Butcher Knows Best

Before our recent New Orleans road trip, we asked a few friends about places to go in New Orleans. We got some expected answers, like Commander's Palace, Parasol's Po-boys, Central Grocery and August. But we also got suggestions along the lines of, "For the love of God, you must go see Butcher," and "If I had one meal before I died, I would go to Butcher."

We looked up Butcher and realized it was actually a spin-off of Cochon, the high-end restaurant that does a lot of it own meat curing. Cochon Butcher (930 Tchoupitoulas) is a salumi Mecca. A display filled with cured meats by the pound, a "sWine" menu of vino pairings, and killer sandwiches you can take with you or eat there make this the winning spot of our culinary tour of New Orleans.

We ordered a pork belly sandwich with cucumbers and fresh mint, along with a pulled pork sandwich with vinegar-based barbecue sauce. We'd never experienced this kind of quality and haven't since. The barbecue pork sandwich melted in our mouth - it tops all other barbecue sandwiches we've had. The pork belly and cucumber sandwich was amazing. Tender, savory, fresh and crispy, this was a life-changing experience.

We were sad to walk out the door, but we didn't leave without buying two T-shirts and a gift basket for the family at home. Everyone should make the trip to Butcher at least once in their lives.

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