1907 Meat Company in downtown Stillwater OK is a butcher shop and restaurant in one, featuring delicious, locally sourced meats and products.
I’m always excited when new businesses, especially restaurants, open in Stillwater OK. There is so much potential and room for growth in the restaurant market, so I show as much support as I can. In October, 1907 Meat Company joined the restaurant scene, and brought new business to downtown Stillwater. I visited not long after it opened, and did a blog post. A few weeks later Sally Asher, their communications coordinator, reached out to me to provide more details and information about the shop. I had great plans to revisit soon after…but life, the holidays, and work all got in the way. Finally, in late January, I made it back to 1907 Meat Company to visit with Sally.
It’s surprising how many people I know who have never heard of or never been to 1907 Meat Company. But on the flip side, I love when someone tells me they know about it or visited because they saw my review on the blog!
1907 Meat Company is a member of Keep It Local, a program that is all about supporting Oklahoma businesses. You purchase a card for $15 annually, and you get discounts and rewards when you shop at the member businesses. Keep It Local only recently expanded into the Stillwater community. 1907 Meat Company and Iron Monk Brewery are currently the only food/beverage local businesses in the program.
Several things have changed with 1907 Meat Company since my first visit:
- The butcher shop is open 8am-6pm Monday-Saturday (they previously opened at 7am, but did not have enough demand to continue)
- On the restaurant side, breakfast is 8am-10:30am and lunch is 11am-2pm, Tuesday-Friday
- They launched Saturday and Sunday brunch in December, from 9am-2pm
- The cooler and freezer at the front of the restaurant are full of product, including vacuum-sealed and frozen meats, gelato, farm-fresh eggs from Fisher Farms, house-made lard, and carrot cake
- They have dog bones for sale, made from smoked beef bones and sold by the pound
The meat case is full of the products they have in stock for the day. Many are staple items, but they will occasionally have different cuts of meat. Ribeye and ground beef are the most popular cuts of meat in the case. I’ve purchased burger patties, ribeye, and bacon, and they were all delicious. Friends have said they loved every cut of meat they’ve purchased as well.
The original breakfast and lunch menus had 4 items for each meal, and the items changed daily based on what was in the meat case. The menus have expanded to 4-6 items, and the smothered burrito, biscuits & gravy, and breakfast sandwich are staples on the breakfast menu. At lunch, the Cuban sandwich and meatloaf sandwich are the biggest sellers. If you follow 1907 Meat Company on Facebook and Twitter, you’ll get their daily breakfast and lunch menu items.
Liz, their in-house pastry chef, makes all the baked goods daily, including biscuits, cakes, and house-made granola bars. I’m always too full to get dessert, so I need to try them on my next visit to buy product from the meat counter.
1907 Meat Company partners with several Stillwater businesses to provide products, including Blue Spruce Gelato & Sorbet and, most recently, loose leaf tea by Simplicity and Company. I’ve never been a big tea drinker, but both my parents are so I’ll have to get some next time they are in town.
What hasn’t changed about 1907 Meat Company is the general setup. The dining space is on the left side of the building; there are 3 large picnic-style tables, plus a long narrow bar-style table along the front window with barstools. They have t shirts, hats, and coffee mugs for sale, and you can also purchase bags of local coffee. On the right side of the space is the meat case, order counter, cooler and freezer. For breakfast and lunch you order and pay at the counter, and when your food is ready a staff member brings it out to you.
When I met Sally for breakfast, of course I could not decide what to get. You would think it is an easy decision, with only 6 items. But I couldn’t decide what I was feeling, or how indulgent I wanted to be. I finally decided on the smothered biscuit sandwich, with the gravy on the side. Yes, I realize that makes it NOT a smothered sandwich. But usually the smother makes it too heavy, and the biscuit gets soggy. You get your choice of ham, bacon, sausage or chorizo on the sandwich; for me, bacon was an easy decision.
Let’s start with the gravy: house-made, with chunks of bacon. Yes, chunks of bacon. There is nothing wrong with that. The large biscuit is flaky on the outside, perfectly dense on the inside, and delicious. The thick-cut bacon has such great bite, and the egg is nice and fluffy. Their breakfast items include breakfast potatoes. The potatoes are fabulous; they are crispy on the outside, fully on the inside, and a generous portion. I could easily eat just a tray of potatoes. The breakfast potatoes make up for my disappointment that they don’t serve french fries.
Sally got the pecan pancakes with peach marmalade. I had just met her, so it would have been completely inappropriate for me to ask for a bite…but she said it’s one of her favorites.
A couple of weeks later a group of us went for breakfast, and Aaron got pancakes. Aaron and I are great friends, so I took a bite. The pancakes are delicious.
Friday lunch is burger day. Since I learned about burger day I’ve made plans to go every single Friday; and every week, something gets in the way. But I FINALLY made it…and was able to take my friend Dennicia, who had never visited before. She did the filet burger
The burgers are supposed to be medium, but Dennicia’s was basically well done. However, the meat was still tender and extremely flavorful, and the garlic sauce is fabulous.
I went with the hickory bleu burger, and added fried onion straws
My burger patty was very medium rare, almost exactly the opposite of Dennicia’s. Growing up, my mom never let me eat anything less than well done. As a young adult I scaled back to medium, but that was as far as I went…so this burger was very under-done for my tastes. However, just like the filet burger, the meat has wonderful flavor. There is no comparison to very fresh, local meat. They should permanently add the onion straws to this burger, because it adds a wonderful contrast in flavor and texture.
1907 Meat Company recently added the option to purchase a side of chips
These delicious chips are fried fresh daily. I told Sally the only way to improve them would be to serve them warm. They currently only have one fryer, so they cook large batches early each morning. So really, the only way to get warm chips would be if they needed to make more at some point during lunch.
I know little to nothing about the meat industry, so I learned a lot in just 2 visits with Sally.
Most of the 1907 Meat Company staff are OSU alumni, and there is no love lost between Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma. But without 1907 Meat Company’s partnership with the University of Oklahoma’s Real Food Challenge, and their wholesale business that provides a majority of the meat to OU’s dining services, the brick and mortar shop may not have materialized.
1907 Meat Company is a whole animal butcher, so they get the entire animal. I honestly had no idea that a whole animal butcher was something unique; I guess I just always assumed that was the norm. 1907 Meat Company doesn’t have the space or the facility to butcher whole animals, so they use the kill floor on OSU’s campus. I had never heard that term before, and quite honestly I have no desire to see that room. Yes, of course I understand it’s what has to happen for the meat to get to my table, but still. By being a whole animal butcher, 1907 Meat Company is able to fulfill customer requests for specialty cuts of meat.
When 1907 Meat Company first opened, they worked with 16 Oklahoma farmers. That number has since grown to 20-24 farmers. A few of the original farmers are no longer with them, but they always have farmers who want to participate. The great thing about that is that they will never run out of product, because they always have farmers wanting to sell their product. I love that 1907 Meat Company has begun a Meet Your Farmer series to showcase the farmers. This very cool display on the wall behind the meat case showcases the farms that provided the day’s meat.
On my second visit with Sally, I got a behind-the scenes tour. We went into the butcher room and saw them at work, doing the basic cuts to several huge pieces of meat. It takes about 15 minutes to make the basic cuts, but more time to trim the meat and do the specialty cuts.
The space immediately next door to 1907 Meat Company is empty, and their expansion plan will nearly double the size of the shop. They will expand both the dining space and kitchen, and would also like to offer a dinner service. There is currently no specific timeline in place for expansion, but the plans are exciting. Currently, the cooler serves dual purpose; those huge cuts of meat, plus the other refrigerated product. When they expand, they will be able to have 2 separate coolers.
1907 Meat Company does not offer game meat, as it requires a completely separate processing space. Sally said they get requests from customers to process their game meat, primarily during deer season. Steve, the butcher, can fulfill those requests off-site, by request. Sally said they have considered offering game meat, but currently there is not enough demand.
1907 Meat Company is a great addition to downtown Stillwater, and to the community in general. I love that they continue to grow and thrive, and am looking forward to the building expansion and all that will come with it.
For reviews of more restaurants in Stillwater, click on the links below!