A Sweet Cut
37-08 30th Ave., Astoria
Hours: 11:30a.m.–11p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 11:30a.m. to midnight Fri.-Sat.
CREDIT CARDS: Yes, all major
In a neighborhood riddled with local butchers, Butcher Bar dares to take the whole concept of farm to table a step further. Think locally sourced meat exclusively hand-picked by the owner.
The moment you step inside the bar, you are greeted with friendly service and southern decor. Blonde wood encompasses the restaurant from floor to ceiling and gives patrons a calming, sauna-like feel. In the kitchen, locally grown wood is also used in the smoker.
The butcher counter features daily chef specials both seasoned and cut to precision. A chalkboard containing the names of “This Week’s Farms” assures buyers that the meat they are taking home is local and fresh. Only organic, grass-fed meats make the cut at this carvery.
If you are coming in on an empty stomach, not to worry, Butcher Bar also serves everything they offer over the counter. On my recent visit, I tried the 50/50 sandwich. It is 50 percent beef brisket, 50 percent pulled pork, and 100 percent pure deliciousness. The brisket, which undergoes a 12-hour dry rub smoking process, is so tender and juicy that it will have you begging for more. The bar’s original sauce rounds the sandwich out nicely with a savory tanginess. If you are feeling adventurous, try the habanero sauce. Eater beware, this sauce starts out sweet on the taste buds but finishes hot enough to grow hair on your chest. For a safer route, I recommend trying the sweet & spicy sauce instead.
Another brisket favorite is the burnt ends sandwich. The servers affectionately refer to the burnt ends as “Meat Candy.” For those who prefer poultry over beef, the pulled BBQ chicken sandwich is a close rival.
As for sides, the house slaw is refreshing and light. It is a nice substitute over a traditional side salad. The mac & cheese comes in a hearty portion and is lightly dusted in BBQ spices. The corncakes with honey butter are delightfully light and fluffy mini versions of their traditional square-cut cornbread counterparts.
As for dessert, my dining experience would not have been complete without trying the apple cake. Sugary and crisp, the cake is a tasty re-invented take on the all-American apple pie.
If you are visiting during peak dinner hours, opt to have your meal on the outdoor patio with a jar of the bottomless ice tea. Although the restaurant is still awaiting their liquor license, they do allow patrons to BYOB. How many other butchers can compete with that?