I almost passed MEAT Eatery & Taproom while driving. Whenever I’m in the Keys I get in this mode with whatever music I’m listening to and this time was no different. PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me was my drive music this time in case you were wondering what mesmerized me.
You can’t really tell very much from the outside of MEAT Eatery and Taproom. When I walked in I had that feeling…you know the one….the “this place is gonna be great” feeling. I walk to the end of the bar and sit down and start surveying my surroundings. I notice no menus anywhere but there is some fella placing an order at the register right near the entrance with what appears to be a menu in his hands. I must have overlooked something when I walked in. Yup, there’s some Menus when you walk in with a sign that says essentially, figure out what you’d like to eat and either take a seat to order or come up to the register.
I can see they’ve got over 10 Beers on draft (variety of Craft & Domestic) and even Albita Rootbeer on tap. There are no big-name soft drinks to be had either. They have their own “Microbrewed Sodas” in flavors Cola, Diet Cola, Cherry Cola, and a few others. All the Sodas contain no high fructose corn syrup.
My mind was made up. The Housemade Pork Rinds (Chicharrones), the Nancy Pants (5 oz Burger) w/Bacon and a microbrewed Cola, and theChorizo Patti made the team too.
The rinds were still popping when they were served. It sounded like a poor man’s July 4th celebration. They were crunchy, airy and not greasy at all (contrary to the story the newspaper below it was telling). The Lime Cilantro Aioli dipping sauce was just perfect for it.
The Chorizo Patti Sandwich as its called arrived along with the Nancy Pants Burger. The Buns for both Burgers were branded “MEAT”. The Chorizo is housemade and the “Patti” came topped with American Cheese and their homemade Mustard. It was riveting from the moment it arrived. In color, it reminded me of the gator burger I had once. After the first bite, I was sold. There was that familiar and awesome Chorizo flavor in patty form. The mustard was the right condiment for it and the choice of American Cheese was also on the money.
Nancy had to keep the momentum going. She came speared with a tiny gherkin pickle up top. It was covering the rallying cry of MEAT. When both Burgers arrived I had the feeling I should scream out “MEAT” in a Braveheart kinda way but then the feeling subsided. This Burger was a beauty. It was cooked Medium as requested and was seasoned properly. The Bun was toasted, the American Cheese was melted and yeah it was excellent. The Bacon (Maple-cured Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon) put the proverbial cherry on this Burger top.
The Fries which are fried in Duck Fat were good too but no match for those two Burgers. Very Honorable mention to their housemade Ketchup which is bottle worthy.
I found it in my heart to order some dessert. I had not planned to but it was warranted after what I had just eaten. The Nutella & Banana Bread Pudding was as rich and delicious as it sounds and looks. Save some space for dessert but just a heads up, I think they change daily so the Nutella & Banana Bread Pudding might not always be available.
There is one thing that I didn’t agree with and that was the use of the term “Kobe” for the Burger on the Specials Board and on the Hot Dog of the permanent menu. It’s misleading as this meat is obviously not from Japan, at least not at these prices.
That being said, it’s been a while since I left a Burger Joint and said “Wow!”. But guess what? Wow!
All About The MEAT:
MEAT Eatery and Taproom
88005 Overseas Hwy #15 Islamorada, Florida 33036
Mile Marker 88