Ben’s Meat & Deli
15726 Stony Plain Rd.
Ben’s Meat & Deli is yet another one of those places I’ve been meaning to bring the camera for some time. Part deli part store, this Dutch establishment is proud of it’s heritage and offers both fantastic goods and service. It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve been reading quite a bit about this store from The Celiac Husband as of late.
With very limited store front parking (2 cars?), I was surprised to see a a large lineup when I walked in. This didn’t stop the staff from a warm welcome though, and after explaining that I was going to have a quick peek around, they let me know to holler if I had any questions.
There is definitely more than just meat in this store. From candy to crackers. Smoked cheese to smoked pig ears. And don’t forget, a freezer of gluten free offerings courtesy of The Celiac Husband and the GF Patisserie in Cochrane. There is also a selection of orange items, in case you were wondering who they would cheer for in Vancouver.
Stepping back up to the deli counter, I discovered everything from lamb to chicken to aged beef to bison and enough tubes of meat to challenge the Italian Centre. After sampling more meat than I can remember, including things like Macaroni and Cheese Loaf, Liver Loaf, Dutch Salami, I was read to order. As my order was being prepared, the staff informed me, I was like an old European man. Ha! Once I stopped laughing, I donned my had and was out the door and on my way home.
Remember, pictures don’t lie kids. Which means I was home with 200 grams each of Blood & Tongue (bottom left) Head Cheese (bottom right) and Smoked Horse Meat (top). How about a closer look of these paper thin slices of awesomeness.
After locking myself in a room and indulging in these culinary delights all by myself, I couldn’t decide on a winer. The structure of the Head Cheese was just like it should be, but the overall flavour was too basic for me. Think bologna. There is nothing wrong with that of course, I just think this would be fantastic for lunch meat. The Blood & Tongue was really good and tied with the Smoked Horse Meat for my favourite. Quite different from each other of course, the horse was extremely salty while the blood & tongue had a greasier sausage feel. After my meat session, my hands and lips looked like I was sucking on Vaseline jar. But boy was it a tasty jar!
I sat two of the homesteaders down for a blind taste test (they wouldn’t touch the items if I had told them), the responses were good with the horse being the least favourite (too salty). After explaining what they just ate, and discussing it the next day, it seems that the meat was no longer good. Just goes to show you how your eyes (reading the label/seeing the meat) really screw with your stomach and head.
Sure you can get your turkey breast and smoked ham at Ben’s, and maybe you should if you live near by, but why not try something different next time you are around. From the service to the products, I know I’ll be back for steaks in the summer…and maybe some more of that tongue!