Friday, June 27, 2014

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Main Street Meats

Let's talk about burgers.

Burgers in Chattanooga are a serious business.  Who has the best burger has been debated on what I consider to be the definitive Chattanooga food blog, Chattavore.  According to Mary, the best burgers in Chattanooga are found at Tremont Tavern.   And they're good, really good.  I've had the gouda burger and the pimento cheese burger. They're both awesome.  Tremont Tavern trims and grinds their own meat in house, and make their patties by hand every morning. They do a great job.

You want to know what's better than in house ground beef?  Aged, grass fed, local, hand ground beef from Main Street Meats.  That's right, aged hamburger meat.

The guys at Main Street Meats mean business.  The only reason they even have a kitchen is to get your hooked on their butcher shop, and they only serve food from 11am-3pm. They do their burgers up right.  Each patty is made to order.  They cook them on cast iron.  CAST IRON.  It gives the burgers a perfectly flavored crust that you can't get any other way.  Sorry Tremont, these guys have got you beat.

My first (of many to come) burger at Main Street Meats was topped with caramelized onions, a homemade coarse grain mustard, with a homemade pepper mayo underneath, and served on a Neidloves bun.  I've heard there is a version with bacon, but as wonderful as that sounds, this burger was perfectly composed.  This burger was juicy without soaking the bun.  It was meaty, the onions were sweet, the pepper mayo was enough of a hint to be noticed, and the course grain mustard was killer.  Someone from our group asked the chef if anyone had ever asked for ketchup.  We all just laughed. 

If you're not hungry enough now, let's talk about the butcher shop, and while we're at it, cheese.  Just for good measure.

Main Street Meats is the USDA Certified expansion of Link 41, my favorite sausage shop(If you don't have a favorite sausage shop, get on it.  Your life will be enriched.)  In a nutshell, Link 41 focused on butchering pigs, and Main Street Meats doesn't discriminate.  Equal opportunity for butchering grass fed/free range local farm animals.

They have great relationships with local farmers, and on top of that, they're great butchers who really know their stuff.  If you have any questions about what you see in the meat case, they will tell you everything you need to know.  If you know what you want to cook, but don't know the right cut, they can help.  There's also some good stuff in their freezer, so look there too.  That's where we found the baconage.  That's right.  Sausage made with bacon.  Breakfast will never be the same.

The freezer is where you will find broths, lard, and a selection of Sequatchie Cove Cheeses.  I shared this fact with my friends from Clemson, and no joke I got a text this week asking for more Blu Cheese the next time I visit.  It's that good.

Main Street Meats is a local butcher shop that happens to have the best burger in town.  And if that's not enough to make you want to check them out, they just hosted a class on sausage making that ended with a sausage and beer tasting.  If for some crazy reason cooking with great meat intimidates you, they have started a new blog where they are posting recipes, photos and information.  Still need convincing that Main Street Meats is for real?  Listen to this interview that recently aired on NPR.

I seriously recommend that you check these guys out, and if you stop by during lunch, grab a burger.  I think it's the best in town. (I still love you Tremont.)

Main Street Meats 
217 E Main Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408
(423) 602-9568

Monday to Friday 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Lunch served daily 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Closed Sundays
*I haven't looked for them at the Sunday Market yet, but they have had a booth in the past.

website | facebook | @MainStreetMeats

Main Street Meats on Urbanspoon

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