A few months ago, I stopped eating red meat. There’s no solid reason why, I just felt like doing it and had been thinking about doing it for a while. I miss cheeseburgers everyday.
Anyway, going into it a big concern of mine was that I thought I was going to have trouble finding things to eat that I would actually enjoy at restaurants (there are WAY too many lackluster chicken options out there, you guys). I’m a picky eater, which makes the situation worse.
I especially thought it was going to be a problem when I went to a popular, always crowded BBQ place called Butcher Bar, located at 37-10 30th Ave, in Astoria.
According to their website, Butcher Bar only uses locally sourced, 100% grass-fed and grass-fed/organic grain finished beef, organic chicken, heritage breed pigs and more traditional meat products. They also say that their animal products are always feed-lot free and raised without hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products.
The menu is full of updates on BBQ classics. They’ve got “fried pickles” which come with spicy BBQ aioli. There’s also “grass-fed beef chili,” which is their grass-fed beef and pinto beans mixed with poblano & chipotle peppers topped with jack cheese and diced onions. There is a “half baked mac & cheese,” which is their creamy mac & cheese that is oven baked in a cast iron skillet and topped with grass-fed beef chili, bacon bits and jack cheese.
We decided to go for the “spicy tacos,” which are soft corn tortillas, lettuce, cheddar, pico de gallo, jalapeños and habanero sauce topped with your choice of smoked pork or BBQ chicken. I was thankful for the chicken option because, again, I was nervous there were going to be no cool options. Plus honestly I would’ve been devastated if I couldn’t try these tacos because, tacos. And so we got them for two reasons: taco obsession and to figure out if they’re actually spicy or what.
I picked up one of the three tacos and I (overconfidently) took a big bite. Don’t even know who I think I am because I can’t handle spicy. But, yes, they were insanely spicy. They used the habanero sauce, like, throughout the entire taco. And covered the whole thing in jalapeños. But it was so flavorful and satisfying, I ate the taco and hummed happily.
On the table there are three different types of sauces to put on your meats. There is the habanero sauce that was slathered all over the tacos, original BBQ sauce and a sweet and spicy sauce (my favorite).
As I searched the menu for non-red meat options, I noticed that there are actually a ton of options. There are chicken substitutes for almost every sandwich and there’s even a “Serious” veggie burger. It’s a black bean burger topped with guacamole, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
After much consideration, I got the “Crazy Good” turkey burger and, you guys, it was crazy good. I think it was the best turkey burger I’ve ever had in my life. I think turkey burgers get a bad rap and are usually known as dry and unappealing.
The “Crazy Good” turkey burger comes with sharp cheddar, grilled onions, sautéed tomatoes, mayo and cranberry sauce. It was messy and so delicious. The cranberry sauce really tied the whole burger together and created a sweet and savory flavor.
I definitely recommend getting it. I still think about it sometimes.
But of course, there are regular BBQ options for your carnivorous S.O. who doesn’t understand your choice in food, but also doesn’t judge you when you steal a piece of pork belly from his plate (I’m weak).
Butcher Bar serve their famous Butcher’s Platters, like “Porky’s.”
“Porky’s” is a plate that has ¼ pounds of pulled pork, ¼ pounds or pork belly, ¼ rack of ribs and one side (in this case, creamy and perfect mac & cheese). And it all looks so amazing (I can vouch for the pork belly, it was so tasty).
BBQ lovers come check out Butcher Bar in Astoria, Queens! People who don’t eat red meat, do not worry! There are so many options here, surprisingly, and I’m sure they will not disappoint.
Just a warning, they don’t take reservations and the fresh smoked BBQ runs out daily, so come early!