My husband and I were driving down the road the other day when I saw it. The small strip mall near Cub Foods in Stillwater rarely gains a glance from me, but that day my interest was piqued. There on the end of the strip mall, where just a couple of weeks before there was nothing, was a new shop called “The Meet Market”. M-E-E-T not M-E-A-T. I love a good pun, so their sign alone got me thinking about them. I looked over at my husband and said, “what on earth do you think that is?” as I pointed to their shop front. Their marketing was trendy and eye catching, with black, white & red lettering, and on their sign was a picture of a cow. Then, I saw a food truck out front, and knew that I had to go there. Good things always come in food trucks (insert sappy longing eyes here).
On Sunday I had the chance to check them out, and they didn’t disappoint. First of all, the Meet Market in Stillwater has a great vibe. It was perfect for an after church lunch stop. You can sit up at their food bar, any of the deli tables throughout the restaurant, or take food to go. Second, they have an extensive menu with many different options. Being someone who likes variety, I can appreciate all of the options. I already can’t wait to go back and try something new!
Not only is the ambiance great, but their owner brings the deli to life. Now I’m just going to be honest with you all here. I had a little case of the crabbies when I went in for lunch. I unfortunately get that from time to time 😉 , and so I was short and to the point when I ordered. Their owner did not match my stoicism, but was friendly, upbeat, and smiling. He was so excited about the food that it made my crabbies go away just a little bit. Being the stubborn woman that I am sometimes, I refused to let them go completely, and so a few of them lingered as I sat to wait for my food.
My husband ordered the Philly Cheesesteak and I got the Cuban. Of course when you see cheese curds on the menu, you have to order those too. The food came quickly and after my first bite, I decided that my stubbornness wasn’t worth it, and I wouldn’t ruin this great experience by trying to remain crabby for the sake of pride.
Aside from the owner’s enthusiasm, the other thing that stuck out to me was the quality of the food. My husband sometimes says that I’m a picky eater, and I respond to him that I’m not picky – I just like good food (and then give him a smug look and a wink). Now, being the nerd that I am, I can’t help but liken myself to Goldilocks… If you remember the story; she tries the first bowl of porridge and says “this one is too hot”, then the second and says, “this one is too cold”, and finally the third and happily exclaims, “this one is just right!” I’m kind of like that about restaurants, and well, The Meet Market’s food is just right.
I order Cuban sandwiches at a lot of different places, and their take on it is awesome. It started out with a really great bread that was just the right amount of softness and flakiness. They added some pulled pork to the Cuban, and then your traditional ham, pickles, swiss, and mustard. Their addition of the pulled pork easily put the sandwich in my top 5 sandwiches (Ikes in San Francisco has won national awards, and dare I say it, I put this sandwich ahead of the one I got there).
I’ve had Cubans that leave me wanting for more, but the one at The Meet Market was perfect. Sometimes pulled pork can be too dry. Sometimes it can have too much liquid with it and make the bread soggy. This one was tender and juicy without ruining the bun. I didn’t try my husband’s Philly but he said he would get it again, so that was good enough for me. As I mentioned, we also ordered the cheese curds. They were great, and the sauce that they paired with it was TO DIE FOR. I feel like I should probably know what the sauce actually was, but because i’m not a chef, I’ll just explain it as I understood it. It was like homemade ketchup with something else really tasty mixed in (that’s the official definition haha). Whatever it was, it was good, and all cheese curds should come with it.
I had an all around great experience at The Meet Market, and I officially dub it as my new favorite spot for lunch. I hope you check it out soon!
The Meet Market – Stillwater
1754 Market Dr. #100
Stillwater, MN 55082