The Blind Butcher probably isn't the first place you think of when you're craving something sweet. They're a self-proclaimed "Beer + Meat" Mecca, and they've rightfully earned a spot on Scott Reitz's list of "100 favorite dishes" with their pastrami egg rolls. Yet, this is where I found myself on a chilly Thursday night, searching for a place to catch up with friends over a huge mountain of ... wait for it ... bacon caramel corn.
Turns out, the butcher is not only blind -- he's also a tease. There it is, right there on the website: a beautiful pile of mounded-up caramel corn sprinkled with crispy bits of house-smoked bacon. I spend the day hyping it to my friends, and by the time we meet, everyone is worked into a bacon-craving frenzy. With only one seat left at the bar, we set up post at a low table and get our greedy hands on the menu. The coveted caramel corn is conspicuously missing. When I ask our server how this can possibly be, she casually explains that it has just been rotated off the menu.
As if our entire night has not been ruined.
We collectively deflate, and our server heroically offers their chocolate marrow cake, cooked in the bone. It sounds intriguing, but it takes a while to bake, and we want instant gratification. When she says "dessert poutine," we think she's joking, but it happens to be a real thing and the obvious choice.
Poutine may be a staple in Canada, but is a bit of an enigma to some of us in Dallas. Basically, it's a heap of french fries smothered in gravy and dotted with cheese curds. Many have tried their hand at send-offs of the dish, from the gross-looking "poutine-cicle" Gail Simmons created for The Feed to Oddfellows' jalapeno-laden Texas poutine, which has been described as a (delicious) "hot mess." Also, "poutine" is one of those words that does not sound like a real word when it is said repeatedly. Poutine. Poutine. Poutine.
The Blind Butcher offers four savory versions of the dish, plus the option to top it with a fried egg or foie gras, but why stop there? In the capable hands of pastry chef Tina Miller, poutine is transformed into one of the best desserts in Dallas. Cinnamon-sugar churros take the place of fries, syrupy brown butter sauce is the "gravy" and house-made bacon-bourbon marshmallows sub for cheese curds. It's definitely craveable and a bit like a crazy State Fair concoction -- in the best possible way.
But don't think I've forgotten about you, bacon caramel corn. I'll keep tabs on that rotating menu and make a return pilgrimage very soon.
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