Equal parts butcher shop and casual eatery, the specialty here – the owners are Erik and Amanda Niel, the duo behind another local hot spot, Easy Bistro – is, as the name implies, all things meaty. The lip-smacking charcuterie makes for a terrific starter, but it’s the simple, yet sublime sandwiches that really are a knockout. The MSM Pastrami Reuben, for example, combines salty meat, sour cabbage and pickles, and subtly sweet Russian dressing for a deeply satisfying and addictive effect.
Owned by two-time James Beard Award semifinalist Erik and his wife, Amanda, Main Street Meats is the Niels’ latest venture in the city (if you want to know more about Niel, check out his thoughts on Big Green Eggs here). Functioning as both a restaurant and butcher shop, Main Street Meats works as with local purveyors to offer delicious, sustainable meats. You can expect a deliciously-meat heavy menu featuring famous meat dishes with a Southern twist.
“We make a lovely Mortadella (fancy bologna) at Main Street Meats with lots of peanuts, black peppercorn and chunks of pork fatback, and then stuff it in beef bungs to poach it sous vide. Thick-sliced and griddled on the flat top then served on multi-grain with mayo, mustard, and chow-chow. It’s pretty boss—I put it on the menu because it’s fun and people love it. Plus, who doesn’t love a hot bologna sandwich?”
Chattanooga's downtown is definitely see-worthy, but if you're looking for the local cool crowd, the Southside District, centered along Main Street, is always a good bet, and right now, you can't do much better than this butcher shop and restaurant, right at the heart of the action. House made brats, a killer burger (with great pickles, bacon and gruyere), steaks (oh, why not, go ahead), it's all in play. Make sure to order the pork rinds to start—they're delicate, pretty, perfectly seasoned—even if you don't think you like pork rinds, these might just bring you around.