Step inside Meat on the Beach and you enter an indoor marketplace abundant with fresh from the farm quality, wholesome meat, organic and local farm produce, home made ready to serve meals and sides plus a vast collection of fine foods. This is no ordinary grocery store. Meat on the Beach oozes friendliness and demonstrates “family business” unlike the more swishy downtown gourmet shops.
Owner and butcher, Ernesto Monte, says the comments he hears the most from customers is “You’ve got the best meat”. Those coming to the shop to purchase his tender Black Angus beef, rib eyes and steaks and even the occasional whole pig include many local celebrities, TV personalities including food show chefs, food writers and critics.
It is truly a “family business”, with Meat on the Beach-branded pastas and pasta sauces, salad dressings, and pies made by various relatives, for example, pies by Aunt Carmelina and pasta by Aunt Cecil. There are at least 20 varieties of sausages alone, included delectable ricotta cheese with spinach, and sausages with blueberries!
At Thanksgiving there is a high demand for his fresh from the farm turkey, although turkey has become so popular that Ernesto now stocks it year round. Other favourites that bring customers back to the store are the wide variety of home made, ready to cook products, organic, farm fresh products, and specialty items like flat chicken (deboned and marinated).
Ernesto is a trained butcher, like his father and grandfather. In 2003, Ernesto and his wife Anna moved into the current shop on the north side of Queen just west of Woodbine. All meat products purchased are raised in accordance with the highest standards, no antibiotics or hormones. At a time when some are nervous about their “sliced meats”, Ernesto points out that all their meat is roasted on the premise, sliced and packaged ready to serve.
Since opening in the Beaches, Meat on the Beach has quickly earned a reputation as being a butcher shop beyond compare. But for changing tastes, the shop provides a wide variety of fresh chicken, turkey, pork and lamb as well as countless varieties of marinated and prepared meats. And for vegetarians, there is a wide variety of produce as well as home made pastas (include rice and spelt pasta), veggie and tofu burgers and dogs, and home made vegetarian lasagne.
Meat on the Beach, 1860 Queen St. E.
Mon-Thu: 7 am-7 pm • Fri , Sat, Sun: 7 am- 8 pm