Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Beefmastor... an Eastern North Carolina Tradition
If you live in North Carolina, and have not experienced the Beefmastor in Wilson, NC, then you need to put it on your short list! It is quite an EXPERIENCE, to say the least! By the way, I am not misspelling the name... it is the BEEFMASTOR, with an 'o'!
The Beefmastor is unlike most steak restaurants. It is small, unassuming, and does not take reservations. It is in one of those buildings that you pass on the side of a highway and think, "Who in the world would EVER eat there?" Suddenly, you find yourself as one of thosepeople who eats at the Beefmastor. When you arrive, you walk in and put your name on the waiting list. However, it is a small restaurant, and there is no room to wait inside! Therefore, you must wait outside in the parking lot. Hence the tradition of customers literally tailgating in the parking lot while they wait for their table!
Finally it is your turn to eat. When you walk in the restaurant, you are greeted by vinyl tablecloths and linoleum floors. There are no menus at the beefmastor. The only choice is steak, salad bar, and baked potato. For Heaven's sake, sweetie, what else is there??
After sitting down, the waiter comes around and asks everyone how thick they would like their steak to be. The twist is that he brings that big ole hunk of beef and puts it right there on the table. This is no Bern's Steakhouse or Angus Barn, this is the Beefmastor. There is only ONE cut of beef at the Beefmastor. You tell him how thick you want it, and he cuts that baby right there in front of you!! Don't try to say, "Six inches, please" because the cuts start at 8 inches. After writing down how thick everyone wants their steak, the waiter will ask you to help yourself to the old-fashioned, just like Grandmama's salad bar. Honey, I am talking deviled eggs, pickled beets, chopped ham, homemade dressing, chunky blue cheese, real bacon bits (no baco' bits here!), and iceburg lesson. Nothin' but the best for you, darlin'! The toppings are even served in the same old school tupperware my Grandmama had!! I love it. It tickles me every time I go there.
Your steak will soon arrive with a big ole pipin' hot baked potato that is oozing with sour cream and butter. Just enjoy it and work on your triathalon training tomorrow... after all, tomorrow is another day, and there is just no place like the Beefmastor!!
p.s. I was introduced to this eastern North Carolina institution by my wonderful friend, K. We went for her birthday a year and a half ago, and boy, was it fun. A limo (really just a pimped up bus) drove us there, so we had fun eating Bugles and Hatcher crackers the whole way there. I gladly serenaded everyone on the drive back. They loved it, especially our friend, S, who was pregnant, and happens to be my OB/Gyn. It is dangerous to let me near a microphone in any mode of transportation. I love a microphone with a captive audience!
This spring, K & I and our Beefmastor-paying hubbies took our Supper Club to the Beefmastor for the culinary delights. Everyone had a fabulous time! Get on the bus, Gus!