Devotees of exclusivity, greasy sausage and cruel food-related masochism should look no farther the The Meat Hook, Williamsburg’s — and, perhaps, the world’s — most potent concoction of mouth-watering dishes and outright punishment.
The butcher shop serves only brunch, and it serves it only on Saturdays. It can accommodate just two people per week. And, the meal costs $50 a head. But that’s not even the main shtick here: a course cannot be served until the previous one — along with the mandatory cocktail pairings — has been completely finished off. It’s telling, then, that seating at The Meat Hook is booked well into the second half of 2011.
But perhaps the place’s red-hot appeal is not exactly an indicator of this city’s innate depravity. Rather, could there be some higher catharsis to be found at after enduring the Meat Hook brunch? Buzz, the blog for Zagat guidebooks, embarked on a mission to find out this past weekend. The dining critics snagged seats at this week’s lone dining opportunity, and after a few hours of piggy, gut-stuffing off-the-wall food and drink fantasia — which is of course punctuated by straight-faced dickishness on the part of the servers — the chosen duo somehow survived.
Here’s what they plowed through. First out of the kitchen was a large plate of Christmas cookies, and this segued into a shot of Black Haus schnapps and beef jerky chaser (the waiter started bitching when one wanted to sip the still liqueur instead of knock it back). Then, a curve ball: cold pizza, complete with tinfoil wrapping, and Miller High Life to wash it down. That may be the closest thing the meal came to a black humor — or was it as earnest as the rest of the choices? It’s hard to tell with this place.
Anyway, next up was the “main course,” an overstuffed sauce-slopped sausage sandwich, covered in pulled pork to ensure meaty overindulgence. The Meat Hook deemed this the “Käsekrainer Shitty Puppy.” The appropriate pairing for such a dish is a salsa verde margatini, of course, with a good glop of the spicy stuff sitting at the bottom of the glass. Such cocktail detritus allowed the servers to engage the two eaters in a bit of a game.
One of us managed to get through the whole sandwich, while the other was offered a perverse bargain, like we were in some deleted scene from one of the Saw movies: you can forgo the rest if you chug the spicy green goop at the bottom of the glass.
Fearing heart-stoppage from the insane amount of dead animal still on the plate, they took the deal and down the hatch went the salsa. Next up came three bowls of soup: lentil, split pea and beef stew.
Then it was time for dessert, and the two had a hankering for some pallette-cleansing sorbet. Um, sorbet? Not at The Meat Hook. The dénouement to this calorie fest took the form of Yorkshire pudding French Toast sundae, which may be the richest sugar-and-cream bomb we’ve ever heard of. So delicious it was, though, that they demolished it. And with a last hot-sauce blasted pickleback shot, the brunch was finally over.
Can The Meat Hook expect business from the Zagat Buzz team again in the future? “We’re not sure we’re not sure we’d ever do it again,” is the cryptic answer. But those unfazed by the belly-bursting meal described above can call The Meat Hook, ask for Laurence and prepare yourself for the brunch that may never be topped. And you’ll have a good amount of time to psych yourself up — The Observer just called to make a rez and the next available seating is “late fall.”
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