Sunday, May 17, 2015


From the outset of this project I had decided to remain as anonymous as possible. I had made this decision for a few reasons. Mostly that I don't want to be treated any different than any other patron walking into a Q-raunt. I'm not looking for free meals or comps.

I never set out to be a food critic. I've only ever been interested in finding BBQ I really enjoy and I've always tried to convey that you, the reader, should get out and try these places I write about for yourselves.

While I've done a pretty good job of remaining anonymous to the Q-raunt owners. As a KCBS judge I've become known to several competition cooks and visit with them regularly after judging competitions. So it's inevitable that eventually one of them would open a Q-raunt and make my chosen task of being anonymous a little more difficult.

One other reason I've enjoyed remaining anonymous is that to steal a line from a song by The Gourds.... I'm not afraid to be a coward..... It's much easier to remain unbiased if I don't know the people I'm writing about.

Not that I've ever meant anything I write here to be anything other than my honest opinion of the food I've been served. But as unbiased as I try to be. It's a lot more difficult to look someone in the eye and say "I didn't really like that.". because even though when I say that I don't necessarily mean it wasn't any good. I really mean I personally didn't like it.

So when I got the invite to the private soft opening for The Butcher BBQ Stand. I was a little apprehensive..... What if I didn't enjoy the Q they served me?

 There was already a substantial crowd when we arrived at about 6:30 PM which didn't surprise me in the least. The Bouskas are well known on the competition circuit and David and his brother Martin have appeared on BBQ Pitmasters and represented Oklahoma BBQ very well there.

 I really wanted the opportunity to try everything they had to offer. So I decided to order The Meat Locker which has......well.... a little bit of everything.

Let me start with the Chick-Q Nuggets because I never order chicken at Q-raunts. It's almost always overcooked and mushy. So much like Okie Brisket. I shy away from it on a regular basis. Sometimes others that are with me order it and I will try it but that's about the only way I eat chicken at a Q-raunt.
The Chick-Q Nuggets at The Butcher BBQ Stand are breasts that are then chopped up and served in one of Butcher's own BBQ sauces and as David put it "Some secret stuff that stays inside those red walls." are added as well.

When I poked the plastic fork into my first nugget the texture felt firm and my mind instantly starting thinking "This isn't going to be good!"..... Then my teeth and tongue confirmed that my mind is a freaking idiot. The chicken had a great texture and was moist and not mushy. Butcher's sauce has placed highly in national sauce contests and whichever one they are putting on the chicken is tasty.

I'm also going to go out on a limb here and say that I think one of the secret ingredients is cinnamon.... Even if I'm wrong whatever it was was tasty and I would order this chicken again.
I could tell right away the sausages weren't your standard food service variety that most Oklahoma Q-raunts serve. I asked David if they made them and he said that they did not because their meat processing facility is not an inspected facility but that the sausages were a recipe made to their specifications...... I can verify that they were really good sausages!

The hotlinks pictured above had a bit of a tingle to them but they weren't hot enough to stop my mom from eating them and she doesn't tolerate spicy food very well.... In fact her intolerance to spicy food as opposed to my tolerance to a very high level of spiciness has sometimes made me wonder if I'm really adopted.... But that's another story. ;+)

The smoked sausages had great texture, flavor, and a great ratio of lean meat to fat. I'm a confessed sausage junky, and very critical of the sausages I eat, and I would drive back out to Wellston just to eat these sausages again.
The ribs are served sauced like most competition ribs are served. Personally I prefer my ribs dry but Butcher's sauce is really good. So if you are the type that likes sauce on your meat. I'm pretty sure you are going to like these ribs.
Ok, here we go..... Brisket..... My most feared meat in Oklahoma..... Not to mention that of the KCBS contests I've judged this year. I haven't judged a single piece of brisket I wanted to take a second bite of.... It's been a rough year for me so far when it comes to brisket.

Ok, I'm going to be very honest here..... This isn't the best brisket I've ever eaten. Central Texas still reigns supreme when it comes to beef but...... This was some of the better I have had in Oklahoma.

It had a slight smoke ring, passed the pull test, and was moist and still had just enough fat on it to make me happy. I know most Oklahoman's fear brisket fat for some reason but I love it and I'm glad to see The Butcher BBQ Stand is not serving the traditional Okie Brisket that I despise.
The pulled pork passed all my criteria for being pulled pork. It had good color. Wasn't chopped, folded, spindled, and mutilated, was moist and had great texture. Some of the better I have had in Oklahoma.

They only serve 3 sides at The Butcher BBQ stand... Coleslaw, potato salad, and apple pie baked beans...... There was a little confusion when we ordered so we ended up without coleslaw.

The potato salad was a mayonaisse based, I believe red potato, salad and was well prepared.

The apple pie baked beans have bits of apple pie filling and chunks of meat added to them and are a nice addition to any meal. I'm not a bean fan but I make a slightly sweeter version of this style of beans that I will eat and these beans were pretty good.

We were also served rolls but didn't eat any of them. I looked at them and they appeared to just be rolls from a bag. Nothing wrong with that but after eating all the meat I didn't need to eat a roll.

I was also saving room for dessert.......
Which is Little Debbie's version of a Twinkie!!! And I like Twinkies! Little Debbies version, which I had never had before, was good too. I think the creme filled sponge cakes are a nice touch. The Bouskas have done a great job of keeping their menu simple and are concentrating on what they do very well. Adding a dessert to the menu would just complicate things and I believe that where are a lot of places go wrong is in overcomplicating their menus. I'd much rather have a few options done very well than a lot of options done mediocre.
When I spoke with David Bouska at the Robert's Ranch Red Dirt BBQ Competition in Enid Oklahoma in April. He told me they were trying to be more than just a Q-raunt. They were trying to be a BBQ destination.

I really love what they've done with their place and if people have as much fun there every day as they were having the night of the soft opening. I think they are well on their way to achieving that goal.

I've always felt like BBQ should be as much about fun as it is about good food and it's not a vibe I've felt very often from the Oklahoma Q-raunt landscape..... Only BurnCo in Tulsa had managed to capture that so far. All the other places I had experienced it in were in Texas.

Not only do I feel like The Butcher BBQ Stand are capturing that fun atmosphere. They are doing it in a unique way.

So while I may have been a little apprehensive about attending the soft opening. The Bouskas made it easy for me by turning out some solid Q...... And as the title suggests.... No animals were harmed. They were all treated with a lot of skill and served up tasty the way they deserved to be.

Butcher BBQ Stand on Urbanspoon

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