New barbecue spot brings the smoke to West Colfax

Seasoned Swine now offering ribs, burnt ends and tacos in former Smiley’s location

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 3/22/21

Jacob Viers grew up helping his grandma in the kitchen. So, after enjoying a rack of ribs from a restaurant a few years ago, he wondered what was stopping him from making his own. “I thought `why …

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New barbecue spot brings the smoke to West Colfax

Seasoned Swine now offering ribs, burnt ends and tacos in former Smiley’s location

Posted

Jacob Viers grew up helping his grandma in the kitchen. So, after enjoying a rack of ribs from a restaurant a few years ago, he wondered what was stopping him from making his own.

“I thought `why am I paying $20-$22 for these ribs?,” he said. “I need to go figure these out and try to make them at home.”

That simple project has gone further than Viers ever imagined when he whipped up his first slab, with Viers opening a successful barbecue food truck in 2017 and, now, his own brick-and-mortar temple to all things meaty and smoked.

That restaurant, named Seasoned Swine in a nod to the barbecue rub that Viers uses on its meat, opened at the end of February in the former location of the craft beer bar and restaurant, Smileys at 15800 Colfax Avenue.

That location, which features two patios and easy access to both Colfax and I-70, offered everything Viers said he was looking for as he readied to make the move from food truck to restaurant.

But Viers said there was also something special about Golden that made him feel it was the right place to set up shop after running a truck that traveled all over the Denver metro area — and sometimes well beyond it.

“It’s kind of a tourist town but at the same time I’m from small town Iowa so feel Golden has still got that culture,” he said. “There are a couple of people that I employ that grew up in this area and they kind of remind me of how that feeling is back home.”

While many barbecue businesses reflect the style of Kansas City, the Carolinas or one of America’s other barbecue capitals, Viers says his approach to cooking hog defies that kind of easy classification.

Instead, Viers seasons his meats with a rub that he describes as “well-rounded but not offensive by any means.” The ribs are also lathered with a light layer of honey glaze. But one thing Viers doesn’t do is sauce his ribs, which he said are intended to be able to enjoyed without sauce.

However, customers can, and often do, put sauce on themselves and Seasoned Swine produces its own sauces for that purpose, including a Carolina mustard sauce and a jalapeno blueberry sauce.

While ribs are Viers’ specialty, the menu also includes brisket, chicken, burnt ends and pulled pork, plus sandwiches made with those various meats and sides ranging from smoked baked beans to a green chile mac and cheese.

However, there are also a couple of other offerings that diners might not expect to find at a barbecue place: nachos and tacos that utilize the restaurant’s meat and sauces.

Viers said he first started making nachos back in the days of the food truck because he wanted to add an appetizer to the menu but didn’t think it made sense to bring in a friar to make French fries. The tacos, meanwhile, are a newer invention.

“Everybody loves the taco,” he said. “And I thought what better taco than one that has perfectly smoked barbecue as the center piece?”

Even as the restaurant continues to deal with moderate capacity restrictions and the myriad other challenges that come with opening a restaurant a year into a global pandemic, Viers said Seasoned Swine is off to a strong start thanks to its patio and support from the community.

“We’ve had a lot of support from a lot of the neighborhood Facebook groups and things like that in the community,” he said. “Just people that are excited knowing that a barbecue spot is here and wants to stay.”

Golden Colorado,

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