Name: Sanagan’s Meat Locker.
Owner: Peter Sanagan.
Cuisine: Butcher/Prepared meats/Sandwich shop.
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market.
Signature: Locally sourced raw meat, sandwiches, and rotisserie chicken.
Price of mains: Sandwiches are $7 each, or $9.50–$10.50 with fries or soup.
Open for: Lunch and early dinner.
Assessment: When European Meats closed in April of this year, media and market inhabitants alike decried the loss of a longtime Kensington stalwart. Just over four months later, Sanagan’s Meat Locker has successfully set up shop, looking to maintain Kensington’s reputation as a stellar place to visit the butcher. The formula at the new store is simple yet remarkably effective: On the left wall, a long meat counter features premium cuts of locally sourced beef, pork, chicken, venison, lamb, wild boar, and oodles of sausages. At the back, the prepared foods section is ripe with cured meats, pâtés, soups, pasta sauces, and eggs. However, it’s the grab-and-go sandwich station that gives this place an edge over its competitors. A small selection of fresh, filling sammies (like Korean-style pulled pork, roast beef and cheddar, or crispy skin roast chicken) are available for take out, or to eat at one of three cramped tables near the front door. The soft white buns from neighbour Cobs Bread are stacked high with mounds of Ontario meat from Sanagan’s own fridge, and the delicious fries, soups, and salads are worth a try as well.
• Decent selection of well-priced, locally sourced meats.
• A cheap and filling lunch-hour option for market goers.
• One-stop-shop opportunities with raw and prepared foods, preserves, olive oils, mustard, and more.
• Even if the decor is a good effort at butcher-shop chic (there’s a lot of reclaimed wood), you may have qualms about eating your sandwich near so much raw meat.
Bottom line: Using fresh ingredients from Sanagan’s own lockers, as well as from the surrounding market, the butcher shop is in serious contention as one of the best new sandwich shops.
176 Baldwin St., 416-593-9747, sanagansmeatlocker.com.