What do savvy restaurateurs do when customers ask again and again about the local the ingredients they serve and how they can get their favorite menu item to-go? They build a business plan, lock down a space and give the people what they want, and the end result is: Murray’s Market.
Owners Paddy Wheland and Chef Steve Mitton know their fan base, they’ve been serving them just around the corner at Murray Street, Kitchen, Wine, Charcuterie in Ottawa’s Byward market for three years. Their latest brainchild, Murray’s Market, swings open the door to dozens of farms across Canada that you just can’t find in your big box grocery store.
At the deli counter you’ll find Elk Salami, Wild Boar Bacon and a wonderful selection of artisan cheeses. On the shelves, in baskets and in the coolers; preserves, pickles, local produce, breads, and a selection of take-out straight off the menu at the mother ship.
Their Canadian kitsch style is punctuated with humor; delivery pallets hang artfully from the ceiling, whisky barrels support table tops, a colander doubles as a light fixture and front and center a wood stove hosts cutlery and a jug of water infused with seasonal fruit, herbs or citrus.
Wooden clothes pegs double as tag holders in the deli case and everywhere there is a reverence for: The Pig. From flying pigs to a piggy bank that fills with spare change as Murray’s Market customers show appreciation for great food and warm service. On the wall a map of Canada charts the location of farmed products with the use of cotton string and a hand written tag, in this 100% Canadian venue.
For those who want instant meals: “Freakin’ Potato Salad”, Mac’n’Cheese, Lamb Shanks and Shepard’s Pie (to name a few). At the counter you’ll find and assortment of sandwiches and even homemade hotdogs – dine in to take-out. For those looking for a stock tip in turbulent times here’s one: lamb stock, duck stock even duck demi-glaze, available at Murray’s Market.
A tremendous resource for locals and for visitors to our nation’s capital, an opportunity pick up something “Canadian” to go with that colorful can of maple syrup you bought for Uncle Phil.
But enough about all that other stuff, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What the people really want… is a Meat Cone. We’ve had enough of meat on sticks, we want our meat in a CONE.
Voila. The Murray’s Market 100% All Canadian Meat Cone: a butcher’s paper cone filled with elk salami, bacon, Berkshire ham, wieners and bologna tossed into a pan and fried then layered with aged PEI cheddar, topped with a dollop of chunky Remoulade (the French answer to tartar sauce) and more cheese ($9.50).
It’s a heart stopper, in an “Oh-my-God-is-that-for-ME?! You-shouldn’t-have!” kind of way. Atkins Dieters take note: no pesky carbohydrates. Built to share. But if you’re alone with your cone, not to worry, that butcher’s paper folds over and you can safely stow it for later. (Then your bulldog can stick his big head in your purse when you get home and wag his entire body in a Meat Cone induced frenzy.)
Let’s pause for a moment and give thanks for a stellar Meat Cone ingredient: Murray’s Market in-house bologna. Lean, made from noble cuts, spiced and balanced; it’s a revelation. A petite homage to Maritime culture and evidence of co-owner Paddy Wheland’s Newfoundland roots, it will change your mind about the lowly bologna – forever. The chunk in the Meat Cone that will make you go “What was THAT?” That — was bologna.
Laughing, Chef Mitton claims the Meat Cone to have “magical healing properties”.
I watch as a group of students in the corner complain about “feeling sick” and “never doing that again”, returning multiple times to the water jug waiting for their Meat Cones. As they consume layers of meat and cheese (right down to the bottom) they begin to smile, lift their heads from their hands and indeed — remove their sunglasses. Such are the medicinal effects of things cooked with love and bacon.
Murray’s Market, where 100% Canadian means more than just maple syrup.
…and you can take that to the farm!
261 Dalhousie St.
Phone: 613-789-FARM (3276)