B&B Butchers & Restaurant
BY MIKE PUCKETT
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B&B Butchers is located on Washington Ave., just a few minutes from downtown and a few blocks off I-10. You can’t miss the building that shouts out “MEAT ME” to passers-by. It reminds me of what the entrance to a meat-themed amusement park would look like. What a wonderful concept by Benjamin Berg, who turned this historic building into what I would call a “Grown Man’s Disneyland!”
One thing you should know, right off the bat. Make a reservation. This is a very busy restaurant and now I know why. If you plan on visiting at 7pm without a reservation, then expect to wait. However, there are no worries when it comes to parking – there is plenty available. I love it!
Since I have received so many recommendations for the Butcher Shop and the restaurant, this visit has been a highly anticipated experience. At B&B Butchers, you have the Butcher Shop on the bottom floor with a separate entrance off Washington. There are a number of different drinking and dining areas, each with a different vibe. Downstairs, there’s a cool bar area and a formal dining room. On the top floor, the spacious rooftop patio offers breathtaking views of downtown Houston (take a look at the photography) and comes complete with a full bar and full-service dining – the perfect way to enjoy a relaxed experience with friends and family.
So, I like to say they have business on the bottom, party on top! I suggest you take your time and stop by the Butcher Shop first and take a gander… A Butcher Shop is my favorite place to shop. It all starts at the Butcher Shop, don’t ya know, and at the Butcher Shop you will find the highest quality meats and cheeses. They also serve very hearty sandwiches… that is all I am gonna say about that for now. Stay tuned for my feature on The Butcher Shop!
First stop – the dining area on the first floor. The beautiful restoration job in this almost century-old building is remarkable – the cosmetics are a very enjoyable part of the experience and set the tone for the cuisine. The bar area is a perfect place to have a drink while waiting to be seated. A classy wine rack separates the bar area from the formal dining room.
Then, once we got upstairs, it literally took my breath away! I am used to seeing beautiful views of the Pacific, but the Houstonian/Texan in me has to admit this view of my favorite city skyline is worth the price of admission to this Culinary Theme Park! You get a beautiful view of downtown, as you can see in the photography. I had to put my hand over my heart. It is good to be in Texas!
Well, enough with all the business… let’s get the party started! Top Texas Craft Beer for me (Karbach Hopadillo) and a couple of specialty cocktails for my two compadres. Keep in mind you must be at least 21 inches (years-old) to enjoy this ride.
We ordered the Washington Mule, a locally-named mixture of Reyka Vodka, lime and Ginger Beer. This is a very refreshing, enjoyable cocktail – the perfect choice to have out on the patio.
We also tried The Haymaker, tuned up with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey, Orange Bitters and Angostura Bitters. All were very enjoyable, with a combination of flavors that was quite unique. Good job guys!
Now, I mentioned before that B&B Butchers is like an Adult Disneyland. But, we are in Texas and this ain’t no Mickey Mouse kind of state, y’all! So, in appreciation of my favorite local activity growing up here, I would like to use Astroworld as my analogy. Let’s just say we are about to get on board the Greezed Lightnin’… all clear!
I was told that at B&B Butchers, you should have appetizers for your meal at least once, as they just have so many and they are so good! So, we took that idea and ran with it. We started off with Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes on a whole grain mustard cream sauce. The extremely large chunks of crab were lightly breaded to perfection and provided a wonderful texture to go along with the sweet taste of the crab. The whole grain mustard was what really put this app over the top, and it goes on my must-try list!
Next up was the most recommended item on the list – besides the steaks, of course. Chef Tommy’s Bacon Roquefort with Truffle Infused Honey / Pork Belly. If you like Pork Belly, you will love this appetizer! Sweet and savory with just the right bite from the Roquefort. I read where a critic claimed it was too fatty. Well, it’s from the belly of a pig… what do you expect?
Another amazing appetizer we enjoyed (notice a pattern?), was the Carpet-Bagger on the Half Shell – a beautifully-designed nugget of love straight from the kitchen here at B&B Butchers. The fried oyster is strategically perched on top of bacon, a filet tip, blue cheese and their house-made hot sauce. Does that sound like something you would be interested in? If you enjoyed reading that, just think about what it tastes like. Short answer… GOOD!
As you know from following my features, every meal comes with a salad. At B&B Butchers the salad came with jumbo lump crab! The Salad Crab Louie is built with palm hearts, asparagus, tomato, boiled eggs, caper berries, avocado, green onions and jumbo lump crab. An excellent choice and the lump crab here is amazing.
Every element of this experience so far has been escalating steps to prepare us for the finale here at B&B Butchers. I would like to introduce you to the Texas Cyclone of meats from the butcher himself. Please, watch your step as you enter this ride!
We decided to run the gamut and try a bit of everything, starting with a Bone-in Chopped Steak with Sautéed Organic Mushrooms & Madeira. Seriously, bone-in – just check the photography and see for yourself. An awesome entrée and beautifully presented.
My favorite cut of steak is Rib-eye and the Bone-in Dry-Aged Rib-eye was just what the doctor ordered. This 22-oz. steak was a perfectly-prepared medium-rare with a flavor as good as any steak I have ever enjoyed. That is a long list of wonderful steaks, I assure you. Although this is my go-to steak, I have heard good things about them all, so pick the cut you like most. By the way, you can pick them up to serve at home at the Butcher Shop downstairs – how cool is that?
For my side, I decided to go with the B&B Mac & Cheese – which is not your everyday mac & cheese. This side has truffles! It kind of speaks for itself… ya know?
Another favorite of mine here is the 10-oz Filet Mignon… Carpet-Bagger Style! This is the first time I have had it this way and would definitely order it again and again. Unique flavors combine to please the palate: a delightful combo of bacon, filet mignon, fried oyster and blue cheese drizzled with a house-made hot sauce. Amazing… simply amazing.
To change it up a bit with our next entrée, we ordered the Veal Chop Oscar. This mouth-watering Veal Chop was stacked with B&B Butchers’ incredible jumbo lump crabmeat, asparagus and sauce Béarnaise. The sauce Béarnaise was the bee’s knees – so rich and creamy! You will be very happy with this choice. It sits on top of the asparagus, which was delightful. So much so, we also ordered it as a side.
And to change it up even more, we went for the Wasabi Crusted Tuna on the next round. This beautiful coriander-crusted tuna sat neatly around the edge of the plate next to a Wakame & Shiitake Salad with Ponzu and Miso Vinaigrette. This piece of art was one of the most beautiful photographs I took on this adventure. Everything about this dish was specifically planned and served its purpose – not only appealing to the eye, but a flavor your taste buds won’t soon forget.
Now, a day at this adult paradise would not be complete without dessert, right? You bet! We ordered a few desserts to share. I enjoyed them so much… I would stop by just to grab a dessert and nothing else… well, with my favorite 512 Pecan Porter Stout, of course.
The Chocolate Cake is just as silky-smooth and creamy as it looks. So rich and chocolaty, with the berries providing that juicy sweetness only a berry can. This was my favorite dessert of the three – and that is saying something!
The New York Cheesecake is so fitting after eating such a well-crafted meal. And, this cheesecake is one you want to try. I recommend you share a couple of desserts with the table so you can taste at least a couple. Ya know?
What day at the park would be authentic without an ice-cream sandwich? The B&B Open Face Ice Cream Sandwich is a modernized version of the traditional treat we all know and love. Expect the unexpected in this delightful dessert!
Just like my memories of a wonderful day at Astroworld with my father, this experience was one I will not soon forget. As a kid, the excitement came from the bright, flashing lights and screams coming from the Dexter Freebish roller coaster. Nowadays, I get really excited about an evening out with friends, experimenting with new-found tastes, enjoying craft beer and cocktails. Even more, I enjoy sharing what I find out with others. To sum it all up in one sentence “ B&B Butchers is an experience you want to have in Houston.” And you can quote me on that. Enjoy!
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PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE PUCKETT
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