Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Butcher?

You know how there is a moment when you know a relationship is over?

I think Steve Martin's character in L.A. Story summed it up best when he said:
"Why is it that we don't always recognize the moment when love begins, but we always know when it ends?"

I remember the exact moment when I realized that I HAD to stop buying meat at supermarkets and grocery stores. It was at Kroger's on a Saturday night last fall. I was wanting a pork butt to smoke but the only one they had in the display case had "that look" to it. Something about it was just not right. So I stuck my head into the meat market and asked the meat market employee if they had anymore pork butts in the back.

"What?" she asked in a voice that was a mix of Valley Girl and southern belle.

"Ummm a pork butt? Boston butt." I said, trying to clarify, "You know, from a pork shoulder?"

Blink. Blink.

"You probably have them in cases of 4, two packs of two cryo wrapped together," I offered.

Blink. Blink.

"I think its an NAMP 406 or 405 (that's butcher code numbers), actually either would work."

She finally spoke, "Could you show me the one out there so I know what to look for?" was over.

So fast forward to this week, I found a small stand alone butcher near my office. It's in an economically run down area (from a business standpoint). They only have a handful of refrigerated cases and actually display some items in 5 ice chests too. But this is what I like about the place after one visit:

- Their bulk breakfast sausage is cheaper than Jimmy Dean Sage and it made the tastiest fatty (a smoked sausage) I've ever had.

- I picked up a beef tenderloin for $2 less per pound than the stupidmarkets.

-The selection is limited in that they only have one or two packs of anything. For example, there was one butt, two ribs, etc on display but ALL of it looked VERY fresh.

- If you don't see what you want, ask and chances are it will be in your hands in 2 minutes OR they will be getting some the next morning.

- The staff know their products, cuts, etc.

- The staff is next door neighbor friendly (unless your neighbor is an that case they are the opposite)

We're going to use them for a few more weeks before I post all their contact info, just to make sure that they are consistently good. But so far, so good!


  1. We still buy a side of beef and a whole pig once a year.
    Started doing it in the 70's and just can't go back to the stores for meat...we also buy all our poultry from the same place. the oldest son is doing the same thing. Good meat can be a family tradition.

  2. i almost never buy meat at a super market -- after having worked at one in high school and seeing what went on (i lived the shop rite version upton sinclair's the jungle as a kid ) - that was enough.

    besides my mother only went to a butcher - a kosher butcher, even tho she would throw a slice of cheese on the kosher hamburgers

    dont ask!

  3. I feel your pain. All our good and reasonable butchers are too far away from me to make sense. The only one near me that knows what he's doing changes premium prices. Glad you found one that works for you.

  4. I loathe supermarkets! It's either the farmer's market, the butcher, or Trader Joe's for those odds and ends. I pout if I have to step foot in a stupidmarket!


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