Bottomfeeder: Market House Meats Sells Corned Beef by the Ton

The only thing they skimp on is decor.

Occupying the same Denny Regrade corner since 1948, Market House Meats puts on no airs. In front is a bright, sterile meat counter with enough dining space for a dozen customers. In back is a large area with a cement floor which facilitates the butchering of various cuts of flesh. Aesthetically, it's about as inviting as a warehouse break room, and hasn't been significantly altered decor-wise since it opened. Market House Meats' chief source of solvency is the sale of literally tons of corned beef, pastrami, and such to area restaurants. Folks who drop in and dine aren't necessarily an afterthought, but they're not a forethought either. To order a sandwich, one must fill out a paper form, submit it, and proceed to the register. If you're thirsty, you can grab a can of soda or a beer (Guinness, Rainier) en route to settling up. While its corned-beef recipe is tightly guarded, Market House Meats is about as far removed from the new-wave deli movement (prime Pacific Northwest examples include Stopsky's and Kenny & Zuke's) as a deli can be. Old deli has treated Market House Meats very well; there's little motivation to retrofit the blades, so to speak. Besides, Market House Meats shares a block with Re-bar. How much avant-gardism can one street take? The dine-in experience is so ancillary to Market House Meats' core that there aren't any plates; to-go cartons are given to everyone, and include two pickles, a scoop of potato salad, and a cookie with every sandwich. And there's absolutely no confusion as to what constitutes a Reuben here: It's an enormous, sloppy rendition piled high as Mt. Si with corned beef and gang-tackled by an unruly amount of melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. If the rye can't withstand all the action, tough shit—that's what your plastic fork is for. mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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