(Where is the) Best place to buy USDA Prime Beef in the Twin Cities?
I am having a friend and his family over for dinner Tuesday. Now, this man is a prince. A man among men. The salt of the earth. The guy you give your house key to, the kind of guy you trust your wife with, a godfather kind of guy. You know. And on top of that, I owe him and his wife several home-cooked meals.
Therefore, I will be cooking him steak, and I wish to purchase the most excellent of beef grades: Prime. Not that Kobe crap, not Choice ... Prime. I live in Minneapolis (in what I call South Midtown but is really Cooper/Longfellow), so listen here suburbanites: I will not cross the beltway to purchase aforementioned viande. In fact, I am pretty damn unlikely to go west of 35W or east of 35E, unless, well ... unless it's just a little hopscotch over and back.
I am not a rich man, but I want to give this family great meat. Whence shall spring my Tuesday night steaks, I ask thee! A butcher you know in Highland Park? A grocer in Roseville? Please, let me know!
PS. It's been a while. I'm compensating.
PPS. Alice, Paz, meet Chris Mitra + SO. You both like dim sum. We should schedule something together! Like a beer tasting!
i'm puzzled by the reference to kobe crap. the kobe beef ribeye from coastal seafoods in st. paul is some of the finest beef i've ever tasted--rich, buttery, beefy, sweet. at $30 a pound, it had better be.
when we grill steaks, i generalls get the 'grill steak' (sirlion, i think) cut from von hanson's on ford parkway in st. paul. they fun $7-8 a pound, are cut quite thick, and are wonderful--i've gotten quite a few compliments from regular steak eaters on them. i marinate them in salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and olive oil for about 2 hours before grilling. i'm not sure if they qualify as 'prime' or not, but they are very good.
Dara actually did a followup to the Prime Steak story where she discussed the Kobe Beef: http://www.citypages.com/databank/26/1278/article13350.asp
From one Josh to another, my advice is: Kowalski's. I have gotten meat at butchers around the Twin Cities from Forrester's to Johnson Borthers to Clancy's. The prime beef I got last month from the Kowalski's on Hennepin was outstanding -- the best beef I have ever bought. It was not cheap, but prime beef is never cheap. The prices were comparable to what I have gotten at some of the aforementioned butcher shops. I think the produce at Kowalski's can be hit or miss, but this beef was incredible.
The best beef in the Twin Cities is found at Widmer's market on St. Clair Ave. (at Prior) in St. Paul. They dry age their own beef and will custom cut anything you want. The prices are shockingly reasonable as well, particularly for tenderloin. In the summer I have them cut me super thick Porterhouses, and then make bisteca Fiorentina on the grill. The Porterhouses are about as good as it gets. They also sell Neuske's bacon in bulk, and have an home-made Swedish sausage that incorporates potatos. It is not greasy and is incredible with breakfast. Their ground beef is legendary and even suburbanites coem to St. Paul to buy it in bulk.
I've generally had good luck with prime beef from Lund's, although I've never bought a prime steak there.
Dara Moskowitz of City Pages did a run down last year of steaks. I've only bought from Clancey's, but it wasn't beef. I've had generally good results from Clancey's but (a) I've had one bad purchase from them and (b) their stock is not expansive - I'd call ahead.
Dara's also done a broader survey of butchers. Go to citypages.com and search "meat locker" to get to it.