Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler first launched Salt & Time, Austin's first full-service butcher shop, back in February, sourcing their meat from sustainable Texas ranches and experimenting with a variety of housemade sausages, salumi and charcuterie. Last week, the duo (who met at Black Star Co-op, a cooperative brewpub in Austin), teamed up with chef Alex Jackson to launch a dinner menu, with lunch and weekend brunch coming soon.
Their concept is simple. The team receives whole animals from ranchers, then butcher and process everything on site. "The whole idea is to support local farms and provide transparency," explained Ben. They encourage people to connect with their food by watching the butchering process through their self-described "aquarium windows."
Their evening menu changes weekly, depending on what's on hand and seasonal. It's more ambitious than their lunch menu, featuring specialized cuts like lamb sweetbreads, elk, and liver, though the salumi board and butcher's burger with beef fat fries will be staples. Diners can also pick from a rotating selection of meats from the case for the kitchen to prepare.
The dining area is casual and spacious, with plenty of counter seats. "This is not a white linen place. We use the counter service model so diners can interact with the person making their food," says Runkle.
So far, they've found support from chefs and home cooks. "Chefs in town want to source meats differently. They want to be able to order a small portion that they can't get easily from big butchers," Ben explained. He encourages people to call in and ask them to hold special cuts of meats for them.
Check out their new full menu in the slideshow above.