The butchers of Germantown

Don’t tell King Daddy, but I have two new favorite boyfriends — the butchers of Germantown.

I first fell in love with Donald Link when he opened Cochon Butcher. He seduced me with his pastrami sandwich and Le Pig Mac, a jaunty pork burger. All his meats are smoked on premises and the aroma as you enter Cochon Butcher is intoxicating. Vegetarians need not apply.

Le Pig Mac

Le Pig Mac


Cochon Butcher’s Pastrami Sandwich

Once a year, Link loads up his truck in Louisiana with fresh mudbugs and drives straight through to Nashville for a traditional Cajun crawfish boil. Link himself taught me the best way to eat a crawfish. My surrender was complete and I thought I could never love a butcher as much as I loved Donald Link.

But just yesterday I discovered my new love not three blocks down on 4th Avenue in Germantown. His name is Terry Raley, he hails from Texas hill country and now I know why Texans make a fuss over brisket. Terry Raley smokes some righteous brisket.

I cooked and judged competition barbeque for a decade. And, as judges, we always had a joke about why brisket was the last category to judge — because it’s rarely very good so you’re not tempted to eat much of it.

But this brisket was transformative. It was meltingly tender with a unctuous fattiness that was just irresistible.  We had it in flaky biscuits tinged with garlic and covered in a cream gravy that includes the brisket fat. Oh, Terry, where  have you been all my life? I’m heading back to see you for a brisket platter that is just meat, tortillas, onions and sauce.

Butchertown Hall's brisket and biscuits

Butchertown Hall’s Brisket Biscuits and Gravy with a Fried Egg

So I’m caught between two imaginary lovers just three blocks away. Three delicious blocks away. I hope they don’t find out about each other. I’d hate to miss a meal.




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