When Goodfriend Beer Garden owners Matt Tobin and Josh Yingling opened the Blind Butcher with Chef Oliver Sitrin, they created a meat-lover's paradise inside a simple but classic old school Greenville Avenue barroom. The space has the feel of a prohibition-era saloon but also offers neighborhood warmth.
Inside the Blind Butcher, furnishings are painted black and there isn’t much light beside the soft glow from wall lamps and TVs. Grabbing a barstool will guarantee a bartender's introduction with a handshake, and you may catch yourself people-watching via the bar’s giant mirror. There may as well be a small room full of cigar-smoking, fedora-wearing gamblers tucked in the rear, but in reality, it's just a serious patio with another bar.
Until recently the Butcher has only been serving dinner and late-night snacks, but now it's open for lunch during the week and — cue applause — on weekends. The menu is an adaptation of the dinner menu — you’ll find familiarities like a lunch version of the charcuterie platter, pastrami on rye and hand-cranked sausages.
The new additions are geared more toward the breakfast and lunch appetite. The beer biscuits and sausage gravy is the most traditional breakfast item, with the biscuit made from an Octoberfest-styled beer called Marzen. The Franconia Brewing beer is brewed specifically for Blind Butcher with darker malt; it provides a crisp and clean taste that complements the bread well. The Cornish pasty, native to our British friends across the puddle, is a lamb- and vegetable-filled delight enclosed in a pastry circle, baked to crispy perfection and served with house-made spicy mustard.
Every day is a good day for a sandwich, especially one from Blind Butcher. The duck pastrami sandwich is delicious enough to cause Daffy to ruffle Donald’s feathers, then turn him into one. Served on soft pretzel bread, the meat is smoked and peppered, and accompanied with duck bacon, pickled shallot and beer goat cheese.
The whole hog sandwich doesn't come up short in taste or its emphases on using every part of the sow. Along with the pulled pork, ham and bacon, they add scrapple — better known as all the hog’s leftovers. Do not fear; the scrappy flavor delivers a subtle sweetness that pulls together the sour pickles and nutty-ness of the walnut scallion bread. Also offered daily: a chicken sandwich and veggie reuben, along with an Italian sausage with tomato sauce, mozzarella and roasted peppers on rosemary focaccia. It's one midday meat spot that's well worth a visit.
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The Blind Butcher, 1919 Greenville Ave., 214-887-0000, open daily at 11 a.m.