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Fresno...The Meat Market

While dining over tri tip at a holiday barbecue, my girlfriend mentioned that she buys most of her meat from the Meat Market. She used prefer Albertson's as their butcher block had some great meat but they've since closed. Lately, I've been buying my meat at Costco. While we mostly live on chicken, when I find myself in need of a good flank steak or other cut of red meat, I don't always like buying such large amounts. Where do you Fresno foodies buy your meat? We are not close to the Meat Market, although they're building one at Fowler and Shepherd. I'm wondering if it's worth the drive? Quality and price?

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  1. I think the meat from Costco is wonderful. I've never been disappointed. We are big flank steak lovers too. The ones at Costco are great, very lean. All of their beef is choice. I buy ground beef at Catalano's. I love their 93% lean, very flavorful. The one thing I do buy from the Meat Market is the veal. They seem to have it when no one else does and it's reasonable, for veal that is, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gail

      Thanks for the tip on the veal at Catalano's, Gail. We just picked up some veal demi glace in SF last week. We buy most of our beef at Costco, usu. the whole rib-eye then I cut them into thick slabs big enough for two to share and get the char-rare effect. Will have to check out the flank next time as well. There's another good butcher on the NW corner of Ashlan and First that I use occasionally but blanking on the name at the moment, they have great sausage as well. When the Xmas holiday season arrives check out TMM for true "prime" rib, doesn't seem to happen every year but a couple of years ago got some beautiful 8-12 pounders for about 5.99 per.

    2. TMM also has prepared meats, like chicken fajitas, beef roulades, several different trimmed, cut and seasoned meats, et al. If you catch them on sale, I've seen them at good prices. TMM also carries a small amount of produce, but it's no better than what you find at SaveMart or other stores, plus it's more expensive, so save your money.

      I like TMM, I've not been disappointed in their meat quality, but yes, it is a long drive for me so I end up buying most of my meat at Costco. IMHO the meat's as good and can't beat those pork loins!

      1. While we buy some of our meat from Costco, we find that the lamb at Catalano's is always local, good, and is available in smaller quantities than a purchase at Costco requires. For steaks, Save Mart is hard to beat--they usually carry a Kings Cut (1 1/2-2" thick) New York at a very reasonable price.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FAT Traveler

          Really, FAT Traveler? I haven't bought too much meat at SaveMart. I don't know why. I know that their seafood for some reason never looks appealing to me, at least at ours locally. I'll have to give their steaks a try

        2. I've bought meat from The Meat Market when they 1st started in business about 25 yrs ago in a little place on Chestnut and Clinton Aves. Their seasoned tri-tip I think is the best. Back 25 yrs ago it was only $1.19 per lb.!!! We love their sausages, both German and the chicken varieties. When I go to Fresno for appointments, I always stop by get stuff to take back home in Bakersfield.

          1. I just got home from buying meat at TMM. I got two ± 7 oz ribeye steaks (choice) for grilling, two lbs of their house roast beef (for Thai beef salad), and two lbs of their carne asada steak (for gyros), all for about $35. They have loads of grilling & BBQ gear and condiments, and they're the only place I know of that carries the thick-cut, crispy tortilla chips McGregor's in Clovis carried before they closed. They also have their own sausage: German and a chicken jalapeno, as well as a wide selection of beef cuts, chicken and some fish (I recall halibut, salmon, shrimp, basa and one or two others.)

            1. I find that it is hard to beat the price at the Meat Market, but that their customer service isn't always stellar. They frequently give you a LOT more than you ask for (example giving 2 pounds when I asked for 1). However, the family has always been happy with the quality of the meat.

              I like being able to select the meat and the cut I want without it wrapped in that god-awful shrink wrap which the store can pump full of gases to keep it looking pink. So, overall, hubby and I buy here a lot because it is 2 minutes from where we live and we can buy smaller quantities than Costco (since it is just the two of us).

              9 Replies
              1. re: glazebrookgirl

                Pumped full of gas to keep it pink? Is this true? I've never heard of such a thing! We've been living on boneless skinless chicken breast these days. I guess I'll have to make it out that way

                1. re: mrsmegawatt

                  Unfortunately, it is true. I am not saying that Costco or other stores here in town do this, its just that you wouldn't know whether they were doing it or not because they are not required to put it on the label. They only do it for "case-ready" meat, meaning meat that is pre-wrapped and set out. Obviously not a problem if you see the meat in the case and it is not already wrapped. I know that the FDA was going to look into this, so maybe they have already banned it. But as far as I know, it is still going on.



                  This link is from the beef industry saying carbon monoxide is safe, but admitting to using it:

                  1. re: glazebrookgirl

                    Thank you for the info Glazebrookgirl. I had no idea.

                    Weren't you the organizer for lunch or dinner at the CPB? I'm curious as to how that went. It's been a complicated time for me...(life had gotten the best of me there for a while) and I couldn't participate. I adore that place though and have tried to spread the word. It's consistently lovely.

                    1. re: mrsmegawatt

                      Well, the chowdown at CPB fell through, unfortunately. I was unable to organize a time that the restaurant would be willing to serve dinner and most people could come. After I finish summer school, I will be looking to try again! Will post on the board so everyone will know. If you would like, email me (glazebrookgirl@gmail.com) and I will put you on the list so you will get email updates.

                  2. re: mrsmegawatt

                    >>We've been living on boneless skinless chicken breast<<

                    Mrsmegawatt, I don't want to see you burn out on chicken. I believe if you try cooking with bone-in chicken breasts, you'll enjoy the taste of the cooked chicken more. Meat on the bone IME is that little bit better than without.

                    If you're concerned about fat or cholesterol, I would also suggest you try lean cuts of pork as well, to give you a break from chicken. Look at the numbers (courtesy Corinne Netzer's "Complete Book of Food Counts, 6th ed.) All counts are for a 4 oz portion.

                    Lean pork loin, top, bone-in, broiled lean only: 8.8 g fat / 91 mg cholsterol (p. 620)
                    Boneless, skinless chicken breast: 1 g fat / 75 mg cholesterol (p. 192)
                    Split chicken breast (bone in): 12 g fat / 80 mg cholesterol (p.192)
                    (NB: Remove the skin and the fat count should drop to skinless levels or close to them.)

                    Fish, especially a flat whitefish like flounder, sole, catfish, et al, makes a good, low cholesterol, low fat food.

                    White flatfish: 1.7 g fat / 77 mg cholesterol (p. 360)

                    Hope this helps.

                    1. re: KenWritez

                      Thanks Ken. I guess I've just gotten into the habit of BSCB in the bag from costco...too convenient. I do grill thighs which are tasty but sometimes too fatty. I pull off the skin if I eat it. Lately, I've been using BS thighs for stir fry or Donburi which I make quite often. Don't get me wrong. We're not complete healthy nuts. I'm Japanese American and while we like to eat healthy...I' deep fry pork cutlets for Tonkatsu once in a great while. Lumpia too... a recipe from a good Filipino friend. We had pork chops out tonight at a local Italian restaurant. I have to say, it was dry and tough. Disappointing. I find Pork to be hit or miss sometimes. But I still love it!

                      1. re: mrsmegawatt

                        Well, maybe too late, but SO and I have always had great experiences from The Meat Market. We usually buy lamb from there. SO really loves to but the ground lamb to make into burger patties. It comes already spiced (very lightly, not too overseasoned) and he buys a large round sesame bread to serve with his patties (cut into eigths, it is pretty big). This can last us for a week with no problems. That is what we order on a regular basis.

                        I have worked with them through a couple restaurants and they have always been consistent.

                        1. re: cocktailqueen77

                          thanks cocktailqueen. I've only had lamb a few times. Once where it was excellent...at an Armenian family barbecue....the other times...it was pretty bad. Do you cook those patties on the grill? I don't know what the cooking rules are for lamb, doneness etc. I tend to shy away from meats with a gamey bite to it. I guess its all in the prep.

                          1. re: mrsmegawatt

                            Yeah, he puts them straight on the grill. We usually cook them around medium and have never had a problem. The ground lamb isn't too gamey at least for us (we're venison, duck, and quail fanatics).