Meat comes as close to any spot in Edmonton when it comes to American-style barbecue dining. You order your meats of choice by the pound, and it’s brought to your group on one tray – just like you’d find at a barbecue joint in Texas. You sit at communal tables; there’s the buzz of conversations happening all around you. And, the beef brisket, the granddaddy of all things barbecue, is like meat candy, made all the much better with the cherry sauce you’ll find at the table. Meat also offers some killer sides, from the very garlicky garlic fries to the chopped brussels sprouts. The barbecue ribs are juicy, and what isn’t talked about enough is the underrated fried chicken that you can add to the order. –Steven Sandor
The Fried Chicken and Donut has become the iconic dish at Have Mercy because, well, it’s two indulgent, delicious things combined – what’s not to love? And, while it’s certainly amazing, don’t feel like you need to go full carnivore to enjoy the southern flavours. My favourite is the Texas grilled cheese – the Hazeldean country toast is crisp, the blend of American and white cheddar taps into your nostalgia, and the bourbon onion jam is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury. Served up on a baking sheet lined with checkered paper, garlic thyme fries on the side, it’s no-fuss comfort food at its finest. –Adrianna Szenthe
The fried-chicken craze is probably Edmonton’s biggest food trend at the moment; and while the name of the restaurant plays on the 124th Street location, its roots definitely look south. Northern Chicken is the first place in the city to truly embrace the Tennessee art of American hot chicken; we’re used to slathering our chicken in sauces to bring the heat. To have the heat packed inside the breading, southern USA style, is a welcome addition to the city’s eating scene.
The sides are also tributes to bigger-is-better dining; the mac and cheese brings in the crunch of Doritos; the creamed corn features more bacon and all its fatty goodness.This place is too close to the Avenue offices; we are all going to be needing cardiologists, soon. -Steven Sandor