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Jan 15, 2007 01:13 PM

Where to buy meat in St. Louis?

I know there is Schnucks, and I know there is a Whole Foods. Schnucks is no butcher, lets face it, and as for the latter...well I am not wealthy enough to purchase meat from the overpriced meat counter. My wife is from Ste. Genevieve, and when we visit her family, I always stop at Oberle meat market. They have freshly cut meat. Good meat! Anything you need. Natural sausage casings, pork belly, etc. Is there anything like this around St. Louis? I recently found a recipe for a provencal pork daube. It calls for Berkshire hog. I know I probably won't attain that quality, but surely I can find some good, marbled pork. Can anyone help!

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  1. is in Missouri. I'm not sure if any grocer in the city buys from them however.

    The Smokehouse Market's pork is always cut better, but I don't think that it's any better quality then what you'd find elsewhere.

    As to beef, even a large percentage of the meat cutters in St. Louis are bringing in excel cryovacked beef, so it's hard to find good quality without ordering it in, or finding it somewhere frozen.

    Cornerstone Nutrition in Chesterfield valley, for instance, sells Missouri grass fed beef, but it's frozen...which sucks.

    1. I am very happy with the beef and butchering done at Straubs.
      Baumann's( not too sure of the spelling) now in Manchester just west of Brentwood was always a reliable source for prime beef and unusual cuts- although it has been a bit since I relied on them.

      1. I don't think the beef carried at Baumann's is Prime. At Straub's it is, and nothing available retail come near it in the St. Louis area. It is expensive but worth the cost.

        1. Before they closed, I was a regular at Olive St. Meat Market and Deli. When I was after a picnic shoulder, the butcher there would sometimes put in a call to Miller Ham in Soulard and get one put aside for me.

          John's Butcher Shop on Walton Road in Overland has done real well when I have gone in with unusual requests: beef navel, skirt, hanger steak, tri-tip. They do cut up cows there, so they're able to do things a cryovac "butcher" can't.

          For prices on beef, I think it's hard to beat Josephville Meat Processing. I got a whole beef shoulder clod and a whole pork shoulder there for a club BBQ last spring. They don't deal with ATM cards, and it's best to order in advance, but they are processing whole pigs and cattle. I don't think you'll beat their prices on steaks.

          It's a little out of the way if you live in town, but Brown's in Winfield has great pork prices. Collared picnics are $0.99/lb, bulk or linked sausage is $1.99, their own smoked bacon is excellent, and they can do anything up to whole pigs.

          Last time I cooked a whole pig, I think it came from a little meat market on Manchester in Ellisville or Ballwin.

          Global Foods in Kirkwood may be worth looking at to see if they can do what you want. I have bought whole beef tenderloins there before for a reasonable price, and was seriously eyeing the veal breast I saw there not too long ago.

          A couple of things I like to get at Straubs are the lamb patties and turkey thighs, both seriously good deals. The thighs require calling ahead so they save them out of the ground turkey. And their marinated lamb shoulder is sinful.

          There was also an article in Sauce about a farmer/sausage maker out of Cape Girardeau area who peddles at some of the local farmers markets.

          One other lead, periodically someone advertises meat direct from the farm on craigslist.

          4 Replies
          1. re: rexmo

            Lots of good info there! I have bought the shoulder of lamb with the bone (for a Nigella recipe for 14hour lamb)from Straubs- but only in the CWE. Very reasonable. Has become a winter staple. The lamb patties are great- if very fatty; perfect for the grill, good for people who have not been raised with lamb.
            Global Foods is a bit of a crap shoot from my experience. They have so much variety that sometimes the shelflife of each item is not always kept up with. That being said it is the only place for McVittie's digestives and Roundtree's fruit pastles.

            1. re: stlSarah

              Straub's lamb patties + Montreal Steak Seasoning = burger heaven. Also great starting material for a mean merguez.

              The linguisha from GF was a pleasant surprise, big hit at a pizza party. I keep meaning to get a bit of all the ethnic bacon varieties in the deli case to see what they're like. Staples I have to go there for: Guarana Antartica Brazilian soda, frozen passionfruit pulp, kaffir lime leaf, adriatic fruit syrups, Penguen brand preserves.

              One other thing I have heard about meat at the big grocers: you find their best in the high rent neighborhoods, like the Schnucks at Ladue & I-170.

            2. re: rexmo

              Awesome, that is exactly what I wanted to hear! I will be sure to explore all of those ideas. Out of curiousity, was the farmer in Cape Brian Trumper? I went to SEMO and put myself through school waiting tables and bartending at the nicer resturaunts. Brian was formerly a cook at the last place I worked, which, by the way, if you are ever in Cape Girardeau, you would be cheating yourself if you didn't eat at Celebrations. Seriously good food, and a four time Wine Spectator wine list award winner. Also, in Wine Spectator's Best Wine Resturaunts in the world book! Hard to believe!

              1. re: wodicker

                One more lead on pork I forgot to mention. Can't vouch for the quality, but I did see some mighty pieces of hog being cut up in the butcher area of a Latino market on the Rock Road in St. Ann. On a corner east of Ashby.

            3. I'm a big fan of Hanlen's on Manchester Road in Kirkwood. There's also The Bull Market/Savage Foods in the Chesterfield Valley, although I think all of their stuff is cryo. (One of their specialty cuts is teres major, which is a lot of fun to cook with.)