When The Blind Butcher opened after years of rumored anticipation in early 2014, the simple formula seemed enticing, if a bit cheeky: Craft beer plus hand-cranked, house-cured meat. Add a patio and a popular Lower Greenville location, and you've got inevitable success.
While charcuterie isn't new, the Butcher sent D-FW's cultural understanding of artisanal meats on shared-plates to the next level by yanking them out of the high-end specialty shop and placing them into the beer drinker's hand. Today, prepared meats - and their antipasti sister cheeses, jams, jellies, mustards, crackers and fruit - are all over menus in North Texas.
Often served on a rustic hunk of wood, charcuterie boards carry the simple, childhood pleasure of a Lunchable while remaining palatable to adult taste buds.
We wondered where Regular Joes and Janes can get a salty, savory fix, so we turned to some of Yelp's most popular places in Dallas with charcuterie. Know of a great one you think should have made the list? Tell us on Twitter.
The Blind Butcher
Owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling made a name for themselves, and a handily built a cult following, with East Dallas restaurant Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House. When they teamed up with Chef Oliver Sitrin on the Butcher, fans responded in kind. While boards aren't strictly the only thing on the food menu - which they cleverly title "cured meats and assorted green things" -- virtually every item features Sitrin's hotshot locally-sourced, house-produced creations. Erica G. says the sausage board led to "clashing of forks" as she and her husband "battled for the last pieces," and Anthony B. says the "food is stellar, flavors are on point." Margaret A., who missed the charcuterie boards on her first go-round, said it's a ... darn ... shame she doesn't have a second stomach to have tried more of the "creatively curated menu."
This Design District restaurant's mysterious moniker (it stands for "Fire Table 33," named for Matt McAlister's chef's table) points to its handcrafted ethos. So, it stands to reason that FT33 ranks highly among charcuterie fans. Karen L. says she's "never had a better board," and M S says "every single bite, from beginning to end, was presented perfectly, made perfect sense, and was seasoned beautifully." Matt C. went so far as to say after the "absolutely divine" charcuterie board, he knew "whatever came out" would be enjoyed.
It's best known as a wine and cheese shop, but Yelpers say its craft beer and cured meats delight as well. Lee L. calls the prosciutto and pistachio pate "heaven," with items sliced "so paper thin they were all translucent." Plus, the shop's experts offer recommendations for personalized platters. Intimidated? Don't know your salami from your Sancerre? Jump in on the next Charcuterie and Cheese class on June 18.
It's a steakhouse named for a sharp slicing utensil, so no pressure. Even at a slightly higher price-point than others on our list, Yelpers say this hotel-based venture headed by Chef John Tesar lives up to great meat-spectations. Bethany P. says its board has "the best chorizos, liver pate, and other great spicy and peppery meats." Jason S. says it rises above competitors by adding a five-variety bacon tasting and a ham tasting with David Chang's redeye gravy mayo "if more 'regular' boards just won't do it for ya."
What is this strange place? Where are we? Mercat Bistro hit the budding Harwood District in 2013, heralding a coming culinary explosion for the former commercial-heavy area near the AAC. The "contemporary European-style" restaurant counts four charcuterie plates among its house specials. If you're in a bind deciding between them or a plateau de fromage, David R. says have it both ways with the "Un, Deux, Trois" combined plate, which featured meats and cheeses "so delectable and unique" his party "definitely didn't leave any for the crows." Jackie K. calls the standard charcuterie plate, with a selection of salami, prosciutto, and terrine "perfect," and Amanda S. says if you're looking for a lighter bite, just add a little wine and make an entire meal out of the boards.