This is a city with few truly iconic eat and drink spots, save for the place gay men scream at you while you’re trying to eat your eggs, and that peep ‘n drink establishment that destroyed Ben Affleck’s marriage. For a legendary local institution that won’t make you cry or take off your pants, Save-on Meats.
Set in a hundred year old building and taking on the namesake of the site’s five-decade-old butcher shop, Save-On Meats has been reborn as a retro diner with a menu as cheap and delicious as it is simple. From the fried chicken ($10) to the Damn Reuben ($7) to the BLT ($6), the value for money is excellent. And then there’s the burger, with its house-ground chuck and flank steak, bacon, house-made buns, cheese and choice of coleslaw or fries. It’s a full meal for $6 in a stylish retro diner; no wonder this place has been occupied by skinny jeans since its July opening. Lucky for us, the black and white old-timey photos have been taken and the herd has moved on.
If you’re into overpriced champagne and orange juice brunches, stay away from Save-On’s back-to-basics breakfast menu with your choice of pancakes, hash, scramble, benny’s, steak and eggs or, to throw at least one morning curveball at you, a breakfast poutine (crisp fries, cheese curd, topped with a fried egg). But if you spent all your cash trying to recreate Affleck’s infamous night out, a loonie and two quarters will get you a simple but satisfying breakfast sandwich from the take out window.
And if you’re more into grillin your meat at home (something Ben might have considered), the Save-On butcher shop is open again and offers great value on ethically sourced, reasonably priced animal insides.