The new Butcher on the Block
If you’re looking to add a little gourmet to your life, take a trip up to Manor Park’s newest butchery, The Butcher’s Block. Tucked away in Manor Plaza, The Butcher’s Block is an artisanal shop that carries everything you’ll need to plan a perfectly romantic picnic for two, a boys’ night with the best cuts of beef, or a charcuterie board that’ll make you the envy of your friend group. Food took a trip uptown to speak with owner and resident butcher extraordinaire Gregory Burrowes, who was formally trained in meat cutting and the culinary arts, about what this butchery had on offer.
“Our core is meat,” Burrowes declared, “From pork, beef, lamb and seafood…” he listed, even mentioning that they not only carry special cuts of beef but also do things like cut and cure their own bacon, ham and deli meats, and do their best to keep the selection as local as they can. Burrowes himself has been in the meat industry since 2000, having graduated with a degree in meat science. Though he studied food in one of the culinary capitals of the world, Italy, Burrowes took his know-how home and wants more Jamaican chefs to join him on his noble crusade to expand the Jamaican palate. “We love gourmet products, and what I’d love is for more Jamaican chefs to make and bottle their products, and I’ll sell it.” You may think you’ll be walking into a meat shop, but The Butchers Block is more than that. It is the quintessential one-stop shop where you can even get snacks and yummy desserts, as well as wines and champagnes. They also offer sauces and spreads sourced from abroad, as well as locally made products like Kelly’s pepper jelly and Ma Honey raw honey and Kaci Fennel’s ‘Fen Made Scotch bonnet hot sauce. You can also find local cheeses on the roster like ‘Outland Hurders’ and ‘Ruby Goat’ from Manchester and Trelawny, respectively, and spice rubs from Simo’s Bread and Catering and ‘Roast Meat’ and the butcher ’s own Private Label.
Offering quality foods
While you may not always find your favourite local cheeses, sauces or rubs, one thing The Butcher’s Block prides themselves on is offering quality gourmet foods, which Burrowes and his team vote on to ensure everyone’s tastes are catered to. You should definitely attempt to add one or more artisanal foods to your diets, focusing less on mass-produced product and more on excellent, high-quality local foods. Of course, we understand the word ‘artisanal’ is oftentimes synonymous with ‘expensive’, but if you’re an epicure, you’ll know there’s just no sacrificing quality for quantity. If you’re not quite there yet, however, we recommend you at least try what the butcher is cooking, having somehow found a way to “dry butter” for his seasoning line. So yes, you can even get some dried garlic butter, and we definitely suggest you get on that immediately.
You don’t need to feel intimidated either, The Butcher’s Block team is actually very friendly and greeted us with huge smiles and easy explanations of everything we wanted to know about. In fact, when they have specials on certain products, you can get a discount and a lesson ,and on certain Fridays and Saturdays, Burrowes may even share a glass of wine with you, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to try something new at The Butcher’s Block.