167 Swan Street
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 9041 5393
What would you get you put Meatloaf and Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale in the same room? Well, probably NOTHING. But if you were to play along at home, your answer ought to be Meatmother (geddit? geddit?).
Because I’m sure that’s how the owners of Melbourne’s newest American-influenced BBQ restaurant came up with the restaurant’s name.
I caught up with Matt a few weeks ago to give this restaurant a try upon recommendations by several fellow bloggers. A menu boasting free-range local produce and meat that’s been smoked ‘low and slow’ for up to 12 hours? What’s not to love?! Well, everything if you’re a vegetarian, I suppose…
We rocked up at 6pm on a Thursday evening, thinking that it would be empty. After all, it was a miserably cold and rainy night – not that I expect anything less from Melbourne these days! To our surprise, it was reasonably busy. In hindsight, I think we were pretty lucky to even score a table next to the kitchen which resulted in my clothes and hair smelling strongly like meat and smoke. Mmmm.
Hipsters trying to be ironic seems to be a common theme these days so I wasn’t surprised when I saw Jim Beam and Old Crow being offered on the menu (though my workmate Sean wasn’t terribly impressed – ‘LOL LOL LOL these jokers serve Old Crow? HAH!’). Thankfully, there is a list of interesting cocktails such as the Bacon Sour at very reasonable prices. Strangely, the mixture of bacon-infused Maker’s Mark, lemon, bitters and candied bacon worked… and very well too.
There are bottles of home-made sauces on each table. Because our food was just too delicious on their own, we never got around to trying any of the sauces. Next time, I will remember to dab a bit of Panther sauce (Carolina-style vinegar and chilli flake sauce) on my ribs and Chief sauce, a Kansas City-style ketchup, on my chips.
The name of this dish reminded me of Kramer v Kramer, heh. For a paltry $7, we received two beef brisket sliders with slaw. The smoky brisket tasted lovely, though perhaps a bit dry. That said, I can’t complain as most places charge $7 for ONE slider whereas we got two here. Score.
Matt ordered the Texas sandwich with mac and cheese on the side. Ever heard of a Texas toast? I hadn’t until tonight. It was essentially lightly buttered fried thick white bread – and not the fancy schmancy organic sourdough that’s been kissed by fairies kind either.
I don’t normally eat supermarket white bread as I find it too sweet but this was the bomb! I loved how crunchy and thick it was, and how well it absorbed the grease and flavours of the pulled pork and chipotle slaw juices.
The ‘go to’ order at Meatmother is their meat tray. Pick a meat (ribs, brisket or pulled pork) and a side and both will be served with two crispy Texas toast halves. Prices range from $19-21, depending on what sort of meat you order and of course, the option to order extra meat for a small charge is always there.
I ordered the spare ribs tray, choosing the mac and cheese for my side. Yes, I know I committed the cardinal food bloggers’ sin of choosing the same thing as a fellow diner (GASP!) but my cravings for it overrode any yearning to sample something different for the sake of blogging. I chose correctly for the mad and cheese was beautiful – it was sinfully creamy and tasty, with only the slightest hints of most-likely mustard to give it that little twist. As for the ribs, my they were so damn good. The meat fell off the bone like it was butter and the sauce was smoky, sweet and tangy at the same time. Better than Squires Loft? Better than Mike’s Kitchen? I think so!
It may not look like a lot of food but we were so full that we had to give up dessert. We were both impressed with our Meatmother experience – the service was fantastic all throughout our meal even though it got busier towards the end and the food was, as you can obviously see, sublime. I’ll definitely be coming back in a hurry for another serving of ribs and mac. Too bad I don’t work around the area or I’ll definitely take advantage of Meatmother’s cheaper lunch options. Sigh.
Postscript: I’ll be in Sydney for the rest of the week. In other words, don’t freak out if you see no new posts for about a week or so.