Image from a painting at the Butcher on Whitlock: used with permission of owner
[This is the latest installment of “Cobb Cuisine, Culture and Community” by Brian Benefield]
I heard a recent podcast that said one of the most impressive things you can do for your significant other on Valentine’s Day (or any day) is to cook for them. Many folks will go out to a fancy dinner on this marketing extravaganza of a Hallmark holiday, but I will be cooking at home with high-caliber ingredients from The Butcher on Whitlock.
Owned by Scott Grieve, who has an extensive culinary pedigree that began in his teen years as a dishwasher in restaurant kitchens and evolved into a profession. He attended the prestigious New England Culinary Institute and has traveled the world sharpening his knives and skills at locales such as New York City, Napa Valley, and even Hong Kong. When he’s not working in the shop, he loves to travel and experience different cultures through their food.
Every time I enter their shop, I feel like a big kid in a culinary candy store because they have so many things to choose from. Of course, they have many choices of prime beef, from massive bone-in tomahawk ribeyes to fork-tender filet mignon and a cut that they turned us on to, teres major. This smaller size of beef is plenty for two people and has the texture and flavor of a filet. My wife loves the tender, buttery textured salmon from the icy waters of Norway. We bought and prepared their softball-sized crabcakes and steak for this past Christmas dinner, and my Mom was impressed at how full of lump crabmeat they were.
I have my go-to list of things I get every time, such as the half chickens seasoned/marinated and vacuum-packed so the flavors dance on your tongue. They offer a vast selection of pre-made entrees, soups, mac n cheese, and one of my favorites is the veggie chili made by a friend who works there, David Brooks. It has a spicy zing with all the beans, tomatoes, and onions, but minus the meat; you’ll never miss it with this recipe.
One of the many great things about The Butcher is that you can pick up items for an entire meal, including fresh vegetables, and they almost always have the big asparagus the size of the fat pencil I used in first grade. Scott and I agree that the larger asparagus is excellent for grilling or cooking hot and fast in a cast iron skillet. Another tremendous asset is that his team of personable employees are always willing to help if you are unsure how to cook an item they sell or suggest what wine to pair with any meal. They are very customer oriented and it shows from the minute you walk in the door.
Wine and beer and sauces and seasonings and snacks and desserts and frozen delicacies like octopus are just a few of the plethora of things you will discover, and each time I visit, I find something new. Scott takes the utmost pride in only sourcing the finest products to sell at his shop, and that does not go unnoticed. He also sells many locally made items, such as Mama Lisa’s habanero jelly and Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses and spreads, made right here in Georgia.
I would suggest not buying a stuffed animal and a box of chocolates from Walgreens at the last minute for Valentine’s Day, but instead, stop by The Butcher and get a steak the size of a Volkswagen beetle, a few twice-baked potatoes, and a nice bottle of wine to have a romantic evening in the comfort of your abode. And don’t forget to light the candles.
Going out to eat is fun, and we enjoy being able to walk to Marietta Square from our home and have such a diverse mix of eateries to choose from. But, we cook at home more often than we dine out and feel very fortunate to have this type of shop in our neighborhood to buy superior provisions at The Butcher on Whitlock.
To learn more, visit https://www.butcheronwhitlock.com
Brian Benefield is an Atlanta native born in Dekalb County, who has lived in Cobb since 2003. He has worked in Hospitality, Marketing, Real Estate, and most recently Food Tourism. Married to Cecilie Benefield for 12 blissful years. They have a dog, Miss Pickles. Hobbies are mountain biking, running, gardening, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Member of Les Marmitions cooking club since 2016, where we cook 5-course meals with local Atlanta chefs.