East Austin Charcuterie Project was our most ambitious pop up restaurant yet. Such is the nature of slow-cured meats and food made 100% by hand using our highly specialized “competitive sourcing” techniques.

But we must bow and scrape to the old master: Allan Benton. The crowning glory of any menu upon which it’s featured will always be a cured ham coming out of this man’s Madisonville TN smokehouse. Smoked: 84 hours

Cured: 18 months

Reverse-brined: 5 days

Cooked: 24 hours

Next in the ring, we had Paul C’s 36 hour porchetta (with Momofuku mayo.) The nibble I had was the best bite of food that’s entered my gullet so far this year and y’all went wild. Something about putting a Legend Meats pork belly through a day and half cycle in the old sous vide really brings out the best elements of the pig.

And then the BLT:

I’ve cured hundreds of pork bellies over the years but the one I put out at this food party may have been my best one yet.

Cured: 8 days

Smoked: 5 hours

Rested: 1 day

Sliced, fried and served on Easy Tiger bread with Pappy Van Winkle mayo and organic tomatoes. We set out to serve the best BLT in the history of Austin, Texas, and if eater comments were accurate, succeeded.

Historically, our boudin has been the first item to sell out at every pop up we’ve produced. We went full luxury for our charcuterie event and married smoked shrimp with country ham, along with tons of green onions, smoked pig neck stock, and jalapenos to take these links to the next level.

Sides:

Anson Mills grits are considered the finest on planet earth and we see no reason to disagree. Texas is not grits country, but y’all still managed to plow through almost 20 quarts.

Brussels sprouts popularity shows no sign of abating anytime soon. We tossed them with olive oil, and liberally coated them with Red Boat anchovy salt before shoving them into a 400 degree oven and high-heat roasting them for 45 minutes.

Another hit.

As starters we served boudin shrimp cakes (imagine a crab cake but made with shrimp boudin mix) and Benton’s smoked ham hock Northern bean puree. This marks the first event where we did not serve queso.

Grace note: Strawberry cobbler made with bourbon barrel vanilla.

We served 60lbs of meat.

And 40 quarts of sides.

Thanks y’all. On site feedback was stout with many eaters comparing this party’s food quality to the legendary “Foods of Acadiana” pop up that we threw about a year and a half ago.

One patron strolled up to the counter after dining and said “This is the best restaurant in Austin” I thought he was talking about Tamale House East and told him I would relay that to the owners but he corrected me and said that our pop up series was the best restaurant in town.

I see no reason to disagree. As far as value goes I think we’re near the top due to the fact we charge roughly 1/3 what other outfits putting out similar menus are doing.

For the people.

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