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Where do you buy your meat?


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Does anyone here shop at a butcher on a regular basis? If so, where? And why, as opposed to Whole Foods, or Safeway, or even the farmers markets?

Also, any thoughts on grass-fed beef? There's a vendor that sells grass-fed beef at the Ballard farmers market, and I'm wondering if it varies widely in taste and texture from regularly processed beef.

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I can never remember the name, but for special occaisions we often get meat from one of the butcher's (the one near the fish-throwing) at Pike Place. I've always been impressed with how helpful they are and their willingness to tolerate my ignorance about meat. I got it into my head to make pate de compagne one time and my wife called them and basically read off the recipe. By the time she got there they had all these small quantities of different meats wrapped and ready to go.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Tighe is referring to Don and Joe's Meat.

I also like Better Meat Company. They are on NW 83rd St or NW 84th St just west of 3rd Ave (Ballard/Greenwood area). My wife doesn't think that their meat is the best meat, but they really are so damn nice its hard not to shop there. I think you would be hard pressed to find as knowledgeable a family of butchers, especially regarding Asian and Eurpoean cuts. In the rare cases where I bring up a cut they havent heard of, they have been genuinely interested in learning about it.

Hal

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Does anyone here shop at a butcher on a regular basis?

A good case for identifying your location in the heading or at least in your profile. I'm guessing you are in Seattle?

A&J Meats on Queen Anne has had extensive favorable reporting here.

Another Pike Place Market butcher - Crystal Meats - has competitively priced and well cut selections. They are almost under Matt's in the Market (behind "Oriental Market").

I don't buy meat regularly, so I don't have a regular butcher. Usually just pick something up at PCC or Ken's Market.

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Crystal Meats in the Market. Excellent quality meat, good prices, knowledgeble staff...

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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I also like Crystal Meats in the PPM--I bought an amazing (though incredible expensive) rack of lamb for Christmas dinner. They're the only place I've seen that does a really good job of trimming and frenching the rack.

I also like the meat counter at Central Market in Shoreline.

Whole Foods has good meats. The only thing you have to watch out for is that some of the butchers are knowledgeable and some are not. Though, they are extremely accomodating and helpful and will usually ask someone if they don't have the answer to your question.

If I had more mouths to feed or a big freezer space, I'd probably buy some of my meat at Costco.

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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I'm still mourning the loss of The Butcher Shoppe in Ballard. I'm going to start going to A & J Meats again.

In the market, I haven't been impressed with Don and Joe's but I do like Crystal's. QFC is where I shop on a regular basis and I have given up completely on buying meat there. It's awful. On the other hand, I have found Whole Foods to be great.

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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Crystal Meats in the Market. Excellent quality meat, good prices, knowledgeble staff...

Someone over on the site who's name shall not be spoken is reporting that Crystal is going out of business. Unfortunate.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I just saw that. I'm soooooo sad! I've only bought my meat from Crystal's for over 5 years now. They're such great guys, who know their stuff, and treat their customers very, very well... *sigh*

Too bad the Market has such Merchant - Unfriendly policies.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Whole Foods has good meats.  The only thing you have to watch out for is that some of the butchers are knowledgeable and some are not.  Though, they are extremely accomodating and helpful and will usually ask someone if they don't have the answer to your question.

Ask for John at Wholefoods (big guy with a beard). I bought a bunch of lamb from him for a big party, and he was great.

- S

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I'm still mourning the loss of The Butcher Shoppe in Ballard. I'm going to start going to A & J Meats again.

That's too bad about the Butcher Shoppe, I liked those guys. Unfortunately they didn't have a wide selection under the glass and they didn't have competitive prices. They could however get you a whole hog of any size, that was sweet. They also knew their stuff.

I liked A & J Meats a lot since they had a great selection and great quality. Veal, lamb, short ribs, poultry and limited seafood. Plus they have their own smoker and they smoked their meats well. It's just too bad they use applewood when they could be using a wood that gives flavor. But I can't blame them since they get their wood on the cheap from orchards.

The meat counter at Central Market in Shoreline is just as good as A&J's (actually, even better) and they have better prices though they have organic chioce beef as well as prime cuts. They just don't have a smoker or make their own sausages. But if you need a duck on the quick, they always have one that's at least thawed if not fresh for around $2/lb AND they have rabbits as well. (If you get a chance to deep fry a rabbit, by all means do).

Anywho, when I was in Seattle I was getting to the point where I needed to buy in bulk and so I started going to Cash & Carry. They have whole untrimmed brisket for $1.39/lb, corned whole untrimmed brisket for $2/lb and whole sirloin roasts for I can't remember but for a heck of a lot less than any meat shop. Plus, when you buy the whole roast you can smoke it whole! One of my favorites at C&C is a case of boneless pork butts for $0.89/lb. But most people would need an extra freezer since a case is about 60 lbs.

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Ask for John at Wholefoods (big guy with a beard). I bought a bunch of lamb from him for a big party, and he was great.

- S

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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Any suggestions for reputable beef producers in the NW?

I'm sorry I was remiss to answer, but I am not familiar with anyone that far, but you give me a day or so and I'll talk to some of the old boys here at the livestock sale. I have not been there for a while, but I've only been here five years, and for some reason I haven't got out of MT too often. You'd be amazed the coverall telegraph knowledge you pick up. You all wanting an independent rancher or a market? Well, I'll just find out both, or what I can.

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Any suggestions for reputable beef producers in the NW?

I buy my beef from River Run Farm. I like it that they dry age it, and I really enjoy the taste. If you're looking for super lean, they're not it, though, the meat is well-marbled. I know for a fact that their butcher is in Seattle, but I don't know if they sell anything there. If you email, I'll bet Ellen will come up with something.

regards,

trillium

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  • 3 months later...

P-I article on A&J Meats says they've added a fresh fish counter (Wild Salmon Seafood Market). This makes it a good stop for all flesh. I like University Seafood and Poultry very much, but sometimes find myself wishing they had meat too. If we weren't across town I'm sure we'd be shopping at A&J.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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I tend to buy from Don & Joe's in the market as I work a block away and their stuff always look sbetter than the meat at the supermarket. I shopped at Crystal until they closed as they tended to have slightly better prices. When I worked on the East Side I shopped at the Golden Steer right on the Bellevue/Redmond border.

Bacon starts its life inside a piglet-shaped cocoon, in which it receives all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and tasty.

-baconwhores.com

Bacon, the Food of Joy....

-Sarah Vowell

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Speaking strictly of ground beef, I've had no finer hamburger experience than going to Whole Foods, picking up some extra-lean ground beef (17% fat), a chunk of 2-year-aged Vermont Cheddar, and soft buttermilk buns and then grilling said beef over hardwood charcoal. Add the cheese near the end and cover the grill briefly until the cheese is just sofened. Spread mayo and ketchup on yer toasted bun and my lord it's good! Don't forget to salt and pepper your meat before grilling.

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  • 2 months later...

I never had bad meat from Whole Foods. Love their natural pork sausages also. Expensive, but worth it.

I also regularly buy the large tri-tip pack from Costco. This is incredible meat at a great price. It's good in every dish, including BBQ. I take this and grind it with my kitchenaid meat grinder and make my own ground beef. Regular ground beef is too scary to buy nowadays. This tri-tip is lean and moist. I also love their beef tenderloin for BBQ. No matter what, do NOT buy meat from 99Ranch Market, scary stuff.

-hungry_moose

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