Lucky McKinney. The booming Dallas suburb just got Butcher Board, a new, upscale sandwich shop concept from veteran local restaurant operator Jonny Carros. He did stints with Kent Rathbun, Alberto Lombardi, and Del Frisco’s, among others. Carros grew up on the east coast, and settled on the sandwich shop concept, as a result of a longing for the sandwich shops back east.
The menu is a model of economy with just eight sandwiches. The idea is that each should be distinct and a compelling example of its type. Thus, the smoked roast beef ($10) is a generous mound of thinly sliced beef roasted in-house, topped with sweet caramelized onions (not sure if these were vidalias but they were gloriously sweet nonetheless), horseradish cream, and peppery greens.
It is a tasty and varied filling complemented by a toasted ciabatta bun from, like all the bread here, Village Baking Co. The whole is a carnivore’s tour de force, and enhanced by a side of creamy potato salad ($2). The waxy, red-skinned potatoes are complimented by garlic, pickles, and purple onions all bathed in a mayo dressing. Other than needing some salt it was perfect.
The most popular sandwich is the Butcher Board Club ($11.50). Butcher Board’s interpretation of the classic. With its ham, turkey, bacon, and Swiss it stacks up with any in town.
Vegetarians can enjoy the roast Veggie Sandwich ($9) with its roasted pepper, roasted portabella mushroom, roasted onions, peppery greens, and mozzarella.
Kids get their own menu with chicken tenders, grilled cheese and hot dogs, which is just as well as McKinney is a young-family type of town (several were there during our visit). Desserts include homemade cookies of gargantuan proportions. As well as fountain drinks, there are a handful of local beers and a canned wine from Oregon (Underwood) available in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris variations.
The decor is decidedly ‘designed’. Extensive use of varnished medium wood is made for tables and chairs and the diner type kitchen uses steel to create an industrial chic vibe. Only the mid-Century gas pumps left on the patio expose this as the site of an old gas station just off McKinney’s vibrant town square. The restaurant recently hosted the 50th anniversary party of McKinney High School and many alums brought along pictures of themselves in the original building.
With the menu restraint and laser focus on the concept, Butcher Board screams multi-site. And so it will come to pass with the opening in the Fall of a unit in the Lakewood area of East Dallas. Right now, this concept is the exclusive preserve of those lucky McKinneyites. For those that haven't been, Butcher Block is situated in a repurposed old gas station making for an unique, fun atmosphere.