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Quality butcher in/near Leslieville

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Hey Neighbours: where does everyone buy their meat around here (other than the market)?

I tried Meat on the Beach 2-3 times but they're all morons. I actually had to write the word "shank" on a piece of paper. This was followed by blank stares, shrugged shoulders and a recommendation to try Blockbuster. And who wants to go to the Beach anyway?

Some of the Chinatown guys are great for big cheap cuts of meat, especially pork, but the source is questionable.

I would love to able to be able to walk to a quality butcher who knows his stuff and has great product.

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  1. Royal Beef on Danforth almost 1 block west of Woodbine. I realize its not Leslieville, but the service is very good and the meat divine. Obviously specializes in beef, but does also have chicken, pork, sausage and lamb. Selection is different most days - I have gone in for one thing, haven't had it, but was expertly directed to suitable alternatives. Also a mini-Italian grocery with deli-counter, olive oils and vinegars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Julie McCoy

      Second the recommendation for Royal Beef; when you shop there, you'll almost always find Gord, the butcher, there and not a staffer who doesn't know about meat. They're very helpful and will prepare and cut the meat to your specs, given some notice.

    2. I've thought the same thing myself many times, we have a plethora of bakeries, coffee shops, Bill's Lobster for fish/seafood, and even a decent cheese market in the area but are sorely lacking a good butcher. There is the old school butcher shop (Sunnybrook Meats I believe) on Queen just east of Broadview, and although I haven't been it doesn't seem like the kind of place that will have the cuts/quality I'm looking for. If anything has any experience with the place let us know... for now I'll have to stick with trips to StLM, Cumbrae's, Royal Beef, etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Vise

        I haven't been in Sunnybrook Meats for many, many years. The neighbourhood has changed drastically and it is possible that they have evolved with it. But when I checked them out about 15 years ago, they sold poor cuts of low quality meat to a very low income clientele.

      2. I also endorse Royal Beef as best in the area, but only for their red meat. It can be as good tasting as Cumbrae's (though it isn't an organic or farm-to-table kind of place), and they will do custom orders.

        But let's be fair. Meat on the Beach has good fresh meat and their chicken is much better than the birds at Royal Beef. They also place a greater emphasis on natural/organic meats. I don't think they are ALL morons - some of the staff don't speak or understand too well the English. Their prepared foods, pastries, and such tend to be very bad, but the fresh meat and poultry are worth eating.

        1 Reply
        1. re: embee

          Thanks for the great feedback. I had heard good things about Royal Beef so with this endorsement I'll check it out.

        2. "Near" Leslieville - try Fresh From The Farm, on Donlands, just south of O'Conner. It's a Mennonite butcher shop, all natural, no butchering on the premises, open Thurs through Sat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KitchenVoodoo

            Second Fresh From The Farm, though it's best to place advance orders through their website, www.freshfromthefarm.ca, for best selection. I can say that their chickens are excellent, as is everything else I've ordered from them. However, if I was just looking for a great steak or roast to cook, that night, I'd go to Royal Beef.

          2. I agree about Meat on the Beach. I live less than a block away, but when I want decent meat I drive to Royal Beef (red meat only, their chickens are nothing special), or else walk all the way east to the Chopping Block.

            And if I'm driving anyway, I may as well go to Cumbrae's.

            2 Replies
            1. re: obstructionist

              Conversely, I live less than a block away from the Chopping Block but will happily walk all the way west to Meat on the Beach. The Block's sausages taste mostly like, and have the mouthfeel of, filler. Staff are often unfriendly (at least fake a smile, please!) and not knowledgeable enough about the products. Trying to get a special order tries the patience of Job. (Yes, guys, there are kinds of ham that are not honey-baked and spiral-cut.)

              1. re: DylS

                Grilled a wonderful tri-tip from Royal Beef last night. I overcooked it a little and it was still great - always a good sign. There's a recipe floating aroung CH for 'Harissa marintated tri-tip' that I tried. Needs some tweaking but was well received.

            2. I have bought top quality chicken breasts, beef ribs and butterfly pork chops at Meat on Beach. I have always loved their meats and fair prices. I agree the prepared foods are dominion-like.

              1 Reply
              1. re: deelicious

                Although not Leslieville, but close, I have recently been buying all my meat at Ella's at Pape and Danforth. I am really pleased and have not been disappointed in anything. George, one of the butchers is both friendly and knowledgeable. I bought a prime rib in there and he asked me how many I was feeding. When I told him he advised me that I was buying way too much. I was impressed!