FINALLY (the word is emblazoned in capitalized lettering for emphasis) getting around to Save on Meats, I had the pleasure of enjoying a lunch with Irv (@IrvLau). I actually work within walking distance of restaurant/butcher shop and I have been meaning to go since the grand return of the iconic Downtown Eastside diner (hence the rarely utilized and fully capitalized word kicking off this post).
(This photo was actually taken last year on a photo walk before the inception of 604PhotoWalk).Arriving a bit before the lunch time rush, I met Irv at the bar and was welcomed quite warmly by a couple of the many waitresses milling about. The joint was about half full at around 11:30am with most of the booths being occupied. Sidling up to the old timey and comfortable bar seats, already knowing what I would be ordering, I took in the surroundings.
Cartoon signs above the bar overlook vintage fixtures and furnishings, which go a long way in helping to maintain the retro feel of the diner. One can tell that a lot of work was put into the place to give it a certain feel.
A cool jukebox welcomes people at the door and it just begs to be utilized.
I couldn’t decide between a black and white edit of the photo or a colour one so I did it twice. Which do you prefer?
Over the low din of other customers we ordered a couple of “the burger” which is the staple dish. Regularly served with a pickle, tomato, lettuce, cheddar, bacon and of course the in house made patty, all of that is sandwiched into slightly sweet brioche bun. The bun was light and soft and tasted (ever so slightly) reminiscent of a bbq pork bun, which one could conveniently get from only steps away in Chinatown. I can even say with confidence that the bun was sliced evenly in half, which was a complaint of my fellow food blogger Kevin of 604Foodtography. On Irv’s recommendation I also added a sunny side up egg to the mix that was cooked runny and added a wonderful depth to the whole thing. With the first bite egg yolk was running all over the place and the bun did a great job of sopping up all of the great yellow stuff. The burger patty itself was loosely held together which meant that that ground beef was not over blended and that helped to keep it tender and juicy. The fries were crispy on the outside, cooked to a nice golden brown and tender on the inside. One of the best parts of this meal, other than actually enjoying it, was that the price is only $6! Great value in a solid burger.
The staff was very friendly and even when the place got packed for the lunch hour rush none of them lost their cool. Waters and coffees were refilled promptly and we didn’t feel rushed besides the flock of hungry eyes perched by the door.
Save on Meats. If you haven’t tried it yet you’ve been missing out, and if you have tried it already, you probably want to go back.
Save on Meats.
43 West Hastings Street