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good meat/butcher in midtown east?

Is there anywhere in east midtown (grand central area and eastward, within walking-and-grocery-carrying distance) that sells decent meats? The Grand Central Market butchers are too pricey and often close before I can get there, and the Amish Market doesn't have much variety. It's hard enough to even find a supermarket around there. This past Sunday we were looking for lamb and not even Grand Central seemed to have any. Thanks!

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  1. The French Butcher on 2nd Ave and 22nd st. Organic meats, very good, pretty reasonable prices. Only downfall is a very ornery butcher.

    13 Replies
    1. re: jmo9

      There's also a good butcher over on 1st Avenue I think, in the v. low 50s - right next to Ideal Cheese.

      1. re: MMRuth

        I live around the corner from this butcher, and I can never remember the name, I just say I am going to the butcher. It is located on 1st avenue between 51st and 52nd on the East side of the street.

        One more thing - from my experience they have great lamb. I needed a butterflied leg for a dinner. They pulled out a whole side, cut it down with the bandsaw and butterflied it for me while I waited. It told them that I wanted to learn how to do it myself and he walked me through the process step by step as I watched the deboning process.

        1. re: centrejack

          ooo this is good, thanks guys. I have a real problem with sucking it up and dealing with a place that I KNOW is overcharging (Amish Market), hopefully this butcher will be the answer to our Sunday night conundrums.

          1. re: centrejack

            The name of the butcher is L. Simchick, at 944 First Avenue. The meat is fantastic, and the service is even better. Worth crossing the entire city to get to.

            1. re: S R

              You might want to check though to see if they are open on Sundays ....

              1. re: MMRuth

                Simchick is not open on Sundays. In fact I'd say their hours are not extremely convenient. I love going there, and their service is truly exceptional. But you have to make sure you fit within their schedule.

                It's the kind of place you can call up and place an order for pickup. But if you want to use them for sunday, you'll have to plan ahead and do all the leg work on saturday..

                The best part about Simchick is that there's a great seafood store, and an equally great cheese shop all on the same block.

                1. re: egit

                  Yes, starting north moving South it is Simchick butcher, Ideal Cheese, and Piscane Seafood. Enjoy, our little slice of midtown east. To a degree it is an somewhat undiscovered and unappreciated neighborhood. It is convenient to most of Manhattan by subway except the upper west side. Some of the side streets are really beautiful. I live on 51st between 1st aand 2nd, it is amazing what has happened with all of the Brownstones being renovated on the block - when you cross 1st you are in Beekman place which is a really lovely enclave, and if you walk down the steps at the end of first there is a nice park with a great dog park. All we are missing is a place to buy great produce - but we do have a farmer's market at Dag Ham... plaza on Wednesday morning. Enjoy your trip to Simchick's.

                  1. re: centrejack

                    Ooops..I just realized you posted all this info already! I live here, too, and also lament the lack of good produce apart from the Wednesday market. Rumor had it that Balducci was coming to the corner of First and 51st (who knows is this was true but we were allexcited for about a minute) but as it turns out, the space was rented to Duane Reade! Note that Simchick is moving north soon.

                  2. re: egit

                    nooo... Sundays were primarily the days we cook dinner in that area. Darn it, I guess I have no choice but to go to the Amish Market. Thanks guys.

              2. re: centrejack

                The name is Simchick; on First Avenue near the corner of 52nd Street. Paul, whose works near the front door, is especially nice and knowledgeable. I buy most of my meat from them and their quality is always excellent. their lamb chops are particularly excellent. Note that they will be moving to First Avenue near 54th Streete soon.

                1. re: erica

                  Yeah, it's annoying that there's no decent produce right there. Though Amish market's not THAT far away. And there's bridge market for the low, low price of... oh... an arm and a leg.

                  I somewhat shamefacedly admit that I often get lazy and buy produce from one of the two bodegas on 2nd and 55/56. And I call myself a foodie. tsk tsk.

                  1. re: egit

                    You know last year the place on the NW corner of 56th and Second stocked those fabulous Campari tomatoes for a good price (they come in clear boxes).. I have not seen them there this year so go all the way to Fairway for them because I will not pay the ridiculous price (double te Fairway price) asked by the Food Emporium on Second Avenue.

                    I see lots of my neighbors with Associated bags...they are not so bad.

                    1. re: erica

                      Associated is the better of the produce options when compared to D'Ag, and food emporium. Associated usually has a pretty good selection of Chilies, peppers, tomatillos, etc.... I like Mexican, so it or Amish market are usually my only options for these items. I couldn't even find a jalapeno at food emporium earlier this week. Just some sad looking serranos that had definitely seen better days. They looked almost frostbitten!!!

                      I like Amish market, but their produce is pretty expensive. Word of note - usually the best place to buy Avocadoes is the guy with his cart in front of the food emporium - two days ago they were 1/3 the price of the ones in the store!!!