First Look: the new Sanagan’s Meat Locker, a bigger, badder incarnation of a Kensington Market favourite
Three years after setting up camp in the city’s most lively market, Sanagan’s Meat Locker has flown the nest and moved a hop, skip and a jump away from its original — but tiny — home. Following much praise from the city’s carnivores, owner Peter Sanagan felt that branching out was the next step. “Honestly, it’s being able to get to more people,” he says.
Sanagan cut his teeth as a chef at the likes of Auberge du Pommier and Mistura, and has also spent time at the The Falls Inn in Grey County. Throughout his dealings with local farmers, he found himself particularly taken with the meaty side of things, and eventually his original Meat Locker was born.
The new rendition steps into the former European Quality Meats spot; Sanagan has kept the original floor plan, but has given the space a more consumer-friendly feel. Lengthy display fridges line the room, while Joshua James from Goodfellas Gallery has helped to warm up the space with wooden barn board accents. Black and white snapshots of old Hogtown butcher shops are remnants from the former Sanagan’s location, while a blackboard sketch above the cash demarcates the various cuts of beef.
With 10 times the space, the new joint has allowed Sanagan to return to his chef’s roots. Prepared items including beef stock, pâté, terrine and other fine foods are now available in addition to his typical breadth of selection from Ontario farmers.
West Grey provides the beef; venison and Mennonite pork is procured from Ontario Harvest; and lamb comes from Forsythe Farms. Other new additions include rotisserie chickens (whole, $14), while a lunch station means that hungered folks can grab goods to go. The Bo Ssammy ($7) features Korean-style pulled pork, kimchi slaw, and green onion mayo; the roast beef sandwich ($7) pairs meat with aged cheddar, caramelized onions and mushroom gravy.
“It’s about having a relationship with the farmer,” Sanagan says, “without being snobby about it.”
Sanagan’s Meat Locker, 176 Baldwin St., 416-593-9747