Best Halal or Kosher butchers??
Having lived in small towns and known good butchers with high quality meats (not the mass produced stuff found in most DC grocery stors), I am looking for small butchers that pay attention to process. Overseas, I found the Halal butchered meats to be quite good.
Can someone suggest the best halal or kosher butchers in the DC area?
There are 3 kosher butchers in the DC area, all in Montgomery County. They are KosherMart in Rockville, Shalom in Wheaton and Shaul's in Wheaton. I think the quality at KosherMart is worse than the other two. I prefer Shaul's because the owner is really nice and service there is much better.
Another option to consider - there is a new organization called KOL foods, (kosher, organic, local). They have beef and lamb that is from local farms, not factory feedlots. However, you have to buy a fairly large quantity at a time. Here is their website http://www.kolfoods.com/ When I went to the website to check it for you, I saw that they now have a related group that sells nonkosher but local, organic meat. It's all on the same website.
Wasserman and Lemberger is a kosher butcher in Baltimore which was rated, and I agree, the best kosher butcher in Baltimore in the 2008 Baltimore Kosher Survey. I also find them to be superior to any of the D.C. area kosher butchers (which are located in Wheaton and Rockville). W & L have some delivery service to the D.C. area, but I'm not exactly sure what are the schedule and range.
Wasserman and Lemberger
7006 Reisterstown Rd, Baltimore, MD
The Lebanese Butcher in Falls church has a good selection of cuts of beef, lamb and other meats, they make sausage and it is all Halal. I have found they will get or prepare pretty much anything you want, which is nice because a lot of the grocery stores even the high end ones won't often carry a large variety of cuts, especially of lamb.
Before you buy a whole lamb though it should be noted you will need a chest freezer as it will be more lamb than an average freezer, we split a lamb with my Aunt every year she keeps most of it in a chest freezer and we bring what we can back from every visit. I am lucky my Dad has a beef farm so we get pretty much whatever we want beef wise from him when we see him.
if you are not specifically looking for kosher butchers but rather good quality, check out the butchers at Eastern Market...family name starts with a G but I can't recall it at the moment, despite 15 years of patronage. hmmmm. I've always had good luck with them, and I know some local chefs shop there for their own dinners. Eastern Market is at 7th and C SE; it's astop on the blue or orange line. It is closed on Mondays, quite a scene on weekends.
Johann: I can't tell you where the best halal butchers are, but I can tell you where two seemingly popular halal butchers are: in Falls Church, in the plaza at the corner of Lee Highway and Annandale Road. It's the same plaza where Ceilov, the Kurdish restaurant, is located. I have tried some sausages at one of the butchers (served in pita bread like gyros, which they also have) and I thought it was quite tasty.
Of course, you can always head out Route 50 past Chantilly and get a goat or lamb slaughtered to order at one of the halal farms out that way.
re: Bob W.
Thanks for the tips.
I guess I was spoiled a bit living in a muslim country for a while where the animals were killed in a 'traditional' manner and bled thoroughly. Perhaps it was also the case that there was more free range meat, w/o having to go to a place like Fresh Fields, ha ha.
Alas, I thought I'd have better luck here in DC finding high quality and/or free range meats at a halal or kosher butcher shop than I have found at traditional grocery stores or even butcher shops.