Edmonton has always felt like a small town to me. “In what ways?” someone would say. “Well,” I’d muse, “Take a look at businesses. For a population of 1.4 million people, Edmonton has a large local scene.”
It’s true. For the 12 years that I’ve lived here, it’s been surprising to observe just how loyal Edmontonians are to their local bars, restaurants, and bookstores. Coming from a small town myself, I’ve noticed parallels here and there between a small town and the city. One such parallel is the classic relationship between the people and their food.
For a restaurant to stay in business, multiple factors come into play. There are associated costs and profits. Operative supply and demand factors come into play as well (for example: over the summer, the city has seen a few new coffee shops open up their doors despite the challenges faced with an ongoing pandemic. Clearly, Edmontonians also love their coffee) and finally, there is, of course, the product that is sold by said business. Edmonton is a city that takes its food seriously.
In a world full of KFC’s and Mary Brown’s, what makes local restaurant MEAT stand out? MEAT takes pride in their homemade, local atmosphere.
Walking in, the building has the feel of an upscale barbeque. It is like visiting a friend that’s very into home décor and fine wine. Right away, it was easy to relax and slide into our seats and await some delicious food.
Any local business located on Whyte Ave knows that rent prices are high. As such, food prices are expected to accommodate that. Sixteen dollars for half a smoked chicken and six dollars for a small order of garlic fries does make it admittedly pricier than some other options, like fast food. Price in mind, MEAT would be a place to go for a special night out rather than a quick and easy meal to grab on your lunch break. But is it worth it?
Price aside, the food was delicious. The food came out in home-style plates that gave me immediate flashbacks to childhood family dinners. There was an assortment of sauces they gave us, one of which was surprisingly sweet. Our server was friendly; he moved around the place with efficient ease any server would be able to recognize: in a fast-paced environment with people entering and leaving the premises, you have to be fast. The smoked chicken promised everything delicious, and then some with its savoury smell. Of course, the promise was kept with the first bite.
Should you try the garlic fries? Yes!
We’ve mentioned dining in as a classic experience of this local restaurant. But what about delivery and take-out options? MEAT, in an evolving food industry with increased movements towards online shopping, offers both alternatives. Between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., you can take your fix for well-made food home with you via delivery either through the SkiptheDishes app or directly from their website. Those who prefer to walk in can snag their order between 3 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. most days. For specific delivery/ take-out hours, check out their website.
MEAT is a comfortable place that offers exactly what they hope to deliver: an inviting atmosphere that leaves you with a sense of community.
On your next day off, give this local place a try.