Archive for the ‘Butcher Shops’ Category
Location: Somerville, MA
The Foodie: Strongly Recommends
There once was a dark period when small butcher shops didn’t really exist. Observe the bottom of my patented meat pyramid below.
The only red meat you could buy was the “manager special” with a clump of pinkish sirloin tips wrapped up in a ball of plastic…or something shelf stable drenched in sodium and scientific wizardry soaked in a briny liquid and reconstituted vegetables.
Then came Whole Foods. The first mass chain that had their meat behind glass, that sold quality shit – cuts like ribeyes, filet mignon, and NY Strip. The world was changed.
Well, dear friends, the local, sustainable food movement has ushered in a new era.
Pioneered by shops like Savenors, there is a new breed of butcher that will sell exotic meats you’ve only seen in upscale restaurants and gladly slice up a dainty cut of beef from a whole cow shank right before your eyes.
This is where M.F. Dulock comes in. I will illustrate my point with a story.
I walk in the door, and the first thing I notice is an impressive array of industrial-looking meat machines behind the counter and a small but well-endowed array of beef and pork behind the glass case.
I take a look at a large slab of excellent-looking beef marked “New York Strip Steak.” I order one. The helpful butcher behind the counter grabs the slab and asks “How thick do you want it? I’ve been cutting them about an inch and a quarter.” He then proceeds to slice up a NY Strip Steak right before my eyes using a power tool that looked like it was featured by Mike Holmes on HGTV.
As I await my hand-cut strip steak, a couple behind me orders some ground sirloin. The guy I’d suspect is M.F. himself starts cutting up sirloin chunks and feeding them into a large grinding machine – sweet! As he does his chopping and grinding, M.F. tells me about their operation and how they basically receive a cow at the beginning of the week and slice it up according to their whim and the requests of customers.
I requested ribeyes – and I will be back. Oh, and here is my strip steak ready for the skillet – we’ve come a long way in the butchery game.
Location: Cambridge and Boston, MA
The Foodie: Strongly Recommends
Sure, Whole Foods will sell you a fine piece of beef, you can find all sorts of cool innards and gizzards at Super 88, and your local Star Market will serve you some cheap bologna – but where does the hard core Foodie go to buy their meat?
The answer is in the title of this post.
For years Savenor’s has been my go-to when I’m desperately in need of anything from an excellently-butchered high-quality ribeye to a magret duck breast. What makes these guys really special is that they’re the only spot in town that will go out back, grab a hock of beef and slice you your fresh cut of choice right before your eyes.
Now that’s service.
In addition to the aforementioned items, Savenor’s packs-up a large array of food-porn-inspired goods such as:
- Wild boar (oink…errrr…roar)
- Whole duck liver foie gras
- Quail eggs (chirp)
- Wagyu beef (moo)
- Tubs of duck fat (slosh)
- Fresh goose
- Rabbit (hibbity hop)
- House-cured bacon spiced a million different ways
- House-made sausages that are literally the best money can buy around Boston
You’ll also find a small selection of veggies, cheeses, bread, pastas/risottos, and coffee on-hand here as well should you become immediately inspired by your beef purchase to throw together a boeuf bourguignon.
No wonder these guys are one of the meat purveyors of choice for local restaurants. But I’m glad I can get the same quality as my favorite chefs for my own kitchen.