Chop Shop

Block & Grinder’s innovative concept takes hold in Cotswold



It’s all about the meat at Block & Grinder; the charcuterie is made in-house.

Taylor Mathis

The Block & Grinder concept is deceptively simple: restaurant meets butcher shop. But owner Jed Kampe knows the most important aspect of any successful butcher shop, burger joint, or steakhouse is quality meat. So when Block & Grinder opened in mid-March, the butcher shop/eatery also became the latest to join the city’s thriving farm-to-table trend.

Interpretations of the farm-to-table concept, however, vary widely from eatery to eatery. For Kampe, (formerly of New York Butcher Shop), it means direct sourcing and a focus on quality, with less of an emphasis on locality and sustainability. “It’s a combination of identifying and finding the best produce out there from sources that are truly small operations,” he says. “Nothing’s prechopped; nothing’s processed. We did a lot of homework on the ranches, the farmers, everything, to really create that farm-to-table element.”

A large wine selection is also available for sale on a retail basis (with a $20 “uncorkage” discount). The butcher shop/restaurant combo offers perks including steaks cut-to-order—and if you like what you taste, you can order some extras to toss on the grill at home. “We can cut a 48-ounce steak if you want it,” says Kampe.

The location—a former Panda Express in Cotswold—has been transformed. Whitewashed walls meet dark leather booths, and a wood wraparound bar is tucked into the front corner of the long, narrow space. A refrigerated case for retail purchases and the butcher counter separate the kitchen from the dining room. The décor is sparse but fitting: Old-fashioned beef grinders, meat hooks, and cleavers are displayed on high shelves, and on one wall, a mural portrays the farm-to-table concept.

The menu includes a few beautiful salads and starters such as dainty deviled eggs topped with a curl of prosciutto ($4.50) and chicken liver paté topped with sweet bourbon and fig compote ($7). But the emphasis here—and rightly so—is on the meat, from charcuterie, pork belly, and sweetbreads to sausages, steaks, and burgers. Burgers, ranging from $9 to $25, are made with Block & Grinder’s signature blend. The latest addition: an indulgent foie-gras-topped burger called The Hudson Valley ($25). In the midst of all those steaks and burgers, one signature dish in particular is a standout: the wild game meatloaf ($20), which pairs thick slices of dense, flavorful meatloaf with mashed potato croquettes (crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside) and a bourbon barbecue sauce.

Although the restaurant is small, its ambiance makes it an option for a casual weeknight meal or an intimate weekend date. This isn’t a place for a large birthday celebration, however—there just isn’t enough space. But for the home chef who’s been looking for a place to purchase, say, a whole pig for a pig pickin’—and those meat-lovers who would rather have his or her meals prepared by a pro—Block & Grinder is the ultimate destination.  

More »Related Stories

Earl's Grocery in Elizabeth

A new bodega from the owners of Carpe Diem

Tupelo Honey: Old South and New

Tupelo Honey fills a void in South End left by a beloved establishment

Guest Post From Asheville: Beer Like Grandma Used To Make

Asheville's Wicked Weed Brewery has a Milk & Cookies Stout, but wouldn't you rather have milk and cookies instead?

Mountain Cabin Cuisine: Stone Mountain Grill

This restauant offers familiar cuisine in a warm atmosphere

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment:

Newsletters

Stay up-to-date on all things Charlotte by siging up for our newsletters. Learn more by clicking here.

Blogs »


Dusk Till Dawn

Jarvis Holliday Chronicles Charlotte's Nightlife and Social Scene, Straight No Chaser

Would Like to Get to Know You -- Dusk Till Dawn Survey and Giveaway

Fill out our reader survey and you could win dinner for two.

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Get a Job, Morans

One of McCrory's aides advises Moral Monday protestors to drop their signs and learn to weld. Too bad he can't spell his own title correctly.

Comments


Dine & Dish

News, Notes, and Gossip About the Charlotte Restaurant Scene

Try This: Crawdad Fritters

The restaurant on East Blvd is offering up some scrumptious appetizers, the crawdad fritter among them

Comments


Charlotte at Home

Creating Your Space in the Queen City

Beer & Branding Showcase

The results of the home-brewing-and-design competition are released Tuesday

Comments


Poking the Hornet's Nest

Greg Lacour on Politics

Why Did the Legislature Leave Historic Preservation To Die?

The GOP-controlled N.C. legislature has been anti-city from the start. So when it came time to renew the Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, which even Pat McCrory praises, it slammed the door.

Comments