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Good Butcher in SD?

where can i buy a good steak in SD? I live in carmel valley and i cant seem to find anything. Please dont tell me Von's or Ralphs either.

Preferrably Certified Black Angus beef or USDA Prime. I've gone to Costco(average).. been to Whole Foods (the best i have found) ....

any other suggestions?

thanks guys.

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  1. Sisel's, on Ashton just off of Morena Blvd. across from Mission Bay Park. Or Iowa Meat Farms, which is on Mission Gorge Rd. a couple of blocks north of the I-8. Sisel's is probably closer to you.

    Both are owned by the <gasp> dreaded Cohen Restaurant Group, but the meat at both places is excellent. Since I live in the East County I shop more frequently at Iowa Meat Farms and have yet to purchase a bad piece of meat from them. I have occasionally purchased at Sisels and have not had a bad piece of meat from them either. Prices are $2-$5/lb more expensive than most grocery stores, Costco, etc; but with meat, most of the time you really do get what you pay for. And I for one have no problem paying Iowa Meat Farm prices.

    Both Sysco and US Foodservice have extensive CAB programs, if you know anyone in the business, they can probably get you whatever CAB product you want. Unless your food biz source is a high volume purchaser, pricing to you would be about the same as retail. And contrary to many people this board, I have absolutely zero problem with products from either broadline distributor. Once again, you get what you pay for, and both have products up and down the quality and price scale. I ended up with a 20+ lb., 7-bone, USDA Prime prime rib from Sysco last Christmas that was truly an exceptional piece of meat.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Interesting that the Cohen's bought those places. If they're smart, they'll leave them alone to run as they have for the past several years.


      They have info on both Iowa Meat Farms and Siesel's.

      Siesel's has good meat, no question. Just be prepared to pay for it.

      1. re: Josh

        Josh, Iowa Meat Farms (David Cohen is from Souix City) predates any of the restaurants. It had been in business a year or two before he opened the Corvette Diner.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Interesting - did not know that. I was a little nervous about Siesel's being purchased, honestly (I'd never shopped at Iowa Meat Farms), but the quality level is still good (though the prices have gone up appreciably on some things).

    2. The butcher at the Bristol Farms Market in La Jolla (8510 Genesee Ave.) is pretty good.

      1. thanks guys. i should have mentioned that i dont mind paying extra. i dont eat steak every night so it is worth it to pay a couple bucks extra.

        it is crazy to me that the closest thing to me is in la jolla or even further out... mission valley? oh well. im going to go pick up a couple nice t-bones or strip steaks. ill let you know how it works out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: long_ballers

          Bristol Farms is locaetd near UTC at Costa Verde, not far from Carmel Valley at all. They had some dry aged prime steaks and a lot of other nice looking meats the last time I was in there. I bought some beef shank for stews and short ribs. It was all extremely expensive, but again we don't eat steaks or red meat that often, so it's worth it to us to spend a little more. I also like the Harris Ranch beef at Henry's, and the Angus beef and Grassfed beef at Trader Joes.

        2. Siesel's is in Bay Park, just south of Clairemont. Where are you coming from?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Josh

            Siesel's is on Ashton - cross street is Morena. It is right next door to Bay Park Seafood.

          2. My first choice is Iowa Meat Farms, but recently I've been pleased with Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, just off College north of I-8. Their butcher has good selection and quality, and their prices are competitive, with some terrific weekly specials.

            1. Iowa Meet Farms is the only place to go. Ask for Stan, he is the head butcher, and he will steer you in the right direction.

              I like the PRIME Cattleman's Cut.

              The Baseballs are great if they have them in.

              1. Ibis Market (on Ibis St in Mission Hills)dry ages their own beef and it's USDA prime. They cut it to whatever thickness you desire. They don't advertise it and it's just a small neighborhood market so it's surprising to find such quality meat there, but it's a great find once you know about it. Just head to the deli counter in the back and ask for it.

                Seisels, though he's no longer there, continues to offer a good selection of quality meats. It's my understanding that most of the staff has remained (at least they did initially) and I'm all for supporting independent grocers/specialty food shops over supermarkets. They generally win on quality, service and knowledge, hands down.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mimosa

                  That is great to know, thank you!!

                2. Johnathan's on Fay Ave. in La Jolla has USDA Prime.

                  Seisels will dry age your beef for free if you ask them. For Thanksgiving last year they dry aged a USDA Prime 7 bone standing rib roast for me for 30 days. Ultra tender and flavorful. Most of the original crew is still there. Ask for Anton if you want to dry age.

                  1. The first busy carneceria you come across, those guys are the greatest underappreciated artisans of them all.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kare_raisu

                      I agree with Kare raisu about the unsung skills of the carniceros. All of the carnicerias I've been to, however, tend to cater to a less affluent clientele, so don't look for any USDA prime (though they could probably get if for you). I don't even think anyone would *want* prime carne asada. But on the other hand, I don't recall ever seeing any goat at Iowa Meat Farms. ;-)
                      . . . jim strain in san diego.

                    2. Jimbo's in Carmel Valley, on El Camino Real. Not a real butcher, but they carry organic, free-range, grass-fed beef that's the best I've had since childhood. I'm a die-hard carnivore who grew up eating USDA Prime rib eye, so I know of what I speak. Jimbo's carries both US beef and beef from Uruguay; only the Uruguayan meat is labelled "organic" -- due to strict US guidelines -- but the US beef is, for all intents and purposes, organic as well. I prefer the American; the Uruguayan doesn't have the full, rich beefy flavor I love. Rib eye from either country is $15.99 per pound. Worth every penny.

                      1. Some of the Nieman Marcus cuts at Trader Joes are worth a try.
                        Somebody mentioned carnicerias, but I have found most of them to be too fresh, no aging, and tough.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: souphead

                          It is Neiman beef, not affiliated with the Neiman Marcus department store.

                          1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                            It's Niman Ranch, and they sell only pork at Trader Joes - usually rosemary and bacon pork chops and both cured and uncured bacon (which is excellent). If I had a giant freezer I would order from their website.

                            1. re: Alice Q

                              Niman Ranch "fearless" uncured beef franks at TJs also...superb!

                              For Prime cut steaks...the Ralphs downtown....

                        2. I second SDgirl's vote for Jimbo's. I rarely eat meat. I have nothing against it per say, I just do not have a real taste for meat. However, when I have something on the ol menu that requires meat, I make the long trek from Normal Heights to Carmel Valley. I get a kick out of the entire store. It makes for a fun little outing.

                          1. I'm not sure what end of Carmel Valley you're in, but there's also a butcher in Poway, Bisher's Meats (http://www.bishersmeat.com/) that we go to for steaks and sausages (I personally like their sausages over Iowa Meats). We've tried their filets, ribeyes, and pork chops and been very happy with them.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: honkman

                                I'm not sure if their meat is organic. The website doesn't mention it and I don't remember any signs by the meats proclaiming Organic status...