MEATing Up at The Urban Butcher
When was the last time you walked into a butcher shop that was also a restaurant? Not only that, a place where you can choose from 100 different wines while savoring the taste of crème brulee? That’s exactly what you can expect when you head over to The Urban Butcher in downtown Silver Spring, right on Georgia Avenue. Here’s a little of what to expect…
As soon as I opened the door to The Urban Butcher, I was greeted by an incredibly friendly and smiling waiter. He asked how my day was going and genuinely seemed to listen as he grabbed my menu and promptly walked me over to my table. There was no rushing to keep up with him. There was a sense of ease and consideration… like a friend walking just a few steps ahead of you instead of miles apart. He politely waited as I sat down, handed me the menu and assured that my waiter would attend to me shortly.
In no less than two minutes my personal waiter arrived. The smile and playfulness of his demeanor expressed how much he enjoyed his job. He inquired if I had been there before and took the time to go over the day’s specials while recommending his favorite. He answered all of my questions with honesty and ease which really made me feel that he was happy to have me there.
As he left to give me a moment to look over the menu, I couldn’t help but notice the other patrons. Couples sharing a meal. Children having their food cut into pieces by caring mothers. The wait staff taking orders while making people laugh, just as mine had. Everyone looked happy. Enjoying their conversations and their choice of food.
The restaurant itself is definitely a conversation starter…in a good way. My first impression of The Urban Butcher is cute, eclectic and fun. It’s open, visually interesting with lots to point out and talk about. The bonus: It smells incredibly clean for a place filled with meat!
This isn’t the type of place if you are looking for quiet and a place to plug in your laptop and work. You will have to deal with metal chairs scratching across their floors by other patrons, which can be pretty jarring and loud.
As I took my sweet time surveying the menu, I noticed a few things.
- I could easily read the font.
- The choices in each category seemed well balanced making it easy to put things together for a meal.
- The prices were reasonable, given the surroundings and the service.
- Even the feel of the menu had character to it.
- The whole of the menu was created with sharing in mind.
- With my order of the Burger & Fries with the grilled calamari appetizer, and my companion’s order of Brioche French Toast, it was time for the important ‘restroom test’.
Now, I don’t know about you but I never eat at an establishment that has a messy and or nasty bathroom. I think this is the quickest way to determine a restaurant’s sanitation habits. The Urban Butcher’s restroom was clean and tidy, gaining my stamp of approval to sit back down and eat my meal.
My reaction to my first bite of the burger and fries was “Wow, ok great I’m not even going to need ketchup with this”… that’s how flavorful the meat was! There was a nice synergy with the grilled tomatoes, onions and meat, giving it a wonderful flavor. This is one of the better burgers I’ve tasted in Montgomery County. Did I mention I hate onions? Oh, but not this time! The hand cut fries were a nice texture without the grease making it my new guilty pleasure.
Next in my belly was the Brioche French Toast with the syrup already filled within each piece and topped with a chili infused butter. Nice and creative combination. Didn’t have my palate on fire but gave it a little kick. The only part I could have done without was the cranberry sauce on the side. It had a bitter and pungent taste which overwhelmed the rest of the dish. Keep it to the side and you’ll be just fine.
Does the picture to the left bother you? Some may not see this as a big deal, but the fact that the side of mayo and ketchup where on the same plate touching did bother me a bit. I’m not a fan of mayo and always like the option of sending it back so I don’t have to see it, or at least not having it touch foods or condiments I do plan on eating. In the future I’d like to see this option on separate small plates or at least asked what condiment I would like. Now here’s something I found fun and interesting. If you look closely at the mint leaf (it came with the brioche French toast) you’ll see big and small holes throughout. It’s a sign the bugs deemed it worthy of eating, which is a great thing!
There is nothing better in a dining experience than when you have a waiter that actually listens. While my guest and I were giving cheers to his birthday with glasses of mimosas and bellinis, our waiter quietly got my attention and whispered “it’s his birthday?” to which I slowly nodded my head and smiled. We had no idea that a generous surprise awaited us after our main meals were devoured. Our waiter arrived with their scrumptious and creamy Passion Fruit Crème Brulee lit with a single birthday candle! The purple prickly ball atop this dessert is pure sugar manually created by their in house chef.
The Urban Butcher experience is one I definitely plan on having again. I’m excited to try other options on their menu in the very near future.