Meat – Old Strathcona

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A group of us had a craving for mountain-loads of salty delicious meat and decided to indulge ourselves in a visit to a restaurant that serves just that. Meat, as the name suggests, is a smokehouse with a wide selection of BBQ, house made sauces, and a great selection of local beers on tap. Meat takes no reservations so seating is prioritized on a first come first serve basis. We arrived with a party of 6 at 5:30 pm on a Saturday evening, and the restaurant was already full. We had to wait an additional 40 minutes to be seated, which was expected given its popularity at the moment. While we conversed over beers in the waiting area, I admired the contemporary, clean, open layout of the restaurant and a nice use of a blue/white colour scheme.

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As we were finally seated at our table, which was designed to look like a large outdoor bench, we browsed through the simple, well organized menu. The types of meat were clearly laid out as were their sides and beer selection. We wanted to try a bit of everything, so we decided to try the Meat Platter and added a half pound of extra brisket, extra order of sausage, and a few extra sides.

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Meat Platter: 1/2 lb Brisket, 1/2 rack BBQ Ribs, 1/2 lb Pulled Pork, 1/4 Smoked Chicken, Fried Chicken, and 1 link of Andouille Sausage. Sides: Mac And Cheese, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash Chicken Stew, Creamed Corn, Large Garlic Fries, 2 Pickles

Let’s start with The MEAT:

Beef Brisket – Tender, slightly dry, nice crispy charred crust, and medium smoke flavour. Overall, quite enjoyable and paired extremely well with the cherry and bourbon BBQ sauces.

Pork Ribs – Tender, slightly dry, blackened outside, and medium smoke flavour. The smoke enhanced the flavour of the ribs and paired well with the spicy and bourbon sauces.

Pulled Pork – Soft, moist, and medium smoke flavour. Paired well with the bourbon sauce.

Andouille Sausage – Flavourful combination of spices and light smokiness. They were excellent and we were glad we ordered an extra serving. Best enjoyed without any sauce.

Smoked Chicken – Tender and moist inside with rich smoked outer crust. It can be had without sauce or with the spicy BBQ sauce.

Fried Chicken – Very crispy outside with a moist inside and not greasy. Definitely memorable fried chicken. Best enjoyed with no added sauce.

The Sides:

Mac & Cheese – Creamy but not cheesy enough for my taste. There was nothing special about this dish.

Garlic fries – Crispy fries with rich garlic flavour. These fries were phenomenal.

Brussels Sprouts – Shredded and served like a warm salad. This was definitely an interesting new way to enjoy brussels sprouts and it was definitely good.

Creamed Corn – Infused with subtle dill flavour. It was a little on the watery side, but still a very enjoyable side dish.

Butternut Squash Chicken Stew – Shredded chicken stewed in a creamy butternut and tomato sauce with spices of cumin and coriander. The descriptions sounds better than the dish tastes. The butternut squash was very subtle and the dish tasted more like a weak version of Indian butter chicken

Overall, the meat was good, but not outstanding. It was not too dry, not too salty, and not too overly smoked. The BBQ sauces that accompanied the meat were great though. We enjoyed the Cherry and the Bourbon sauces the most. The sides, however, were hit or miss. The Brussels Sprouts and fries were a definite hit. I wouldn’t recommend the chicken stew or the mac & cheese though. Overall, if you are looking for a place to eat BBQ meat and to relax over a few local beers with a group of friends, Meat is the place where you want to be.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: Contemporary, Smokehouse, Relaxed
Price: $30-40

~Thomas

Meat on Urbanspoon

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Icehouse – Plateau Mont-Royal

So last Thursday my friend and I decided to meet up and have dinner together as we hadn’t seen each other for a while. She suggested Icehouse as she heard it was good from her friends.

So we met there on this cold day. I was freezing and wanted to get in as quickly as possible but was told by the waitress to wait outside. I was obviously unhappy about that, wondering why I’m not allowed to wait inside. She didn’t explain the reason (although we figured it out later), and rushed us to order drinks. She said there was no menu and quickly ran off the list and told us we could sit outside on the patio. Luckily for us, the patio had heat lamps.

I ordered the Bourbon Lemonade and my friend ordered a fresh watermelon juice with cream soda and rum.

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Bourbon Lemonade

The drinks came and about half an hour later after we caught up with the most recent events in our lives, we were seated at the bar inside. The place is extremely small. It housed 7 tables and a bar. The kitchen is literally right beside you and it was a very cozy restaurant.

We decided we wanted to share the meal so we could get more out of it and not be so overwhelmed by one specific taste or flavour.

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1/2 bucket of ribs with Potato Salad and Coleslaw

We ordered the half bucket of ribs which come with coleslaw and potato salad. When she came with the bucket, she dumped it on the table, hence the long piece of recycled paper on our table. Apparently this is how you eat their buckets of fried chicken or ribs. The ribs were incredibly tender, and just fell off the bone. The flavour wasn’t too strong, retaining the rib flavour which I absolutely loved. Too often do restaurants douse ribs in bbq sauce (which already isn’t a flavour I like). They definitely did a good job with the ribs in my opinion. The coleslaw was quite good and I love that they kept the potato skins on the small potatoes in the salad. I did think that they over did it with the sauce in the potato salad though.

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Lobster Burrito

Next, we ordered the lobster burrito to share. It came in two big pieces and we each had one. There were huge lobster chunks in it, along with black beans, corn and other scrumptious veggies. Although this should have been a good dish, my dislike for burritos definitely took over. I don’t like the taste of burritos and this was one oily burrito! The only redeeming quality was that it had lobster in it. It was a little spicy (which my friend thought was a little much). It was quite fragrant and looked good but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

They do feature a “hot sauce bar” but we didn’t help ourselves to it as it was really quite cramped and getting out was a feat in and of itself. Furthermore we were quite content with the flavours of the dishes.

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The carnage

I thought the service was slow. Althoguh it was very relaxed, they were a little careless. I actually think one of the waiters was drunk. When I was paying (which we stood waiting for over 10 minutes and contemplated just walking out), he seemed quite drunk. The price was okay, although I did end up paying $37. There is also a TV on which they play any games that were on that evening (we watched the hockey game).

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Service: 2/5
Food: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: cozy, grungy, manly
Price: $30-40

Icehouse on Urbanspoon

~ kehwon