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Two Rivers Meats

We first discovered Two Rivers meat shoppe and butchery during the onset of the covid pandemic. This is when restaurants were closed and people were looking to fill that void by cooking at home. We came down to North Vancouver to purchase their quality meat products that includes charcuterie, sausages, steaks, pork chops, and already marinaded chicken wings. A large selection behind glass and the seasonings and sauces to pair with it.

You also got a look at the butchery behind this assembly. And similarly their open kitchen on the other side of the room, if you decide to dine-in or order any precooked items to go.

Since then I have been frequenting this North shore favourite for both; and during this latest visit, I even got a look at their back of house operations.

But starting with lunch we tried the following. The Beef Tartare is Canadian grass-fed and grass-finished beef seasoned with capers, anchovy, cornichons, and salt-cured egg yolk. Served with flatbread and toast. This was leaner option for those still wanting to indulge. And a surprising one for a causal butcher shop.

There is so much that goes into the beef we eat, and it is nice to see Two Rivers be so transparent with what goes into theirs. They do this by listing the designation of the meat, as in the above. They work closely with the farmers, sourcing from those who have grass-fed cows and grass finished cows. Opting not for any that have cows fattened up with filler grains before they are butchered. Thus, really making sure their product is of premium quality.

We also learned that if cows need antibiotics at any point, they get classified out of the prairie ranch designation, being they are not 100% natural. And that is just the tip of the extent to which Two Rivers sources their quality meats.

And in the opposite direction of the lean tartare, but equally indulgent is the Beef Marrow Bones. Two decadent halves of a grass-fed and finished beef bone, dressed with a garlic and fresh herb gremolata, and served with grilled toast. Sumptuous gristle made palatable, but still rich over a crunchy crostini.

And if you are looking for something more classic, they have a Foot Long Hotdog made grown up with a bevy of gourmet condiments. This was an all-beef dog dressed in their house mustard, sauerkraut, and fraser valley bacon jam. The mustard was a stand out here, little pearls that offered crunchy pops in the mouth. For my tastes I would have liked some ketchup for tang and more of the bacon jam as a balancing sweetener for all the acidity, from the other condiments. A lot of one taste for one person, best to be shared.

One of their best sellers is their Boss Burger. A large two handed ”banger of a burger”, described as an “absolute monster”. This is basically a bigger, beefier, and better version of their regular dry aged cheese burger. A burger that is advertised as taking weeks to prepare, featuring Canadian grass-fed and grass-finished beef, dry-aged, and formed into two 5oz patties. Topped with two slices of white cheddar and three pieces of north shore bacon, bead and butter zucchini pickles, lettuce, tomato, Alabama white bbq sauce and house-mustard.

I was proudly able to finish the whole thing, but had to leave half the fries behind, and this was a shame considering that they were Tallow Fries. Kennebec potatoes, straight cut and fried in savoury tallow. They were thick with a chewy centre, salty and savoury on their own; but best with ketchup for a welcomed acidity. Truly delicious fries befitting for such a burger.

Looking for something more manageable, they also have Hiro Wagyu Sliders. Three savoury wagyu beef sliders dressed with their house tomato jam and Alabama white bbq sauce. Simple and clean with minimal condiments the patty is the focal point here. Hiro beef is 100% full blood wagyu, raised in the Fraser Valley with no added hormones or steroids. Personally, I found it a little bland without the dressings and looked to ketchup once more.

With all this rich meaty eating I suggest you order a pint of beer to accompany it all. They have a rotating collection of local ales and ciders on tap and more in cans to choose from.

To walk off our meal we then took a tour of the place, starting with their dry aged cooler. A room full of metro racks carrying heavy slabs of meat, with many more hung on hooks, set at a slightly chilled temperature. These sit and dry for up to 45 to 65 days in what they call a controlled decomp. The result is meat that is more tender and more flavourful. Given the amount they sell through, this selection rotates out fast.

We then travelled pass the butcher’s block, and into the employees only back, to see how much product they are housing and transporting to fill all their restaurant and catering orders. Many and majority of the higher end restaurants source their meats from Two Rivers.

I was enthralled with the sausage room. Where sausages were set to dry for a varying days depending on their make up. The smaller sticks are typically 7-8 days. The larger caliber ones are made from a single muscle within an animal and stay in the dry aging fridge for up to a few months. This attributes to their cost, as a higher end product that requires more time and energy.

That was just a teaser, with the Two Rivers team working on so much more. What we can expect is an online store and the ability to ship more, and ship further.

They also have a new line of jerky in 4 different flavours for grab and go snacking.

And you can see more of them at the annual summer barbecue and drinking extravaganza: Brewery and the Beast, as one of the main sponsors. Tickets are out now and sure to sell out.


Two Rivers Meats
180 Donaghy Ave, North Vancouver, BC V7P 2L5, Canada
+1 604-990-5288

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