Butcher a crowning success

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Butcher Crown Roadhouse offers an eclectic mix of smoked dishes inspired by south of the border cuisines ranging from the Caribbean Islands to Central and South America and even Africa, along with unique beers and locally produced ice cream for dessert.

We were recently drawn to BCR because of their social media post announcing that they had just tapped into a keg of special beer called Prime 3, which is the second Prime collaboration between HenHouse Brewing and Fort Point Brewing Co. of San Francisco.

Due to its “draft only limited release” status, we did not want to miss out, like we almost did this past February with HenHouse’s Big Chicken limited release. Although Prime 3 is an IPA, which is not my favorite style of beer, these are two of our favorite breweries, so we figured we would give this one a chance and enjoy some excellent food at the same time.

Technically a triple IPA, Prime 3 is very well balanced with a nice sweetness and surprising lack of booziness for clocking in at 10.5% ABV. I liked it so much that I was taking multiple “tastes” of my partner’s beer, even though I had my own Taco Truck Mexican lager (from Dust Bowl Brewing) which is one of my favorite beers.

The sun was dropping when we arrived, so the weather had already cooled a bit but we still chose to sit on the back patio where we could listen to some piped in rock and roll while watching several BBQ’s slowly smoke tomorrow’s offerings.

We had seen recent rave reviews for BCR’s piri piri chicken platter so knew we would order that. And because the burger had been pretty good during our first visit, which was right after their opening last fall, we figured we would give it another try and were glad we did.

Piri piri is a type of hot pepper that was developed in southeastern Africa and then spread by the Portuguese to their colonies around the world. The name is borrowed from the Swahili word for peppers, which is pilipili and is a reminder that this dish originates from Africa, which makes it fairly unique and is yet another of the great worldly dishes that Butcher Crown has introduced to the Petaluma dining scene.

Owner Pete Schnell describes his piri piri chicken as, “a touch spicy, a bit tangy, a little citrusy... and big time addictive.” He is right. After just one bite, we knew we would return with friends to have it again. Not a fan of overly spicy foods, Pete’s piri piri sauce is perfectly balanced, like a low-level buffalo wing sauce only with deeper and more complex flavors. “We make our sauce with charred red bell peppers, a smidgen of habanero, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, lime zest, parsley, and smoked paprika. It’s got a lil’ kick, but ours is not super hot.”

We opted for the piri piri chicken platter instead of the sandwich and were quite happy with that choice. Over the cooler months, the platter came with beans and rice but Pete has lightened it up for the summer season and it was absolutely perfect alongside slaw, Mexican street corn, and orzo salad with artichoke, arugula, feta, kalamata olive, red onion, and cucumber. At $13.25, this dish is a steal and for a few dollars more you can add a red bell pepper hummus and grilled pita, which would have made this a perfect shared platter for the table.

Along with ice cream, burgers are my thing and Butcher Crown has one of the top two or three in town. Seriously, this is a great burger. Pete uses a special blend of all-natural angus brisket and chuck for the patty, then tops it with smoked and grilled onions, pickles and his house-made American and cheddar cheese combo. This burger is only $12.95 and with the addition of Smokehouse bacon is still a deal at just over $15.

Even though the sun was in its final stages of setting and the evening had cooled off considerably, we could not resist finishing out our meal with a couple of healthy bowls of ice cream from local favorite Mariposa Ice Creamery. Butcher Crown is one of the only places in town with Mariposa so we were not going to let the chilled evening stop us. We have had every flavor available from Mariposa and love them all so were more than happy to choose one bowl of cookies and cream and one of spicy Mexican chocolate.

Like many local restaurants, Butcher Crown Roadhouse has struggled with finding adequate staff so diners may need to be patient if arriving during one of their rushes. I recommend grabbing a cold one and enjoying their relaxing back patio. Rest assured, the food is worth double the wait.

Visit www.butchercrown.com and their social media pages for current hours, menus and an extensive list of discounts for groups such as military, first responders, schoolteachers and even members of the Petaluma Foodie page on Facebook.

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