Butcher Bar takes the “whole-animal” philosophy to a new level. Owner Casey McKissick started Foothills as a small farm, and now owns a Butcher Shop and two Butcher Bars known for fresh beef, pork, and chicken. The West Asheville location, tucked in the corner of a small strip mall, features tall outdoor tables with huge Dexter butcher knives stuck right in the center. (They don’t budge.)
The Butcher Board includes braunschweiger, thin-sliced ham, summer sausage, and a bacon-wrapped country pâté. Each is rich, flavorful, and amazingly textured. There’s a sweet but slightly spicy tomato jam, squeaky cheese curds, a few pickled onions, Root & Branches crackers, excellent spicy grain mustard by nearby Lusty Monk, some house pickles, and creamy pimento cheese. I would come for this platter alone.
But there is so much more: The Classic Lil’ Cheeseburger is is a juicy beauty topped with melted American, house pickles, diced sweet onions, a swipe of ketchup, and mustard. The Bologna Melt is served on grilled slices of Texas toast with mustard, a double layer of American cheese, and two thick slices of fried house-made bologna. Finally, the Foothills Cuban features house-made mojo pulled pork and thinly sliced house deli ham with melted Swiss cheese, Lusty Monk mustard, and house pickles. The thick Cuban roll is just crisped. On the side, we get thick-cut tallow fries that are golden and salty.
It’s cool inside, which is a welcome change to the May heat in Asheville. There’s a definite deli feel, with white tiled walls and a “browse and buy” butcher counter with ground beef, pork chops, dry-aged steaks, house hot dogs, sliced deli meat, and beef and pork bacon.