Meat Shop: Bob’s Processing, Bloomer WI
This one is fairly special to me. Moving to Wisconsin was never on my “To-do” list. It’s a funny way how things work out. Fast forward 12 years and look at me now; Sewn seeds, Spread Roots and Loin Fruits!
Bob’s Processing was one of the first Local Businesses that I supported as an executive Chef. Living in Bloomer at the time, I would pick up 50 lbs of bacon weekly on my way into work in Chetek. Bob’s Processing was also a large part of the “problem” I had in the Kitchen. When dollars don’t make sense, often quality is the first casualty. When someone “Above my Pay Grade” made the decision to Stop ordering bacon through Bob’s and go with an “off the Truck” (more cost friendly) option, which was shit; but keep the name “Bob’s Processing” on the menu… That was the seed that grew me out of being “Someone’s” Chef. It was the seed that grew into, what is now, LiveGreatFood.
In 1 million ways, this is the most biased introduction to any meat shop ever… I am transparent and not naive to that… But if you check them out, tell me I’m wrong.
Its a small town joint with too much grit to be Federally Inspected. It has a quality to it that you can only get in a State Licensed Facility. Often, when working with Federal Plants, the amount of paperwork and effort that goes into complying with the mandated process tends to navigate managers to over-simplify and mainstream the practice so that you can plug “Cogs” into Gaps and ever misfire the operation… In the State-ran Joints… you have the real Characters. Its not the place you go for smiles, but the wear of the process and the pride and accountability that it takes to keep up with the process is felt and understood.
You have the Wood Fire Smokehouses in the state joints. 1 human responsible for maintaining the heat… By hand feeding wood into the floor of the smoke house. None of the “Set-it & Forget it”, $50,000.00 Touchscreen, Automated, Pellet Fed Smokers. This is knowing the the rhythm & pulse of the practice. This is “Old-World”, Perfect Practice, This is running the Smokehouse on Tuesday because you’re on the “Kill Floor” on Thursday. This is Tradition. This Is Bob’s Processing.
Where They Soar: Anything Smoked. The processing side of Bob’s is a Traditional Across the Saw “Wisconsin Break” on carcass, well oiled and proficient. It’s the attention to practice in the Smokehouse that set’s this place apart. Bacon, Lights Out. Hard pressed to find a better bacon with-in a 50 mile radius. Snack sticks, Unparalleled, Period(.) Like, this is the standard. (There is one other place I know that stacks up pretty well and starts splitting hairs; But that’s a different post…)
They make ’em Thicc (with 2 C’s). An average stick is anywhere from 10 -14 inches long and damn near an inch thick (I’m being fairly gracious, I know it’s three quarters of an inch, I told you this was biased). The Flavors and recipes are consistent, remarkable snap, the way a snack stick should crack when you bite into it. Cooked perfectly, in a taunt casing with very little shrinkage/wrinkling proving it was stuffed with the same love that it was cooked with. Great particle definition, not over mixed and still a consistent flavor throughout, no spice pockets or separated fat pouches.
9.6/10 Snack Sticks.
I’ve never had a Snack Stick from Bob’s that I didn’t fall in love with! Quote me; And try to argue.
Bob’s Processing: 2430 Main St, Bloomer, WI 54724