Paul Moir added Flagstaff’s Proper Meats and Provisions to his restaurant group, SLO Restaurant Concepts, because he wanted to make locally raised meats more available to Arizonans. “Finding local proteins to bring into the restaurants was always kind of an issue,” Moir says. “You could find ground beef and a little poultry, but that was about it.”
That, plus the resurgence of local craft butcher shops, inspired Moir, a self-described “carnivore” since childhood, to branch out from simply running restaurants. The idea was to create a butcher shop that also sold a few sandwiches, but pretty soon, the sandwiches became a staple. Now, Proper Meats — housed in the historic Grand Canyon Café building on Route 66 — is about 60 percent restaurant and 40 percent butcher shop, and that combination has made it a hit in this mountain town.
On the sandwich side, there’s been a clear favorite among regulars since Proper Meats opened in 2014. “It seems the pastrami has held the No. 1 spot,” Moir says. “We cure and smoke all of that in-house, and since day one, that’s been what people really like.” Other options include cheesesteak, roast beef, banh mi and even a burger, and all sandwiches come with a side of house-made potato chips.
For those interested in preparing their own proteins, there are plenty of appealing items available in the meat case or for special order. “You can walk in every day and find something to grill or cook that night,” Moir says.
Moir’s other Flagstaff restaurants, Brix and Criollo Latin Kitchen, offer cuisines that are reflective of Moir’s experience in the culinary world. Moir took the same approach at Proper Meats, using his background to maximize every cut of meat and reduce waste. “We make stocks and bone broth; we render lard and make pasta sauce,” he says. “We also make dog food for the puppies.”
But Flagstaff’s unique personality and evolving customer base also meant Moir needed to make an unorthodox move for a business with “Meats” right in the name: expanding the menu to include meatless options. “There’s a pretty big call for vegetarian and vegan items here,” he says. “It certainly hasn’t been a focus of ours, but we wanted to make sure that if a group of people comes in and someone is a vegetarian or vegan, that they have options.” Those options include a vegetarian muffuletta (with cucumbers, tomatoes, romaine and bell peppers instead of cold cuts) and a locally made veggie burger.
Meatless or not, whichever sandwich you decide to indulge in is likely to leave you properly hooked — and coming back for more provisions.
Proper Meats and Provisions is located at 10 E. Historic Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ.
10 E. Historic Route 66