I've driven by a barbecue place a handful of times in the south Omaha suburb of Bellevue - Swine Dining. And reading about the place in local travel magazines in the Omaha area, it turns out that Swine Dining has won a number of barbecue competition and people's choice awards over the past few years. Leaving Omaha late one morning and heading toward Kansas City, I stopped off at Swine Dining for lunch before I left the area.
Eric Ging got his start - like many barbecue chefs - working the competition barbecue circuit. Working out of his mobile barbecue truck - the Pig Rig - Ging was a regular barbecue competitor and also offered up his barbecue at special events and fairs, and was usually seen in parking lots around Bellevue and near Offutt Air Force Base. When a chance to open a restaurant came up, Ging opened Swine Dining just east of the Olde Towne area of downtown Bellevue. (It appears that there may have been a change in ownership in April of 2015, but from what I could find on-line it still lists Eric Ging as the owner.)
It was just before noon when I pulled up in front of Swine Dining on Mission Road just west of the Missouri River bridge that takes you across to Iowa. (see map) I was able to park on the street across from the restaurant and went inside. It's counter service at Swine Dining and the order window has the menu just above it. It's a pretty short menu for a barbecue place and they don't sell beer to go along with the smoked meats.
There are two dining areas at Swine Dining - a smaller one in the same room as the counter and this room off to the side that featured some worn booths and tables with ice cream parlor chairs. A number of awards were on the walls along with some signage from other barbecue places.
As I said, the menu at Swine Dining isn't deep featuring pork ribs and 1/2 chicken for main entrees and a handful of sandwiches including brisket, pulled pork, barbecued chicken, and smoked sausage. They didn't have combo plates available for individual diners, but they had combos that would feed 3 to 6 people available. But that was going to be way too much food and it was too pricey to try three meats and a couple of sides. On given days, Swine Dining also has specials such as a traditional southern Brunswick Stew made with smoked meats, barbecued pork tacos, and feather bones - small pork riblets taken from the back of the tenderloin of a pig.
I decided to get the brisket sandwich and two sides lunch special they had that day. The brisket was served dry and open-faced on a small hoagie bun. I got the baked beans and fries to go along with the brisket sandwich. They had two different types of barbecue sauce at Swine Dining - a Kansas City-style sweet sauce and a spicy sauce that I didn't think was all that spicy.
The brisket was thin, lean and had some pretty good flavor. The spicier of the two sauces went very well with the taste of the meat. The beans were pretty good, as well. They were heavy in molasses and had a very sweet taste. I mixed in some of their spicy sauce with the beans to zip them up a bit. And finally, the fries were also pretty good. They were a thicker, steak-fry style with a crispy outer shell and a nice flaky inside to them. The overall taste of the barbecue was above average.
I'm the kind of guy who likes to try different types of smoked meats when I go to a barbecue place. I was somewhat disappointed in that the cheapest combo plate was around $40 bucks at Swine Dining, so I just ended up getting the brisket - which was available only as a sandwich option. And I'm also the kind of guy who likes a cold beer with my barbecue, something that Swine Dining also doesn't offer. Other than that, I thought the brisket sandwich, baked beans and the fries were all above average compared to other barbecue places I've been to. Swine Dining was a good place to try, but I don't think I'd drive out of my way to have a meal there again.