I’ll cut to the chase – Swoop is good. And, sometimes, very very good.
The gist of the menu, as it stands, is relatively ‘easy-to-prepare’ things done the hard way. Like, for example, their tater tots. A breeze to prepare, unless you make them from scratch, as they do. Beautifully browned and crispy, and tender on the inside, they’re clearly worth the effort and a whole lot better than what you’ll find elsewhere.
Ladle some gravy atop them, and sprinkle with cheese curds, and you have, to my mind, the best rendition of poutine in town. If it’s on the menu, get it – the flavor of that gravy will leave you wondering how so many in the past have gotten it so wrong, and the way it clings to the crusty surface of the tots will make you wonder why poutine isn’t always done like this.
Their Brussels sprouts are also among the best around – crispy, slightly charred, and bacon bedecked, they’re nothing fancy, but done with a deft touch.
And those are just the sides. Swoop’s main focus, as of now, is on sliders. If you’re looking for a straightforward cheeseburger, they have it, but from there they take all sorts of liberties with the concept – think B(elly, pork)LTs, jerk chicken, and a BBQ rib version, all on slider buns and priced at $3 each or 2 for $5.
They’re perhaps even more varied in flavor than the descriptions would suggest. The jerk chicken was pleasantly, but unusually spiced with what one taster thought might be Chinese 5 spice and another guessed might be cumin. Either way, it was on a juicy slice of nicely fried white meat. The BLT was intriguingly sauced as well.
All were enjoyed, with the only possible critique being that the flavor of the homemade quick pickles asserted themselves more than would be ideal on some of them. Also good are the gooey pimento cheese filled empanadas.
We haven’t had too much time to talk with the guys behind Swoop, but in brief discussions we’ve learned that they’re pushing to source locally as much as possible, with an ultimate goal of purchasing 90% of their raw ingredients within central Ohio.
They’re also likeable guys – treat yourself, check them out.