HARLEYSVILLE- The Butcher and Barkeep, taking advantage of the many local farmers, breweries, and distilleries nearby, delivers the flavor of a big city restaurant in nearby Harleysville. Since opening in 2013, Butcher has grown in popularity with the local restaurant scene. That’s why when I went in to eat on a Tuesday night, the bar looked to be as busy as most bars would be on the weekend.
Although the restaurant was crowded, I was seated almost instantly. The interior has dim lighting and lots of wooden fixtures. On the wall are two large blackboards that feature the daily specials as well as the current specialty craft beers and wines. Overall, the Butcher and Barkeep delivers an aged and homey look.
To start off with the food, I ordered two appetizers. Butcher offers numerous delicious starters, so it was difficult to pick just two. I went with the Crab Mac and Cheese, and the famous Sexy Fries, something Butcher is known for.
The Crab Mac and Cheese was a great starter and I would definitely order again. The cheese was very creamy on top of the elbow pasta. A light sprinkling of panko crumbs on top provided a contrast of texture, and the crab meat was evenly distributed throughout the pasta. This appetizer provided a great mixture of flavors.
My next appetizer was the Sexy Fries. This is the kind of thing that makes a restaurant stick to my memory. If I recommend one dish from the Butcher and Barkeep, it would be the Sexy Fries. The combination of truffle oil, hollandaise, and parmesan cheese makes these fries taste so unique, yet so delicious. I can not explain it in words, this really must be experienced in person.
Moving on to the entrees, I ordered two of the most popular dishes from Butcher.
The first of those was the Fried Chicken BLT. The BLT is also offered in a blackened fish variation, but I opted for the fried chicken. Let me make this clear, this sandwich is BIG! It will leave anyone full. The thick sourdough bread is crispy and buttered. The fried chicken is perfect and goes very well with the typical bacon, lettuce, and tomato. What takes this sandwich to the next level is the addition of avocado and garlic aioli. I recommend the side of fried pickles to go with this meal. The pickles are just another flavor that can be added on top of this already amazing dish.
My second entree was the Smacko. Yes…that is the name of this sandwich. Again, this sandwich is hard to put into words. It really is unlike anything I have eaten before. Grilled ribeye, fried salami, three cheese blend, beer glazed onions, green tomato, chipotle cream, and fried pickles all (barely) between two toasted brioche buns. If that seems like a lot, that’s because it is a lot. This sandwich is basically impossible to finish. Seriously though, it delivers some unbelievable flavor.
All of what is going on with this sandwich works, and it works really well. I wanted to eat more and more of it, but I was already full from the rest of my delicious food.
I think that even for somebody in Lansdale, the Butcher and Barkeep is worth the drive. There really is no other restaurant like it in the area. If for nothing else, make the drive over to Harleysville for the Sexy Fries, I promise it will be worth your time.