Like Cocaine in the '80's

Continued from Part 1… Are you kidding me, Hell yeah, I’m going.

Jason, Anderson, and Josh (three butchers I work with) and Sophie, all jumped into a car and headed to North Brooklyn. The drive gave me time to get to know everyone better. As I mentioned before, Jason was a criminal defense attorney. He took a sabbatical from work two years ago and enrolled in the Fleisher’s apprenticeship. His boss told him that he would never come back to the legal world. He was right. Jason loves the stress free life and the opportunity to do something he loves. As he puts it,

"I get to cut some of the best meat, stop and drink coffee when I want, grab a few drinks when I want… stress free."

As I told him my story and sudden career turn around, he mentioned how many of his “corporate world” friends where making that same choice.

"They’re jumping into the “craft” world – opening cheese factories, butcher shops, or wineries."

Affirmation: good.

Jason Yang working on the bandsaw.

Jason Yang working on the bandsaw.

We began talking about good restaurants in the area, our favorite chefs, and other butcher - foodie related topics. We even discussed my favorite chef Francis Mallmann. (By the way, Francis, if you’re reading this, call me man. I would kill to work with you.) In that moment, in a car in Brooklyn with a bunch of butchers, I realized this was truly my element. I was finally surrounded by like-minded guys and I friggin’ loved it. New York had been so foreign to me for the past few days, but rollin’ with the Fleisher’s crew, felt like home.

So we arrive at Roberta’s Pizza in Williamsburg, which, according to Sophie, was the hipster joint that started the hipster movement that brought Williamsburg back to life. Roberta’s is so hip it doesn’t even have an outdoor sign to identify itself.

2015-09-21 18.55.41
2015-09-21 18.55.41

As we were walking in, I could tell Sophie was on Cloud 9. She was rollin’ with the craft butcher clan of which I hadn’t come to fully appreciate in its entirety. I was happy just to be along for the ride and not having to sit back at the apartment and entertain the hairless cat.

In the back party garden there was a small gathering of people. Everyone was there to celebrate the opening of Heritage Radio Network’s new website. HRN is a foodie radio station in New York, because, why not?

Have I mentioned how cool this place is?

Jason bought us a round of 6 Point Sweet Actions and we got in the food line for… pulled pork sandwiches…?

I’m so confused. I thought we were at Roberta’s Pizza.

Where’s the pizza guys…?

I mean, I’m gonna eat either way, but I’m a little disappointed that this is Roberta’s Pizza and there’s no pizza.

Then I took a bite.

Holy. Shit.

It took everything I had not to flip out over what I had just tasted. I wanted to play it cool and not show my green hand, but thankfully from the look on Jason’s face, I wasn’t the only one stunned by the amazing pork sandwich. I'd never had one with cilantro before and the house-made sauce was ridiculous.

Roberta's pulled pork sandwich with a side of Caesar salad packaged for the go
Roberta's pulled pork sandwich with a side of Caesar salad packaged for the go

We grabbed a few more brews after we finished drooling over our non-pizza and mingled with the rest of the gathering crowd. It was about this time that I started to realize how popular craft butchery was. Everyone was treating Jason like a celebrity. Not only does Jason take apprentices for three-month stints, but he also conducts intro-butchery classes on the weekends so all of his former-student/fans were pouring accolades. I commented to the Fleisher’s crew about Jason’s semi-celebrity status and how relieved I was to be surrounded by people who got this whole meat thing. The comment I got back assured me,

"You came to the right place. Butchers in Brooklyn are as big as cocaine was back in the 80’s. You guys are like rock stars."

Well okay then.

I know without a doubt, I have chosen the perfect profession. It was a long road to come to this conclusion, but God truly had his hand on me and guided me to where I am now.

I truly am blessed.