Being passionate about something isn't always enough to achieve the desired results. There needs to be a foundation that can be built upon. There must be a relentlessness that is unmatched by the competition. A true love within the act that constantly works towards perfection. Sometimes sticking to the roots, and doing it for the love can lead to something greater than the original goal.
825 Roseburg Avenue, Modesto, CA
Hours: Monday - Closed
Tuesday-Saturday - 11am-9pm
Sunday - 11am-8pm
The roots of Divine Swine all goes back to their love for competition barbecue, and boy can you tell. They have created a dining experience that allows the customer to get the true sense of comfort food, while still allowing you to feel fancy. A place where you can enjoy a 1/2 pound burger with your pinky up.
My wife and I had gone here a couple of times in the past, so naturally for Father's Day I had to be there. I know most people like to barbecue on Father's Day, but I figured why not let the professionals do it for me? Their outside seating area is dog friendly, and since we were dog-sitting, we figured we'd take Chloe and Oscar out for a walk and sneak them some french fries.
The service here has always been great. The workers brought out a bowl of water for the dogs that said "Vodka Water," I might've snuck a drink or two. They were very knowledgable about the menu, and their offerings of pairings with wines and beers with our food helped us understand the depth of their love for what they do.
We started off with their take on Pigs in a Blanket. A flour tortilla stuffed with their slow smoked pork and fried to a perfect crisp, served and drizzled beautifully with their Santa Fe sauce. This is how it was always supposed to be, we just didn't know it. The first bite was a whole new experience on these classic appetizers. When they say slow smoked, they mean it. The pork was so tender and juicy that it actually taught me a lesson on how pork is supposed to make me feel; Blissful.
The flour tortilla it was wrapped in had been fried to such a perfect crisp, almost as if the chef knew what they were doing or something. Of course they knew, because they stick to their roots. The Santa Fe sauce wasn't too spicy, but it did pack a punch to let you know it was there for a reason. We were scraping our plate, getting every last drop of sauce we could to hold us over until our entrees arrived.
My wife decided to go with a throwback comfort food in the Pulled Pork Sandwich. That slow smoked pulled pork served with melty provolone cheese, diced red onion, cilantro, and Georgia-style mustard sauce all on a toasted ciabatta bread. I could go on about how the mixture of these ingredients created such a perfect balance that it made me think about how the Earth just so happens to be the perfect distance from the Sun to sustain life. About how it made me realize that we could all live in harmony if we were just like this sandwich. Or about how it made me see the world clearer, if only for a second.
But even with all of that, the greatest part about this sandwich is the pork. Like seriously. No amount of existential thoughts this sandwich gave me can compare to how perfectly their pork is cooked. It makes me wonder if I have ever even had real pork in my life before. The answer is, probably not.
I tried something a little more creative in the Cow Pig Burger. An 80/20 blend of ground beef and slow smoked pork, served with garlic aioli, jack cheese, thick cut bacon, onion strings and A1 steak sauce. I know what you're thinking, it sounds like a lot. But I'm here to tell you that it was. Oh my god it was so huge. I literally had to look at it from like 6 different angles and ask myself where I was going to start. But once I finally found the sweet spot to start from, I couldn't stop.
The combination of meaty, sweet, and spicy hit every taste bud I had and left them all feeling loved. It was like the flavors were giving every last one of my taste buds a hug with every bite. I always knew that cows and pigs on a burger went together because of bacon, but I never could have imagined it could reach another level until I had the addition of slow smoked pork. The garlic aioli had me licking my lips and fingers after every bite. Except for my fancy pinky that was up the whole time.
Comfort food has never felt so good. If you have someone you care about or love, you need to take them here and enjoy a meal together. Put down your phones, and enjoy each others company while also chowing down on some damn good barbecue. But if you want to take a picture of your food first, that's fine. I don't blame you, the presentation and dining experience is flawless.
Just a man trying to make the most of his time on this planet.