Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I kept hearing about Meat. Was it Meat? Meet? Were we going to meet to eat meat? I do not know where I got it into my head that Meat was perhaps a swanky place with high-priced slabs of beef but there it is. Imagine my surprise when I got my butt out to our constantly evolving Old Town to hit the joint, because people, it is a joint. And I mean that in the best sense of the word. Meat is an informal, happening place that is looking to win the hearts of local carnivores in an unfussy sort of way, through barbeque. Ahhh yeah! I love me some barbeque, people. I lay claim to some sort of knowledge regarding this genre of food because I lived in the south for years and I also watch the food channels. The sloppier it is, the better. Give me a place with a roll of paper towels on the table and I’m happy. Meat’s tables also come laden with five house-made specialty sauces, one being their own Jazzy sauce. So, Editor Emily and I hunker down at our table with an amazing Michigan beer and order it up. We started with unconventional nachos. Heaped with pork, brisket and bacon, they were hearty to be sure. Melted cheese, barbeque sauce, avocado cream, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos and fresh avocado rounded the pile out. Man, what a way to jump in. The other starters were very French fry oriented. Think classics like salt and vinegar or chili bacon and then move to crazy like buffalo with blue cheese and “meat fries.” I’m going back for the Disco Fry — bacon gravy, cheddar and bacon. Next up was the custom macaroni and cheese and ribs. Emily and I let our waiter come up with his signature concoction for the macaroni. Served in a highly sophisticated aluminum tub was pasta in a creamy sauce augmented by jalapeño, bacon and blue cheese. It was ridiculously smooth and spicy. It also weighed 40 pounds. Other choices to toss into this indulgent pasta dish are garlic, caramelized onion, roasted pepper, etc. Now let us discuss the ribs. We went with ribs because we figured the nachos covered the brisket and pulled pork. It is to be made clear that Meat lovingly cooks their product for 18 hours to make it tender and juicy. I love a fat, fall off the bone example slathered in a good time sauce. However, Meat’s ribs were so sticky and sweet and spicy and tender and chewy and saliva inducing that I didn’t mess with a good thing. Slosh down some beer and go for the next one. May I announce that after all this my favorite part of the meal was the creamed corn that came on the side? It was crazy good, silky smooth with the pop of fresh corn and the punch of jalapeño and black pepper. Glorious. I have to say I am a huge barbeque sandwich fan. I am going to have to hit Meat for lunch. Listen to these doozies. The original brisket has slaw, fried onions and cheese. The Pherfy has meat topped with chili, caramelized onions, cream cheese and hot sauce. And hold on to your belt for this one — the Boss Logg. A celebration for said carnivores includes a burger topped with pork, brisket, bacon, French fries, bacon gravy, garlic sauce, three types of cheeses and a sunny side up egg. Seriously!? This place does not mess around. Alright people, so slap on some pants with room and go meet your friends at Meat. You will be met with maybe not a swank, urban, pinky up dining experience, but you sure will get hit with a wallop of flavor and fun. Make sure you plan on sticky fingers and stains on your t-shirt. It is worth it.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.