Howdy there! Today we’re reviewing an accidental adventure, the Artisanal Jerky Plate at The Greenhouse Tavern at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, OH.
This place is a hip and happenin’ downtown restaurant with an innovative menu, a clear focus on quality ingredients and inventive flavors, and simply fantastic service and atmosphere. When we saw there jerky offering on the appetizer menu, an item prepared daily, we were so enthused we ordered TWO. You know, for science. And it was all the more exciting when the plates arrived with TWO different meaty treats to explore – meat sticks and jerky strips! While all this makes for a fantastic dining experience, what does it mean for Jerkyology? Can an ‘artisanal’ jerky appetizer deliver the goods? Lets’s see what you get with this one:
Taste (B+): This assortment of jerky offers an array of terrific flavors. With the meat sticks you first get a wave of garlic and pepper, soon there’s a bit of clove, and after a bit maybe a hint of chili. It bares a truly enjoyable sweetness and a just touch of heat with a slightly sour hint in there to boot. The jerky strips are a quintessential dried beef – a simple beef flavor, with little added flavorings, delivering a quality clean beef taste.
Texture (A): The meat sticks are soft and moist. They have a firm bite and are easy to chew. The jerky strips are also moist, but with a tougher bite. The meat chews easily enough, though requiring a bit of effort, offering a really great tactile experience.
Smell (B+): The sticks’ scent follow right along with their taste consisting mostly of a mild but flavorful garlic and a rich but well balanced smokiness. There’s a hint of spice, maybe clove, too. It’s smells really nice. For the jerky strips it’s an exercise in simplicity. You smell the delicious dried beef and nothing else. It’s clean and genuinely appetizing.
Appearance (A+): The sticks are light slightly redish-brown with an appetizing casing with texturing along its surface. The strips are cut along grain and are a darkish brown with a slight bit of red inside. The surface of the strips are have a slight sheen and the pieces look every bit the small-batch jerky they are. Again, nice.
Consistency (A): For both the sticks and strips the moisture level of the meats were exceptionally consistent throughout each piece, and from piece to piece. Clearly there was great attention to ensuring their quality here. The flavor too was predictably good from bite to bite and every bit of this plate’s offerings were as good as the others. The level of control exhibited here was just fantastic.
Overall (A-): The fine folks at the Greenhouse Tavern sure do serve up some tasty jerky! The combination of the bold and complex flavors in the meat sticks is so fantastically complementary to the clean, essential flavor of the jerky strips. Both excellent examples in their own right, together they deliver a wonderful range of tastiness. Also, it’s important to note that the sweet brown sugar sauce drizzled on the plate added terrific dimension to the plate, too. All in, this jerky plate was an experiential feast for the senses and is definitely worth checking out if you’re in their next of the woods. Eat and enjoy!