You are a carnivore. You devour meat. When you see that Jasper’s advertises “gourmet backyard cuisine,” you think only: “Where’s the beef?” You ignore the deep, rich wood tables and booths, the pavestone flooring, and the grass-themed art that make the room feel a little like a wealthy friend’s deck. You politely dab at the $16 riff on shrimp and grits: three large shrimp wrapped in prosciutto atop a scoop of pearl-sized grits drizzled with a lemon-thyme butter sauce. It’s a delicate take on the usually spicy Carolina specialty. Wildly expensive, but interesting. Then you snap out of it: where in tarnation is the meat? That’s when proprietor and chef Kent Rathbun throws a curve. Rotisserie roasted prime rib noted as the Best of Big D by a local publication you may now be reading? Or slow-smoked baby back ribs served with an ancho chile barbecue sauce Bon Appetit named one of the top three rib slabs in the country?
The questions hurt your head. The server confidently touts the prime rib. Your female friend ignores the waiter and goes for the filet mignon, even though it isn’t labeled the best of anything. Later, while you duel with the street-thug-tough Prime rib, your friend coos over a simply grilled juicy filet, unmolested by butter (a real problem in Dallas steakhouses). Women, you remember, are always right. The waiter insists on comping the slab o’ beef because he recognizes it as subpar. Your friend shares the filet. You nibble on the bourbon creamed corn and the wilted spinach with crispy shallots. You even have room to construct a trifecta of mini-desserts, highlighted by Butterfinger crème brulee. The meat? You hardly even missed it.
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