Butcher Joe Saenz goes whole hog at Swine House Bodega.
“I want to bring the sandwich-eating culture to San Antonio,” said the Alamo City native and owner.
Opened May 30, the pork-based shop serves diners at 124 N. Main Ave., in a shared space with Pinch Boil House.
The word “swine” is used to show that properly processed pork can yield many delicious dishes, according to Saenz.
“I just think that one of the advantages of being a whole-animal shop, a whole-animal mediator, is just knowing more about food systems, getting closer to the source, and embracing some of the things that we may find off-putting,” Saenz said. “Kind of like empowering what is uncomfortable.”
Studying at a Brooklyn culinary school, he learned the importance of charcuterie, the preservation of meat in a cold room.
While in New York City, Saenz patronized bodegas — small food and grocery stores.
“To me, the word ‘bodega’ is a place that you know is near you, you can depend on it, it’s part of your neighborhood experience and becomes a part of your identity,” he said.
Saenz spent nine years in the Big Apple, discovering many techniques for food preparation, including pork.
“Our goal is to just utilize everything we can, bring out all of the positives of every piece of meat, organ, etcetera, and do it in a way that people can be excited about and enjoy,” he said.
The menu offers daily, rotating deli selections with sandwiches, submarines and hot dogs. Meals include Reubens and meatball subs. Focaccia and sourdough breads are homemade.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.
SWINE HOUSE BODEGA
124 N. Main Ave.