S&M’s deviled eggs may look like typical picnic fare, but the wasabi aioli and the spicy-sweet combination of honey Sriracha bacon make this appetizer stand out from the pack. Photo credit: Lauren J. Mapp
S&M’s deviled eggs may look like typical picnic fare, but the wasabi aioli and the spicy-sweet combination of honey Sriracha bacon make this appetizer stand out from the pack. Photo credit: Lauren J. Mapp

Student Eats: S&M inspires diners’ carnivorous dreams

Sometimes people like to play it safe with sweet vanilla delights, and other times they prefer to spice it up with some S&M. Get your mind out of the gutter, though, for the S&M in question is Sausage and Meat — a hip restaurant, Swine bar and charcuterie with locations in University Heights at 4130 Park Blvd. and in the East Village Quartyard at 1102 Market St.

With a trendy menu touting specialty game and meat in almost every dish, along with an expertly curated craft cocktail list, one might initially get the impression of a much more snooty restaurant, but S&M is anything but pretentious.

Owner Scott Slater — a San Diego State University alumnus — and Executive Chef Mark Younggren have created a menu that has first class flavor served in a friendly, relaxed environment. Picnic tables surround their East Village location in the shared Quartyard space, and equally as relaxed are the cafeteria-style tables and the many paintings of Nicholas Cage that fill the University Heights location.

Between their carnivore-friendly menu, their sales of foie gras, and what the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals believe is a “scandalous” logo (a roasted pig lying with an apple in its mouth), S&M is no virgin when it comes to controversy. Most restaurateurs may not be pleased by having PETA picketing outside their establishment, but S&M almost celebrates it by giving diners free bacon during protests.

S&M offers a variety of sausages and bacon that you can’t find at the supermarket, though their selection tends to change on a periodic basis.

Exotic meats fill some of their links — as featured in their alligator andouille, kangaroo-pork hotlink and bison-chipotle sausage — but you can find more mainstream meat options in their pineapple Portuguese sausage, Mexican chorizo and Hungarian kielbasa. Sausages and cured meats sold at their butcher counter are great for a one night stand if you prefer to enjoy your meats in the privacy of your own home.

S&M’s Swine Bar old fashioned is built with a house made, bacon-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon that adds a layer of smokiness to the cocktail’s flavor. The maple bacon garnish reinforces the restaurant’s theme, and the beverage pairs well with many of their menu items, especially the bacon fat deviled eggs appetizer.

Don’t let the deviled eggs fool you: they may have a sinister name, but they’re secretly a piece of heaven. In direct juxtaposition to the bland eggs that can be found at many a potluck, wasabi aioli gives S&M’s version an interesting kick and the honey Sriracha bacon adds another layer of sweet and spicy flavor.

Hailing from the great white north, poutine has been growing increasingly more popular in the U.S., and S&M puts an interesting twist on this Canadian food staple.

While their poutine has been made with different meats on various occasions — smoked lamb and rabbit have been two of the variants — the basic components of the dish tend to remain the same. Piled high with cheese curds, pickled jalapenos and caramelized onions, these “hashtag” or criss-cut fries are swimming in thick and flavorful demi-glace.

After rocking out the lunch and dinner crowd since they opened, S&M is now open brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. If you visit wearing your pajamas, you can get a free breakfast shot, but if you need another pick-me-up, their French press coffee will do the trick.

Breakfast poutine can be found on their brunch menu that uses tater tots as a base, replacing the slightly more traditional version on their dinner menu. The tater tots were overcooked while trying them at brunch, but all of the toppings — which include caramelized onions, sausage gravy, eggs and a house-made salsa rojas — were delicious.

S&M’s breakfast menu contains some sweeter breakfast alternatives like pancakes and strawberry ricotta stuffed French toast, but the main attraction is the sausage plates. By adding $5 to the cost of the sausage, you can get smashed tots, eggs and toast to round out your breakfast plate.

For the student on a
budget, S&M has some great weekly deals. Customers can get $2 off an
alcoholic drink and a free strip of bacon Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.
and each week they release a “safe word” via social media that can be redeemed
in exchange for two free strips of bacon. Sausage and Meat also offers half off
on their sausages for “Meat Mondays.”

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  • G

    GiselaOct 3, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Excellent review. Can’t wait to try the safe word bacon.

  • R

    RonOct 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I like Lauren’s writing style: informative, yet fun and irreverent. I look forward to reading more of her reviews, and to visitng the restaurants about which she writes.

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Student Eats: S&M inspires diners’ carnivorous dreams