Celeste and Michael Lucas have been staples in Georgetown for two decades, opening Pig Iron B-B-Q in 2004 and expanding with Slim’s Last Chance next door a few years later. The latter has become one of the most renown chili places in Seattle, drawing raves from Bon Appetit, Guy Fieri, and even Colin Farrell.
Unfortunately, the pandemic forced Pig Iron to close, and when it came time to reopen it, the owners didn’t want to go back to barbecue. “Meats are expensive, everything’s changed, we need to reinvent ourselves,” Celeste Lucas says.
The solution they landed on was pork burgers, a relative oddity but one that Lucas is excited about. Compared to ground beef, pork “caramelizes a little bit better” she says, and “doesn’t feel as heavy.” The result of this inspiration was Pig Iron Burger Shack, which opened this week.
The burger-focused menu includes entries like the Texas Heat, which adds sweet pickled jalapeno relish and roast jalapeno scallion mayo to the pork patty, and there are turkey burgers for those who avoid pig, as well as fried green tomato sandwiches. (Although to be honest, if you’re a vegetarian there are probably more suitable places to go.)
While Slim’s Last Chance has more of a roadhouse vibe, including live music, the new Pig Iron is more casual and takeout-friendly. But Lucas says a lot of care goes into these burgers. So far, that care has been rewarded with praise.
“You get paid twice: You get paid for the burger but you get paid in compliments,” she says. “The restaurant industry isn’t a huge moneymaker, you have to believe in it.”