Medieval torture device makes delicious bacon!
In this photo, Dave Widaski shows off one of his Jaccard meat tenderizers — a device he uses to make thousands of tiny incisions in each kurobuta pork belly he cures and smokes for bacon.
I spent part of the day yesterday with Widaski at his shop — Douglasville Retail Meats and Smokehouse — to talk to him about corned beef for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed article that will be published next week.
But there’s so much more going on at this butcher shop and deli that I felt the need to follow up on yesterday’s hasty post and encourage curious Atlanta chowhounds to visit this meat theme park. You can get a fortifying sit-down lunch before you load up on yummy flesh.
And trust me, bacon is just the beginning.
Widaski, an experienced meat processor who moved here from Houston, doesn’t a license to deliver his product, so if you want to sample it, you’ll have to visit the shop, which is about 25 miles west of downtown. It inhabits one end of an aging retail strip and looks from the outside like one of those scary barbecue restaurants along an Interstate highway.
Inside, there’s plenty to explore, taste and buy:
- Lunch: A selection of barbecued pork, St. Louis-style ribs, veggies, mac and cheese and cornbread still in the skillet, some of it studded with the house-cured bacon. Fat, Certified Angus Beef burgers are cooked to order and look like they will merit a place on Atlanta burger roundups.
- Bacon: Three varieties — maple, peppered and hickory smoked. Sliced to order, you can get it with the rind on or off. I’m all about the crunchy rind.
- Cajun specialties: Look for house-made boudin, andouille and super-spicy tasso ham. Widaski’s wife, Sabrina, is a Louisiana native and makes a mean-looking gumbo.
- Smoked chickens: At least one chef at an upscale Atlanta restaurant has discovered these moist, smoky birds. He told Widaski the skin crisps up beautifully under a crème brûlée torch.
- Jerky: Dozens of flavors of beef and venison jerky, from habanero to teriyaki.
- Snacking Sticks: Like the best Slim Jims you’ve ever had. The Polish kabano is the one to try.
- Smoked sausages: Everything from peppercorn-studded venison salami to kielbasa.
- Fresh sausages: Italian, brats, bangers, breakfast links.
- Steaks: All Certified Angus Beef.
- A freezer filled with hilarity: Where else do you find chitlins next to foie gras? But there are many finds, including the great Poulet Rouge chickens from North Carolina, pork pickle meat and blocks of fresh dogfood, made from a vet-recommended mixture of the nutritious things that slavering carnivores love. Widaski also makes dried pig ears and sells them for a reasonable $1 apiece.
- Baked goods: Fresh breads and rolls, cookies, cakes, cannoli, trays of bread pudding and many other items from the in-house baker.
During the time I was there, a variety of customers passed through. Two long-bearded gentlemen who looked like the lost members of ZZ Top ate hamburgers at an outdoor table and came back in to praise them. Another fellow brought in his kitchen knives for sharpening. Others made a beeline to the steak counter and began discussing dinner plans.
(If you live north of the city, you can find these products at Widaski’s new second location — 3450 Cobb Parkway, Acworth. 770-529-4646).
Oh, yeah. Douglasville Retail Meats is the only licensed wild hog processor for 200 miles. So if have Hogzilla strapped to the roof of your car, you definitely want to check this place out.