City Butcher, the epitome of meaty perfection, has been a pillar of excellence in the meat-eating community since November 2014. They have established themselves as a premier melt-in-your-mouth BBQ restaurant and butcher in Springfield, Mo. My partner and I recently had the great fortune of trying their biggest and best-featured items, as well as meeting City Butcher’s incredible, passionate staff. We had a wonderful time chatting and laughing as we dug into their succulent meat which is cut fresh daily. There are no games, no fluff, just straight forward value, and it shows in their consistent desire to provide the best BBQ in town.
Let’s Talk City Butcher Food
Let me begin by saying I may be a lady, but I admit I dug in with my bare fingers and thoroughly enjoyed every luscious bite, especially the pulled pork and brisket. Secondly, I couldn’t get over the ambiance and simplicity of the restaurant, from the large metal trays they use for the meat, the butcher paper used as dishes, and the overall communal environment. We were brought a massive tray of juicy dripping meat, laid out across the tray patiently awaiting our decision on where to begin.
City Butcher’s Homemade Sausages
First of all, I love pork. My partner and I eyeballed the sausages, looked at each other, and instantly began to challenge each other over who was going to get to eat each one. We ultimately ended up sharing like grown adults, but it was tough. This seems to be the general trend for us. Each one of their sausages are made from scratch in-house and served fresh that day, so needless to say they were fantastic. My favorite ended up being the Texas Hot Link, whereas Jana fell head-over-heels in love with the Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage. We compromised, myself taking the majority of my favorite, she took the majority of her favorite, and we split the Andouille Sausage in half. See, we can share nicely.
City Butcher’s Tasty Turkey!
I have never been a huge fan of turkey. So much so, that at Thanksgiving my mother cooks a turkey and I cook a ham. After having the turkey at City Butcher, I have decided that I just haven’t had amazing turkey before – don’t tell my mother! I couldn’t describe how perfect their turkey was and is, but I will do my best. Simply pulling it apart, the juices ran down my fingers and dripped onto the butcher paper below. I took this as a very good sign. I took a small nibble, my eyes widened, and I was hooked. If you think you aren’t a fan of turkey, try City Butcher and get back to me, because you will be a changed person and a better one at that after a tiny taste of what they have to offer.
Their Delectable Pork Belly
Here is where things got a bit tense between my partner and me. She loves, loves, loves pork belly and due to her affinity for it, doesn’t share well. She has eaten a Chinese version of pork belly almost daily for 10 years in SE Asia, and since coming back she has missed it. When the tray came out and her eyes met with these fatty slabs of meat, her whole being lit up for a moment, followed quickly with becoming over-protective of her new-found treasure. Though she allowed me to have a little, she ended up scarfing it down before I had a say in the matter. Being that she is such a tiny woman I was shocked by how quickly she ate it and I couldn’t help but look under the table in an attempt to find out where she could possibly have put it. Either way, I was lucky enough to try a bit of it. I had never had pork belly before and after trying it began wondering why I’d not. It was absolutely fantastic. I loved it and will be going back for more – without my partner, though.
City Butcher’s Beautiful Burnt Ends
Ok, so these little jewels are killer. Small pieces of beef ends lie in a small tantalizing pile on our tray of wonders. Seasoned with kosher salt, black pepper and flawlessly smoked, these bits quickly became my favorite thing. With a bit of spiciness to them, I was in heaven. I couldn’t get enough of it. As I said before, the melt-in-your-mouth theme of all of their meat carries through with each item City Butcher creates, and I was not at all disappointed.
Up until this point, I may have known I was in love with City Butcher, but the moment I tasted their brisket I was ready to pledge my fealty to them. I have never in my life had anything so magnificent, and I have had amazing food. This tender cut quite literally melted in my mouth. It was astonishing. Just as my partner hardly shared the pork belly with me, I only allowed her to have a small bite of the brisket. I think at one point I threatened her life if she even glanced at the brisket – I can’t be sure, for everything became hazy once my taste buds savored this amazing meat. To put it short and sweetly, all I know is I would give anything to eat their brisket every single day and wouldn’t feel guilty about it. If you go in for nothing else, be sure to sink your teeth into their brisket – you will never regret it and may find yourself pledging your life to them as well.
A Day in the Life of City Butcher
Each day begins at 4:30 a.m. when their pit master, Derek Pittman arrives with his entourage ready to shape the world one succulent slab of meat at a time. With that being said, they may arrive in the wee hours of the morning, but their conquest began the day before at around 2:00 in the afternoon when they began the smoking process. According to co-owner, Jeremy Smith,
“Our staff cooks by feel. They all have the feel and are consistent perfectionists.”
I found myself intrigued by this and wanted to know more. Apparently, the crew treats all of the smoked meats like their own children and takes great pride in what they do.
“We like to stress the point that everything is made fresh every day. What that means is once it is sold out, it is sold out. We are a lunch establishment, so dinner is hard to come by. Because we smoke the meat for over 12 hours and allow it to rest for 4 hours before serving, we will never re-heat our meat. We want our customer’s to have the freshest products because there is nothing better and they deserve the best,” says co-owner Cody Smith.
It’s more than that, though. Owner’s Jeremy and Cody understand their staff have families and do not want them spending a lot of time away from their home lives. The restaurant closes at 6 p.m. every night. The treatment and wellbeing of their staff is paramount to these progressive men and they are determined to never change that. They are all about simplicity and it shows in how they prepare their food, take care of their staff, and approach the world of BBQ.
“We have spent too much of our lives working nonstop and we are not about to have our staff endure what we have. We want our staff, establishment, and product to enjoy the slower life. One’s quality of life is important,” they say.
Cody says, “City Butcher offers an ultimate BBQ experience, not a meal solution.”
This statement alone shows their commitment to their cause. They want to stand out. Their staff is all about getting their customers to try new things and supply upwards of 5 lbs. of brisket as samples per day. Their patrons get to choose how much food they want and are never limited to what the menu says. The menu will never dictate their experience because it isn’t about the money, it is about the customer engagement.
Is City Butcher’s Meat Bought Locally?
All of their meat is purchased locally – well, as locally as possible. Do to the amount of product served daily they get their meat from Creek Stone Farms in Art City, Kansas, who are able to keep up with their production. The animals are slaughtered in the most humane way with a bolt-action gun and are kept calm throughout the entire process by their handlers. Jeremy and Cody wanted to ensure the proper treatment of the animals and decided early on to visit the farm and watch the process. I’d call that commitment and want to thank them for considering the animals well-being these guys are one in a million.
WeDames is now an avid patron on City Butcher and will remain so. We are proud to have been part of this wonderful experience and to have shared in their lust for the best BBQ around town. City Butcher is located at 3650 S. Campbell Ave, Springfield Mo 65807. You can visit their website at citybutchersgf.com.
Let us know if you are planning on popping by there soon! Remember, when they sell out, that is all she wrote! It’s best to get into the restaurant early: when we showed up at noon there was a line all the way out the door!
Happy local eating Springfield!
WeDames is an online women’s magazine and women’s network in Springfield Missouri which encourages women to connect, have fun and empower each other. We host women’s events in Springfield, Mo as well as girls’ night out / ladies’ night out and other themed gatherings. WeDames online women’s magazine covers topics ranging from parenting, fashion, local businesses, tips, health, well-being, dating, marriage and where to shop in Springfield, Mo. Joining our community is free, but you must be a woman, identify as a woman, and must be 21 years and above. Click here to join our newsletter and get the scoop on what’s happening in Springfield, Missouri!