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.
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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.