As Texans throughout the Lone Star State talk turkey, carving, and gobble strategies, one of the nation’s most esteemed publications is getting to the meat of the matter, highlighting a handful of Texas butcher shops as the best in the country, including two in Austin.
The list of nearly 100 butcher shops is a true “meating” of the minds, featuring classic shops dating back a century as well as more modern meat markets that focus on sustainability and artisan offerings.
“There was one very clear standard: The more sustainable, the more rebellious against the prevailing winds in a morally corrupt industry, the better,” Food & Wine notes about its chosen butcher shops.
Dai Due, known for its hyper-local and seasonal approach, is “one of the best restaurants in Austin [and] one of the best butcher shops in Texas,” Food & Wine says. And calling Salt & Time’s breakfast sausages “a cut above,” the publication asserts the shop has been indispensable to the regional food scene.
The Food & Wine accolades come amid an industrious year for both butcher shops, despite the pandemic. Salt & Time chef Ben Runkle recently opened The Butcher’s Burger, which features a range of drool-worthy burgers, including Salt & Time’s bestselling classic burger as well as unique takes on lamb and pork burgers. And Dai Due chef Jesse Griffiths just announced he’d soon publish his second book, The Hog Book, a textbook of sorts for field-dressing and butchering feral hogs, complete with photos from acclaimed Texas photographer Jody Horton. With a Kickstarter campaign underway to raise funds for the project, Griffiths hopes to self-publish the book in spring 2021.
While the Food & Wine recognition is welcome, Austinites have long known of both butcher shops’ meaty pleasures. Indeed, Dai Due and Salt & Time have already sold out of their Thanksgiving pre-order offerings, though Salt & Time is still open for walk-in service.
Other nearby Texas butcheries singled out on Food & Wine’s list include Dziuk’s Meat Market in Castroville, Wiatrek’s Meat Market in Poth, Bellville Meat Market, and Thorndale Meat Market. Dallas-based Deep Cuts and Kuby’s Sausage House also made the list.