It seems like a lifetime ago but in reality it was just over a week ago that I visited the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to do a little foodie tour. I started at the newly re-opened Save-On-Meats on W. Hastings, walked over to Peckinpah and closed my tour with dessert at the Acme Cafe.
First, Save-On-Meats, home to the happy flying pig sign at 43 West Hastings Street. A classic revitalized and reborn by Vancouver restaurateur, Mark Brand.
The main floor of the four story building is home to the meat shop on one side and the upgraded cafe/diner on the other side. The two businesses are separated by an interior wall.
The meat shop side of the business sells meats that are cut on site.
They also sell breads and pastries that are baked on site.
The diner/cafe is a pretty serious upgrade to the former cafe that was nestled in the back of the old Save-On-Meats. The hipster factor is over the top in the new Save-On-Meats cafe.
What was really interesting was the fact that there would be a table full of hipsters and then right next to it would be a table of people who clearly reside in the Downtown Eastside because many of their choices have been lost along the way. Both worlds seemed to be quite peacefully co-existing. (Photo is intentionally soft-focussed so that diners would be anonymous).
The food at the Save-On-Meats diner is very reasonably priced; $4 for a breakfast, $9 for a meatloaf lunch. The meatloaf lunch came with out of this world delicious mashed potatoes and french fries (I asked for a little sample of the fries just to see how they were).
Everything is made on site. The meat is cut upstairs, the potatoes are cut into french fries and the bread, cake, pies ($3 a slice) and even their ice cream is made on site! Believe it or not, a rooftop garden is in the works to help supply even more hyper-local food.
The classic Save-On-Meats burger also lives on. Because I had other foodie appointments for that afternoon I did not sample this burger but I can say that it looked like something you might find in burger heaven.
I will definitely be back to Save-On-Meats to sample more of the menu.
After leaving Save-On-Meats I walked over to the Gastown barbecue house, Peckinpah. I had not been in Peckinpah since the night before they opened to the public so I was anxious to see how things were going.
All reports are that things continue to go well. They have made some changes to the menu due to customer feedback but the spirit of the North-Carolina style BBQ is still respected.
One of the new sandwiches Peckinpah introduced was the Chopped Beef Po’boy made with double smoked beef brisket on French bread. They were looking for something to do with all the ends of the brisket when inspiration came to them; chop them up, smoke them again and make a po’boy. This is one of the sandwiches ($10.50) I look forward to sampling when I return to Peckinpah with an appetite.
After my visit with the people at Peckinpah, I walked back over to Hastings Street for a visit to the Acme Cafe. The Acme Cafe is an open kitchen bistro like place with super friendly staff.
Because I had already lunched at the Save-On-Meats cafe I only had room for a piece of pie with a scoop of ice-cream.
I have to admit, I was under-whelmed by the pie. The flavour was very good but not memorable. And there was only one very small scoop of ice cream. At just pennies under $6 I would not eat this pie again. This is especially true when I consider that Save-On-Meats, just a couple doors along sells a slice of pie with ice-cream made in house, for $3.
It was a wonderful day of food and conversation. I will have to return to Save-On-Meats and Peckinpah when I have another afternoon off. The Save-On-Meats burger and the Chopped Beef Po’boy are large on my radar for sampling. I will report out as soon as I have had the time to sample these items.
Disclosure; I have received no incentive or financial reward (I paid $9.50 before tip for my lunch) for writing this blog entry. I am not obligated nor expected to write this blog entry about Vancouver’s Save-On-Meats, Peckinpah or the Acme Cafe. In any blog post I write or publish on my site, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions or concerns, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org