The Whole Ox
6364 Stuart Street
The Plains, VA 20198
A Local Artisanal Butcher
Friends have been telling me to stop in at The Whole Ox butcher for some time now. They promised it would be worth the trip. About a block off of Main St. (Rt. 55) in downtown The Plains, the shop is housed in a wonderful old railroad station.
Drawing from the best farms in the region they offer a large selection of high quality antibiotic and hormone free meats, fresh fish, cheese, produce, beer, and wines.
Their ready-to-cook meals are prepared in-house by Head Butcher and Chef Derek Luhowiak who along with his wife Amanda are owners. My eyes were immediately drawn to this sumptuous looking Mac & Cheese dish. I know it is a little strange to walk into a butcher shop and walk out with macaroni but it looked so good.
Packaged in its own wooden cooking pan it was simple to prepare. Into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I did it with minimal supervision.
When I removed the wrapper I noticed the label said “House Made With Love By The Whole Ox” and knew it just had to be good.
The handwritten list of ingredients on the label offered a hint of how the cheese turned out so smooth. Cheese, butter, flour, milk, and cream all contributed to the roux like sauce smothering the rigatoni. It was so good it will be hard not to be distracted by it on my next visit. But I am already thinking about some sausage for the grill.
If you are anywhere near The Plains you owe it to yourself to stop in and find something special for dinner. If your looking for a nice afternoon drive on the weekend go on Saturday when they are open from 10ish until 5ish. They are closed Sunday and Monday.