Butcher Bar / Astoria

Originally posted on Tumblr in April 2015.

Had a local Astoria night out recently, so we stopped in at Butcher Bar on 30th, where I got The Monster: half brisket, half pulled pork, topped with cole slaw, all animal


What is it that brings me back to Butcher Bar time after time? Is it their casual, warm interior? No — one can find that rustic-chic ambience within a five block radius in any trendy neighborhood in the five boros. Is it their reasonable prices, excellent tap selection, or consistent appearance on Groupon.com? Again, no — while I’m as cheap as the next guy, there are loads of places offering great deals and strong drinks.

No, it’s the meat that brings me back to Butcher Bar time and time again. Were I to go into a restaurant serving another type of cuisine, I’d be angry if I heard they were out of certain items on their menu. But at a no-kidding BBQ joint like Butcher Bar, it’s a seal of authenticity. Their meats are smoked, cured, and dry-rubbed all that day, and when they run out, they just run out. I’m happy to sacrifice convenience when I get this kind of quality.

Upon I learned they were out of all of their burgers, but their remaining selection was still plenty enough. I chose the Monster, Kelly chose the meat candy (seriously they have a dish called “meat candy” and it’s unbelievable), and we split a mac and cheese to start. The meat was juicy, tender, and delicious, the habanero hot sauce was flavorful and eye-opening, and the mac & cheese was exactly as gooey as I needed it to be on an existential level.

If you’re in Astoria and looking for a no-kidding BBQ experience, head to Butcher Bar. Between this and the Strand Smokehouse, Astoria is developing quite a BBQ reputation.