Russ Flint's butcher shop, Rain Shadow Meats, is the philosophical opposite of a Slim Jim, the jerky snack stick synonymous with gas station cash registers and brash professional wrestler spokesmen. Which is why we halted in our tracks upon seeing the Slim Russ, Rain Shadow’s seriously upgraded take on the Slim Jim.
Given the classic butchery’s glass case filled with the day’s cuts and selections, its commitment to responsible ranchers, and the terrific housemade charcuterie, Flint was understandably a little baffled as to why we'd ask him about this particular product. “It’s just funny to me that we do a lot of cool things here and you are writing about a little meat stick.”
But the Slim Jim occupies a place in the pantheon of guilty snack pleasures. And the idea of a sausage snack stick made with Rain Shadow’s attention to quality is pretty exciting.
Flint says the Slim Russ—so named not by Flint himself, but by longtime employee Chris Simpson—is made once a week and the recipe is pretty basic: “It’s 100 percent ground beef sausage. We grind it, season it, press it through the sausage press, and then bake it.” But the result is eminently more satisfying and tasty than the standard, pre-packaged, gas station fare.
The Slim Russ is available at both the Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square locations, dispensed in wax paper rather than plastic packaging adorned with flames.