How to Conquer the Beast Feast – Radiator Whiskey

For the incredible deal of $300 (Seriously, view this album to see how much work goes into this), you and up to 20 of your friends can enjoy a night of feasting on 50 pounds of smoked and roasted meat (among some other dishes). [Note: Since this post was published, the going-rate for the dinner is now $400 + 20% automatic gratuity]. Yes, you read that right. 5-0 POUNDS of meat. Here’s your survival guide to enjoying one of my absolute favorite things about Radiator Whiskey.

 

Prep:

  1. First, you make your reservations, two months in advance. Seriously. That’s the average wait time. They only do it twice a month (EDIT: Due to popular demand, they started having the Beast Feast available on a weekly basis sometime in 2014..but the wait can still be several months). I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get 20 people to commit to such a feast, but who am I kidding, I had a waiting list going at some point. This might be obvious, but the vegetarians are probably better off somewhere else tonight…
  2. Don’t fast before the feast. I don’t understand why people don’t eat all day on Thanksgiving because they’re trying to “save room” for dinner. Fasting only increases your appetite, not increase your capacity to hold food. So do your stomach a favor and snack through the day. Veggies and fruit would be my recommendation because you’ll need it to counteract all the meat you’re eating that night!
  3. Make sure everyone knows where to go and when to be there. I had some friends who ended up in Ballard even though I always referred to Pike Place. If you’re all splitting the bill, remind everyone to bring cash and some smaller bills to handle “change”. It’s just easier that way.

The Arrival

Warning: Try not to pass out from the aromatic smoked, sweet, and spicy platters as they’re brought out. Drool all you want, just don’t drool on your neighbor.
You might be thinking, “HOLY CRAP!” as the platters are being brought out, but if you’re like me, you’re just giddy with excitement and which results in mediocre photos and lots of phone photos. Take a moment and be a good host by making sure everyone gets some of everything. It’s a long table, with a lot of large platters, so it works well to just have people pass plates around and designate people at your table to be servers. Make sure your designated people actually know how to carve or serve properly.

Veggies

Not sure where to start? Well, if you didn’t get your veggies in earlier in the day, start there. Because you’re going to be so full from the meat, you’re not even going to want to eat anything else after. When we did the Beast Feast, it was fall so we enjoyed a tasty Arugula salad with freshly grated parmesan and roasted squash. Veggies vary by whats in season.

The Meat

  • Get someone to start carving the pork shoulder/leg. This can be a bit daunting given the massive size, but it’s similar to cutting ham. Cut parallel to the bone to divide the top and bottom half. You’ll want to do this and bright out the bottom meat before the skin gets all soggy. Because believe me, you will want to eat some of that pork skin.
  • The Porchetta is easiest to serve up. The pork loin pieces are quite massive, but easily sharable by all. I suggest cutting them into half if not quarter pieces just so people can sample it first, don’t worry there will definitely be seconds and thirds.
  • I like to save the best for last. The pig head. Surrounded by brussell sprouts, fried big ear (which if you haven’t had, tastes like fried onions to me), and garnished with a sweet golden apple in it’s mouth, the pig head is an impressive and equally as tasty masterpiece. This is also the most intimidating platter on the table, but don’t despair! Radiator’s helpful staff will either show you or give you tips on how to dive in. Basically you want to aim for the pork cheek. It’s under A LOT of fat…but personally, it’s my favorite part of the meal. The meat is dark and tender and completely melts in your mouth. You’be surprised how much meat is in the head, so just dig in! There’s not much under the snout, and if you’ve been eyeing the eyeball…well, take Gareth and Troy’s opinion as they chowed down on the eyes.
   

Sides

  1. Since this feast is appropriately inspired and named for Marshawn Lynch, Skittle bowls are a must. Grab a couple when you think you might need to power through your next plate, or when you’ve completely devoured everything else.
  2. There is a a platter of house made whole grain mustard, herb aioli, and Mama’s Lil Pickled Goat Horn Peppers. A MUST for every bite available. Don’t miss out on the AMAZING toasted bread as well. It makes you fill up faster, but man are those pork cheeks amazing on it with some aioli and peppers…Oh…AND there’s potatoes…jeebus. There’s a lot of food.
  3. Don’t miss the pork rind “crown” around the pig head. I personally don’t like pork rinds, but these are pretty tasty, and if you like them generally, you will LOVE these. The golden apple makes a surprisingly great palette cleanser, if you need a break from the smoked deliciousness.

Leftovers

Seriously, if 20 of your friends can finish the 50 pounds of meat plus the sides, I would be amazed. I brought a ton of guys and we still ended up with probably 5 or 10 pounds of leftovers. Be sure to take the bones home, which comes wrapped neatly into a foil swan, they make fantastic stock or broth. I don’t think there is a real good way to split up the leftovers. I took home most of it since I organized the event, but I gave a couple boxes to the other little chef friends I had.

Here’s what my mom whipped up with the porchetta leftovers:

So…how was it?

Bloody effing fantastic, if you ask me. Nothing disappointed in the least. Some say it was just the adrenaline of everything that’s happening, but I had JUST come back from Texas before this feast, and after eating some of the best BBQ in Texas…Radiator did not disappoint this girl. It was such a fantastic way to spend an evening with friends. I felt like I was back in Italy, where time didn’t exist, and all you did was have good conversation, and gorge on delectable food. The perfect way to warm up for Thanksgiving, and a perfect reminder of why I came back to Seattle. Good food, good people, good times. The simple pleasures I love.

Chef Tyler and Chef Charlie. Thanks for the amazing meal!!

I can’t wait to reserve another beast feast! I hope this inspires you to sign up or if you’ve already dined, I hope it was an equally fantastic meal!

Check out more beast feast action in this post: Beast Feast: Rounds 2 and 3.

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4 Responses

  1. JJ says:

    Thanks for the detailed breakdown. My group is going in this Wednesday! I figure if I die eating this much delicious food….I’m okay with that.

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