Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Beefmastor Inn

The Beefmastor Inn is iconic. It's an institution. And it is as good as they say. No menus, and no worries. This is top-quality beef in an old-school environment. If you find yourself in the proximity of Wilson, NC, do yourself a favor and have dinner here. Arrive early to avoid the line (they only have 10 tables!) and if you're in the know, you'll show up with a beverage to pregame in the parking lot with (they have cornhole set up for that very reason). This place has been on my culinary bucket list for quite some time. I knew I was especially in for a treat when the owner opened the door to the awaiting crowd and said, "come on in, let's have some fun."
I finally made it!
The Beefmastor has been around since at least the 1970s, because my dad ate here shortly after moving to Wilson for a job. He's detailed his Beefmastor experience enough times for me to know I had to check this place out. Red and white checkered tablecloths adorn the tables, and a stick of softened butter is ready for your baked potato or your steak. Prompt and friendly servers come around taking drink orders (they do sell wine and beer), and then the chef comes around with an enormous slab of rib eye. He positions his knife (machete) at 8 ounces and asks how much more you want. I stuck with 8, and asked for medium rare. The only other choice you have is whether or not you want a baked onion (you do). The chef visits one table, then slices, seasons and starts searing your steak before advancing to the next.
Slicing my 8 ounces
The salad bar contains the usual suspects, as well as some that got me excited - sardines, dill pickle spears - they even offer pineapple and cottage cheese if you want a sweet start to the meal. Not 5 minutes after I finished my salad, my sizzling hot entree arrived. The steak was absolutely phenomenal. Seasoned and cooked to perfection. The fat melted right into the meat, and for not being a huge steak gal, I would eat this every week, easy. The baked potato is a classic side (I like all potatoes with ketchup - don't judge) and the baked onion brought a nice sweet acidity to break up the richness of the meat. A piece of buttered, grilled bread is also lovely to dunk in the sweet onion juice. You can really just lose your mind here. They want you to. That steak was out of this world.
Beauty in simplicity
Dessert is not an option, but don't worry, you won't have room for it anyway. I am so thrilled to finally try such a historic NC spot that my dad has been telling me about for years. It didn't disappoint. Frankly, it was much better than I could have anticipated.

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