50 Best Restaurants 2017: The Whole Ox

A modern American restaurant in Marshall

Photo by Christin Boggs Peyper

We switched our order.

The server had just dropped three mile-high burgers—instead of toothpicks, steak knives were plunged into the center of the sandwich to keep the bun and patty together—at the table next door, and we couldn’t look away.

We canceled what surely would have been an excellent lamb chop to understand how a butcher shop-cum-restaurant handles a burger.

Over the years, and especially after its move from The Plains to Marshall, The Whole Ox has slowly shed its retail-heavy operation to make room for more tables and chairs. Sure, there’s a two-top next to the fridge case stocked with frozen soups, to-go meals and organ meat, but that’s the charm of supping in a butcher shop.

The burger arrives with a heavy char, the sear almost crunchy and blackened, though the interior still reveals a pink sheen. There’s extra-crisp bacon, aioli and aged cheddar, too.
Bavette, the butcher’s cut of the night, also known as the flap, which resides under the flank, comes out sliced, a perfect rosy mauve. Servers here don’t ask how guests want the meat cooked—butcher knows best.

MISC: Also order house-made cultured butter and bread, a charcuterie plate and chocolate pot de creme.

The Whole Ox
Modern American | $$$$
8357 W. Main St., Marshall

(50 Best Restaurants 2017November 2017)