BBQ IN BEIRUT
An old-school barbecue joint may seem like an odd venture for a former vegan. But make no mistake – Bashir Wardini, co-owner and born again meat lover, is a barbecuist-extraordinare and his new, aptly named kitchen is a celebration of all things meaty and mighty.
Butcher’s is refreshingly understated in both its design and delivery. Distressed whitewashed walls and wooden paneling create a stripped back interior, comprised only of one long curved table and a compact open kitchen, while the simple menu promises exactly what a neon sign in the corner exclaims – “Soul Food.” Buns stacked high with pulled pork, spicy sausage and beef brisket, racks of ribs and grilled cheese sandwiches fly out of the kitchen into the eagerly awaiting mouths of customers. Served in cardboard boxes with wooden cutlery at reasonable prices, Butcher’s steers clear of the pretension often associated with novelty spots, putting all focus on the food itself. All of the meat is smoked for 10-14 hours before being prepared to order, sparking an enhanced appreciation of the phrase “melt-in-the-mouth” for anyone who tries it. Whether going for an early morning fuel or a late night snack and bacon-infused rum cocktail (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it), Butcher’s is comfort food at its finest.
Upon the inevitable question of why soul food, Wardini responds that he “created what he craved” and, judging by the constant stream of customers through the doors, it’s exactly what Beirut was craving as well.