If you read any of my farmers market posts (I wrote them weekly for several months in 2012), you probably remember my weekly bacon from Link 41 (here’s a sampling of posts where I have mentioned Link 41). Man, I was obsessed with that bacon. Unfortunately, the only downside of my job change is that I am no longer able to get to the farmers market every Wednesday, which severely limits my access to that wonderful bacon.
When Main Street Meats opened, it took me a minute to figure out that it was basically an expansion of Link 41, from a place from which to procure fantastic charcuterie to a full-blown butcher shop, complete with daily lunch offerings. Including a burger. As soon as I read the description of the burger on the Main Street Meats blog, I knew I had to have it.
It was an awfully cold day to be walking around on Main but I was willing to brave the cold for that burger (I’m a wuss, I know, but I’m from the American South. I can’t help it. Bring the heat!). The lunch menu for the day was the House Burger and beef stew, and we both decided to have the burger, with bacon (of course). The meat was taken out of the case after we ordered, cooked to a perfect crispness on the outside in cast iron, and served simply on a Niedlov’s bun with mayo and a smear of brown mustard, some gruyere (which is one of our favorite cheeses), caramelized onions, and some perfectly cooked bacon. There is nothing not to love about this burger. It was perfect. PERFECT. Drippy but not messy, if that’s possible, with an indescribable flavor. The lack of toppings (or options for toppings) may be off-putting for some but really….it needs nothing. This is a burger Ron Swanson would approve of (meat. on a bun. with nothing. Who knows what I’m talking about?).
Talking to Dan Key (an owner? I forgot to ask!), I learned that the meat is dry-aged for a minimum of 14 days. All the beef at Main Street Meats is local and grassfed, and you have your pick of beautiful meat in the case to take home. They offer beef, pork, lamb, and chicken (all local) and of course the charcuteries that made Link 41 famous…but also some take home items like pre-made heat and eat meat pies and deli containers of chicken salad. We paid $9 per burger, plus chips and drinks…worth every penny, and that money pretty much goes right back into the local economy and supporting local, humanely raised meat.
Main Street Meats is located at 217 East Main Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408. You can call them at 423-602-9568. Check out their website, mainstreetmeatschatt.com. You can also find Main Street Meats on Facebook and follow @MainStreetMeats on Twitter.
After our lunch, we stopped off at Enzo’s Market to pick up some Velo Coffee and some Alchemy Spice Wake & Bake Sweet Spice Blend before heading on to The Hot Chocolatier to have some, well, hot chocolate. How have I not been here before? A reader tipped me off (after reading about my affinity for all things lavender in my Milk and Honey post) that they have a lavender-vanilla hot chocolate, so I didn’t even have to think about my order (thanks, Kat!). Philip ordered a hazelnut hot chocolate, and since their marshmallows are house made, we of course had to top our mugs off with one (you can also have whipped cream). I managed to show a little restraint and resist the beautiful handmade chocolates and amazing pastries in the cases, but I did pick up some photographic evidence for you.
Can I just say that if you are a chain coffee shop addict (you know which one I’m talking about) it would do your soul good to check out a place like this? Yes, it’s out of the way (since there isn’t one every five miles) but this is just the kind of hot drink that makes you stop and thank God for chocolate (and I’m sure that their coffee and tea beverages make you feel the same way about coffee and tea). There was no Swiss Miss involved here….just deep, rich, sweet chocolate and milk. Definitely “European-style”….this is the kind of hot chocolate that is so rich you have to take your time…but you also have to drink every. last. drop. The marshmallow on top makes you question every Jet-Puffed marshmallow you ever consumed (though in my opinion those things have one use and one use only). And it’s difficult to walk out without making some, ahem…additional purchases.
The Hot Chocolatier is committed to making the best and the freshest products possible:
The Hot Chocolatier is located at 201 West Main Street, Chattanooga, TN 37408. You can call them at 423-266-3066. Check out their website, thehotchocolatier.com. “Like” The Hot Chocolatier on Facebook and follow @ahotchocolatier on Twitter.