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Nov 28, 2006 10:36 PM

butcher recommendation

Does anyone have a good butcher in San Francisco to recommend? I want to get a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner. I would hope to get organic and or pastured if I can afford it (I have no idea how much to expect to spend). I am thinking of Drewes Bros on Church as I had a good experience with them ordering a couple of Thanksgiving turkeys.

Thanks for any suggestions!


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  1. I've gotten standing rib roasts of beef and crown roasts of lamb, as well as my Thanksgiving Willie Birds for the last few years, at Drewes and never been less than completely satisfied.

    Along with the roast they'll give you foolproof, simple cooking instructions.

    You are going to make Yorkshire pudding with that roast, right?

    1. Thanks for the confirmation. This Thanksgiving was the first time I used them, and was very pleased with the service on a busy pre-holiday pick up day.

      WRT Yorkshire pudding. Hem, hah, hem. Well, it *is* being requested. :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: bruce

        And it's dead easy. If you need some help post on Homecooking.

      2. In addition to Drewes, the usual names that pop up here when this question gets asked are Bryan's (California St.@Laurel Village), Golden Gate Meats (Ferry Building) and Little City (Stockton@Vallejo).

        5 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          Bryan's is expensive, and their meat comes from one of the truly hideous big meat packing companies, IBP. They're an industrial feedlot outfit with poor labor practices, lousy safety record, etc. Try Marin Sun Farms at the FP market. It's not cheap either, but at least it's local and careful raised and slaughtered.

          1. re: Tobias

            How do you know that Bryan's gets their meat from IBP?

            1. re: Tobias

              Bryan's is expensive because their Prime is flat-out the best, in my opinion. Their beef really has that wonderful mineral tang and deep flavor that I look for in a steak. The amount of care and precision the Flannerys' use to take care of that meat is outstanding (I know that that they age their beef for at least 4 weeks). I can't remember the last time I was disappointed by a steak from Bryan's, especially with their rib roasts. The Marin Bryan's is just as good, if not better.

          2. I can't speak from experience because I've only purchased from the case so far, but on two separate occasions the meat guys at the recently reopened Faletti's (Petrini's) told me they are more than willing to take special requests, and that they want to develop an old-school relationship with repeat customers. Might be worth checking out.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Grubbjunkie

              Faletti's has two primary grades of beef if memory serves. One is from the midwest, not organic or grass fed but I got the sense they make more of an effort than the usual feedlot. The other option is hormone free grassfed from Uruguay: Estancia For what it's worth, the brochure says Patricia Unterman likes it and serves this beef.

              Prices on beef seemed very good; I think they're trying to be very affordable for the quality until they've built up a customer base. You could potentially save big bucks ordering things for Xmas there now. I think the midwest-sourced New York steak was $12 a pound, but don't kill me if I'm wrong.

              1. re: SteveG

                I had an Estancia ribeye at El Raigon. Superior flavor, the only grassfed I've had that comares favorably with Niman.

            2. No matter what brand you get, it's gonna be expensive. I've been paying around $100 for a standing rib roast for the past few years (for 6-8 people).

              Last Xmas, COSTCO had whole prime standing ribs for much cheaper (they were huge but cuttable) than other places as usual. I got one and it was excellent. Prime meat for under $100 - I think it was actually about $75. Don't know if it'll be repeated this year.

              3 Replies
              1. re: oakjoan

                I do remember that they sold out of those VERY quickly at the one up in Novato, and I think that you had to trim them yourself (fat-cap wise). Still, $75 for a whole standing roast is quite impressive for Prime. Has anyone tried it yet?

                1. re: Andy Copeland

                  As far as I know, Costco does not carry prime grade beef. They have very good choice cuts. A "prime rib" doesn't mean the beef is prime grade. A whole standing rib roast at $75-$100 is not prime grade. You got a primal cut, and it would be about 11-12 lb at approx $8.00-$9.00 lb. FYI, there is very little prime grade beef about, and you will never find it in regular markets. The top selected "choice" beef is almost the same as the lower selected "prime". It depends a lot on the grader and the meat packer.

                  1. re: OldTimer

                    I'm almost POSITIVE that it was prime, not just "Prime"