The Branded Butcher

Dec 31 2012

by Emily Laborde Hines

image courtesy The Branded Butcher
image courtesy The Branded Butcher


In celebration of my first ladies’ night out as an old married lady and the end of 2012, my friend Katie G treated me to dinner at The Branded Butcher in downtown Athens. Having been there only one other time for drinks, I was so excited to see what their menu had to offer.

The Branded Butcher opened its doors in the Spring of 2012, and is focused on the art of charcuterie while embracing the local farm to table concept. The space is simple and straightforward: old exposed brick walls, warm lighting, cafe style tables, comfortable bar area, and local art displayed throughout.

the branded butcher

We started the night with some cocktails…I can’t resist a champagne cocktail so close to New Year’s Eve so I went with the Moulin Rouge (Death’s Door Gin, housemade orange bitters and grenadine, and Champagne). Katie went with her tried and true dirty martini. Both delicious.

the branded butcher

Totally starved and needing to make the 8:15 showing of Anna Karenina at Athens Cine, we quickly ordered some items….The charcuterie menu showcased a great variety and everything sounded delicious (except for maybe the trotters- not sure I can get into that). Katie insisted on ordering the pork belly confit and the scotch egg. With oysters being one of the chef’s favorite foods, we also decided on a half dozen raw oysters.

the branded butcher

The oysters were the perfect start to the meal. Two different types were presented (the names now escape me) with housemade saltines, BB hot sauce, mignonette, and cocktail sauce. YUM.

Next up- Charcuterie.

the branded butcher- pork belly
Pork Belly Confit

Pork Belly is one of those things that I’ll always try but usually one bite will suffice. This dish however changed my mind. It had the perfect smokey flavor and crispness to it that went well with the creamy deviled egg puree and fresh watercress. I could’ve eaten this one all by myself.

the scotch egg
The Scotch Egg

I’d never heard of a scotch egg before but when Katie described it as an egg wrapped in sausage and then fried; how could I resist? This tasty dish was served up with a celery root remoulade and whiskey gastrique. Over and over we gushed about how yummy it was until sadly the sausage/egg ball of goodness was gone and we were left with an empty skillet.

The branded butcher

Next we decided to have a little green and shared the White Salad. An interesting juxtaposition of bitter and creamy: Frisee greens, macrona almonds, mozzarella cheese, giant white beans, and an olive vinaigrette.

We foolishly ordered another dish to share; we simply couldn’t resist the mussels.

image courtesy Richard Hamm
image courtesy Richard Hamm

After an already scrumptious meal, these mussels were another pleasant surprise. These delightful morsels were served up with caramelized onion brodo, olives, chickpeas, orange, farro, toasted fennel aoli, and toasty bread to sop up the broth.

Although we had to skip dessert do to our engagement with Keira Knightley’s latest period piece, we had a lovely evening with the butcher. I know I will be back soon.

Had to have one more restaurant review for 2012 🙂 Happy New Year y’all!

Enjoy this southern recipe in this collection of our southern cuisine – let’s gather the best southern food ideas for The Southern Coterie cookbook.


Emily Laborde Hines View More Blog Posts from this Author

Emily Hines is a Georgia girl now living in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband and two black labs. She is a freelance writer and digital media manager hooked on cruising back roads, craft beer, and snapping photos of old buidings. Follow along with my United States travels at Em's on the Road.

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2 responses on “The Branded Butcher

  1. cherileavy

    Em- I love to do dinner and a movie via boutique theatre Cine and one of the awesome restaurants nearby. Branded Butcher is definitely one of Athens hidden gems. I like to do The National and you can take your dessert next door to the theatre if you are pushed for time and bring the plate back.

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