I was having a hard time making decisions).
Monk:This wouldn’t have anything to do with your previous night’s activities impairing your thinking ability would it?
Speedy: I would prefer to not answer that question, Monk. Anywho, due to the events at Home Team BBQ, I have extended my brisket ban to South Carolina (with one notable exception), so I ordered the pulled pork, homemade sausage, and tacked on the pork belly, which I was excited to see. Traditional NC side vinegar slaw and traditional SC side hash and rice rounded out my order.
Monk: Ohhh, hash and rice. Really curious how you found this? I thought it was a bit weird myself.
Speedy: Patience, young grasshopper…
The wings came out first and they were divine. Smoked perfectly and tossed in a red ‘cue sauce, these wings were meaty, tender, and full of smoke flavor. They were nearly perfect. This got me super excited for the rest of the meal.
Monk: So far, so good. Now let’s just see if the rest of the meal holds up…
Speedy: Sadly, I was let down.
Monk: Well, never mind…
Speedy: The pork was decent, but lacked smoke and was a little dry. The table was stacked with several sauces (red, vinegar, mustard, white), so I added some vinegar sauce and it did help. Overall, the pork is passable, but not great. Which is more than I can say for the pork belly. Pork belly should be crisp on the outside and melt in the mouth on the inside, which this was not. Instead, it was tough and lacking of flavor. I’m certainly no expert in smoking pork belly, but I expected more.
The sausage was actually good – the best meat of my entree. It was definitely homemade and had a nice snap and really good flavor. I would’ve preferred it to be a little spicier, but that’s just me. Overall, I’d get this again.
Monk: Could you tell what smoking method Swig & Swine used? Sounds like a gasser to me.
Speedy: I’m not sure – that would be my guess as well, but I didn’t go check it out. The slaw was forgettable and the hash was decent, and something I’d order again, though I’m not familiar enough to know how it stacks up.
Overall, I was really hoping for a special meal, especially after tasting the wings. Unfortunately, I ended up with an average experience.
Monk: So far, between this place and the two Home Team BBQ’s you’ve been to it doesn’t seem like there is much to Charleston barbecue. I expect this to change when John Lewis opens his place later this year.