Gourmeats is now open on Dundas West, helping to solve that nightly dilemma: what's for dinner? The month old butcher is family owned and operated by Allan and Branka Suleman, along with daughter, Aleya and butcher, Matthew (who for all intents and purposes is part of the family despite not sharing any genes).
It's an impassioned concept, colourfully illustrated on a floor-to-ceiling blackboard wall: buy some top quality meat and then have it vacuum sealed in a choice of 16 housemade marinades for free: flavours like My Thai, Gingerbeer Jerk or Old English.
At only a month old, I watch Allen aide first timers. He asks; what kind of meat do you want? Chicken? Beef? Lamb? Pork? How many people are you feeding? Do you have a BBQ? Or, are you planning to pan sear? Roast? Stew? And, then finally, do you like spicy or mild? He proceeds to recommend a cut and a housemade marinade, offering samples to the indecisive.
Prices are on par with most premium butchers, grass fed ribeye steaks go for $20/lb, briskets for $10/lb, prepared hamburgers, meatballs or kebabs sell for $8-10/lb. There is no freezer on premise so everything is fresh. Meat is sourced direct from farmers on a small scale and Allan is deeply involved in every aspect of the supply line taking control of the 30-day aging process himself, and, outsourcing sausage making and bacon curing to trusted suppliers. Having just started, they're giving bones away for free, though eventually the plan is to make and offer their own stock.
I leave with a some Miami style spare ribs ($10/lb) and, a whole organic chicken ($7.15/lb), halved and marinated in two separate bags with Vindaloo marinade in one and Mayan chipotle in the other â it's pretty much my answer to dinner for the week and all I have to do is cook when I get home.
Recently, I've seen @gourmeats on Instagram advertise corn on the cob brought in for the grilling season. Specialty products like bison, guinea fowl and wild salmon are stocked when available too.
For now the Gourmeats is open Tuesday to Sunday, though they've been listening to the locals and may, in the near future, start taking off Tuesday instead.
Photos by Morris Lum