Thursday, June 26, 2014


One of my most favourite things to do is plan surprises for my boyfriend. And that's exactly what I did last Friday evening when I secretly planned on taking CJ to MEAT (, one of Edmonton's newest restaurants. 

I called him earlier that day to tell him that we'd be going to a cafe with a few of our friends. He doesn't like cafes at all, but he agreed to come anyways. After he was done work (I was lucky to have gotten this day off!), we headed off to our destination. 

We took the bus down Whyte Ave and got off at the stop next to 104th Street. As soon as he noticed that we were in front of Block 1912 (a European cafe), he immediately had a bummed look on his face. "Aww... we're going here?" He said with a sad tone. Right after, I said "Just kidding!" Instead, we crossed the street and started walking towards MEAT. "Hey I see MEAT... we're going to MEAT aren't we? Alright!" The fact that he immediately became so happy after seeing we'd be eating at MEAT for dinner made planning this surprise for him so worth it! Ever since I first told him about this restaurant, he has always been asking me to go! CJ is a lover of meat... he doesn't really eat vegetables even though I tell him they're good for him. We only go out for dinner dates occasionally, and since I had the day off, why not go this time? 

We arrived at MEAT a few minutes after 5:00pm, which is the time the restaurant opens. It is located north of Whyte Ave along 104th Street, beside The Next Act Pub which is its sister restaurant. The interior of MEAT is very open, bright, and clean. The main dining area consists of longer wooden tables, with some higher tables next to the bar. CJ and I got a seat at the far back area of the restaurant, so we had a nice view of the entire place. The perks of arriving early?

The menus. 

The menus at MEAT had a nice and simple layout. Not difficult to read or understand at all. Our server returned shortly after and asked what we would like to drink. CJ and I went for our usual - orange juice for me and iced tea for him. Unfortunately, we were told that they didn't have any of those drinks! Instead, we both got Upson's Classic Lemonade ($3.50) - Classic Lemon for me and Rose for him. 

Upson's Classic Lemonade in Classic Lemon.

Our server explained to us that this drink consisted of club soda with a lemony taste. It is a carbonated drink, which caused the straw to actually float to the top of the drink (lol). I actually didn't really enjoy this drink too much, mostly because I wasn't really getting the lemon flavour. Next time I'll want to try one of the Boylan's Soda or even a beer! 

After getting our drinks, we were ready to order. I chose to get a Quarter Apple Glazed Smoked Chicken, while CJ ordered One Pound of Pulled Pork. We also got large Garlic Fries to share and decided on a Pecan Pie for dessert later on. 

Our food served on a large tray.

Honestly, I don't think CJ and I even had to wait more than 5 minutes for our food to arrive. It really felt like as soon as our orders were taken, we got the food immediately after. Wow. We were both surprised at how quick the food got out to us. 

Garlic Fries.

I helped myself to their Garlic Fries to start my meal. So good! These are definitely some of the best fries I've tasted. The fries had a nice garlicky taste, but it wasn't too overwhelming. They were also very crispy! CJ said that it felt like the garlic was infused inside the fries, and that he wanted to learn how to make these fries at home! I highly recommend getting these fries as a side. CJ and I had requested for a large size ($10), but on our bill it actually came up as a small size ($5). So I'm not sure if the serving we got on our tray was a small or large! 

Quarter Apple Glazed Smoked Chicken.

The meat I picked for the night was their Apple Glazed Smoked Chicken. I got it in the Quarter size ($9), which is the smallest option. You could also get it in the Whole or Half size. I really liked the taste of my chicken! The chicken itself was moist, while the skin was very flavourful. The only downside for me was that I felt like the skin was a bit dry and slightly tough to cut. Other than that, very delicious! 

One Pound of Pulled Pork.

CJ ordered a huge serving of meat for himself, specifically One Pound of Pulled Pork ($14). If you're not much of a carnivore like CJ is, you could opt for the Half Pound or even go for the Pulled Pork Sandwich. CJ absolutely loved his pulled pork! He couldn't stop eating! I helped myself to the pork and it is definitely flavourful and addicting. We'll be getting this next time for sure too! 

Housemade sauces.

Next to us were four bottles of sauces, made in house. It is labelled as Bourbon, Cherry, Spicy, and Mustard. My favourite was the Cherry sauce! Best sauce I've tried. It went well with my chicken as well as the pulled pork CJ ordered. CJ was also alternating between the Cherry and Spicy. The sauce inside the Bourbon bottle was a bit harder to get out for some reason, even though the bottle was filled to the top. Weird. Both CJ and I wished that the sauces could be somewhat easier to get out of their bottles! 

The interior.

At this point, the restaurant was getting quite packed. I was very happy that we arrived early and were seated at our own individual table instead of the longer tables in the centre. The only downside about a full house? The noise! Even though CJ was across from me, I could barely hear him! We practically had to yell at each other if we wanted to say something. I heard some people sitting near us complain about the noise as well, pointing out how it was pretty loud in the room. Please get this noise issue fixed! 

Pecan Pie.

To finish off our meal, CJ and I got a Pecan Pie ($8) to share for dessert. I don't normally choose pie for dessert, but after seeing people post on Instagram praising the pie here, I just had to try it! Oh my goodness. Absolutely delicious! I couldn't stop eating... I don't even think I stopped to take a drink in between. Wow. By far one of the most memorable desserts I have eaten! The pie itself was sweet and chewy, while the layer of pecans on top added the perfect amount of crunch. The vanilla ice cream made a great contrast to the warm flavours of the pecan pie. Finally, the caramel drizzle added another hint of sweetness that wasn't too overwhelming either! While CJ enjoyed this pie, he obviously liked the meat more. This was my favourite eat of the night! 

CJ and I had such an amazing experience at MEAT! Sitting across from me, CJ was all smiles. "Let's just come here every Friday!" He said. "Thank you for taking me here, this is the best surprise ever!" Aww, so sweet! CJ said that this would be his favourite restaurant of all time. We will without a doubt be coming back here! 

If you're a lover of meat like CJ is, try out MEAT! The portion size is reasonable, and the price of each food item isn't too bad (although I did think the size I got for the smoked chicken was a bit small considering the price). Service was also very quick. MEAT is only open for dinner and they don't take any reservations, so this is a good place for casual date nights. However, if you want to have a decent conversation, maybe hold off until the noise issue gets fixed! Other than that, both CJ and I highly recommend this place for dinner! 

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