Scroll down a carnivorous restaurant menu in Metro Vancouver and if they credit their meat supplier, there’s a pretty good chance the name you’ll see is Two Rivers Meats in North Vancouver.
Known for their carefully-culled inventory of fresh Canadian meat and poultry, along with their cured meats program, Two Rivers has risen in favour to become one of the food industry’s meat darlings since its 2007 launch by husband and wife duo Margot and Jason Pleym.
Now the Two Rivers fam has expanded, offering consumers a fresh new opportunity to get their hands (and tastebuds!) on the goods. In October, Two Rivers’ opened their much-anticipated Butcher Shop & Eatery, situated adjacent to their main office at their North Van facility.
Operating currently on a Tuesday through Saturday (10 am to 7 pm) schedule, “The Shop” as they shorthand it, has become an instant draw for both North Shore residents and destination eaters/shoppers alike.
The Shop is a smartly-apportioned shared space with an open kitchen and communal seating indoor and out. Nothing is going on behind closed doors here, from the cooking to the cutting, thanks to the open pass and the glass walls giving everyone an unabashed glance at meat hanging, or being cut.
One counter can handle your raw meat retail, including some ready-to-cook options like marinated or breaded meat cuts. Another counter focuses on charcuterie, so you can put together a dreamy board for an upcoming gathering (or a night of Netflix and chill; sliced cured meat is sexy!).
If you’re here to eat, though, get your order in at either counter, and choose from their trim but diverse selection of eats like a breakfast sandwich, salads, kids’ fare, snacks, and meaty mains.
Opening bites include an incredible tartare (hey, if you’re going to eat beef raw, where better than right at the butcher shop, right?) that’s at once rich and light, thanks to the delightful play of texture and flavour, served with crostini. A seasonal debut are their vadouvan-spiced pork croquettes, served with a tangy-creamy gribiche (egg and mayo sauce) for dipping and countering their curry punch.
Mains run the gamut from their meat pies to a featured sausage plate, but the most popular item hands-down is the Dry-Aged Cheeseburger, which you’ll see dotting many a table, often with a heaping side of tallow-fried French fries.
The sleeper hit on the menu has been the Ramen, according to staff, who say the pork and miso bowl of steaming noodles has really been hitting the spot since they’ve opened. Kids can choose from hot dogs, a burger, or drumsticks. And every table gets Tallow Popcorn.
If anyone who doesn’t eat meat does manage to find themselves in this meat-eaters paradise, Two Rivers does do some great meat-less sides, like their seasonal veg (right now it’s a Brussels sprouts with charred miso) or a snappy beet and carrot slaw with pistachio.
With plans to expand their hours in the new year, Two Rivers Meats is off and running with the doors open just a few weeks and the impending holiday rush at hand. (Psst, now’s the time to think about ordering a holiday Tourtiere!)
Two Rivers Meats – Butcher Shop & Eatery
Address: 180 Donaghy Street, North Vancouver