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Aug 27, 2007 09:58 AM

Where to buy the best steak?

I'm planning on grilling steaks this weekend and wanted to know what grocery store/butcher has the best. Also, which cut should I be getting? I heard Cumbrae is good, but is it really expensive?

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  1. Cumbraes is top notch, I also like White House in new favorite cut is a top sirloin steakI did a 2.3 pounder for 4 people a few weeks ago, was great and cheap too, under 30$ at White House, flank is another cheap option...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Recyclor

      Cumbrae's really is top notch. We purchased two 2" T-bones this weekend for the grill -- I wanted something bone-in. The 2 steaks were about $60. They were huge, though. Too huge so we shared one. And we will have the other tonight.

      It was the most delicious steak I have ever had in my life and, for a splurge, totally worth it.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. Rib steak at`Dominion on sale for $4.99 lb is often very good, but you have to be picky.

        1. re: ssainani

          I live near Cumbrae's and Whitehouse meats on Bayview and shop at both once/twice a month. Taking into consideration the selection/quality/service/price equation I prefer Cumbrae's over Whitehouse. Having said that my wife bought some beautiful tenderloin steaks that I grilled on the weekend, about 1.5 inches thick and I was blown away when I found out she bought them at Costco(?!?!).

          1. re: andyman

            Costco is pretty good! I went to a bbq last week, and they had bought rib eye grilling steaks (i think) at costco, and they were delicious! My favourite butcher though is Eddystone Meats. Their meats are tender, flavourful, and I think that their prices are very reasonable.

            1. re: icey

              Where is Eddystone Meats located?

              1. re: andyman

                Near jane and finch; South of finch, off of jane. Eddystone Ave, I believe.

                1. re: Fat Swine

                  it is far from dodgy and no one is getting shot on Eddystone. Great cheese, olives and amazing turkey sausages - really juicy!

            2. re: andyman

              Costco rib steaks always get my vote for quality and price.

              1. re: andyman

                Costco's meat is pretty high quality and butchered in-house and they move so much nothing sits around for very long in the coolers. I've never had a bad steak from there, you just have to buy in fairly large quantity.

                1. re: Boodah

                  The beef trays are all labelled Canada "AAA", generally a step up from the supermarkets, and nicely trimmed or tied.
                  But the work is done by meat cutters, not butchers.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    True enough, great for "bulk" purchases but clearly not the go-to place for something custom.

                    1. re: Boodah

                      Costco butcher will CUT you any steak you want if it's not on the counter, but I think every kind, shape and size is out there for you to buy,. You want it thicker, they'll cut it for you if they have it.

              2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                Re Dominion, I would say : beware of the 'special' glass case next to the meat section. There Rib Steak is on special but it looks so pale you wonder if the cow had been suffering from anemia for months. The meat has to be red and look fresh and shiny.

                1. re: cocolou

                  The meat counter in a Dominion nearby always has good red beef, sometimes nicely marbled, and some of it even shows the origin (Peace River valley.) But that won't go for $5/lb.
                  I have found that many good cuts are discounted on the last day of sale, and they can be attractive buys.

            3. We had a "steak off" last summer - we picked up rib steaks (with the bone) from Cumbrae, The Butcher (I think that's what it's called - organic butcher at Yonge and Eglinton?) and Loblaws. The Cumbrae steak won by an overwhelming majority and the (well marbled) bone-in rib steak was a great cut.

              6 Replies
              1. re: peppermint pate

                Cumbrae's, Summerhill Market, Royal Beef in that order. I've heard a few people say Costco is very good, but IMO they don't come anywhere close to Cumbrae or Summerhill. You get what you pay for.

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  A steak off...what a great idea. Now my Labour Day weekend will have purpose and meaning!

                  1. re: andyman

                    It was very fun - highly recommended. Everybody brought a couple of steaks - the same cut, thickness and seasoning (Montreal steak spice and garlic with a few dabs of butter). All were cooked medium rare and then cut up on to plates for the blind tasting. If you do end up doing one, let us know how it goes.

                    1. re: andyman

                      I usually purchase my beef at Cumbrae, but in a pinch, or for a crowd, I buy the black Angus from Longos, and let them sit in the fridge for a couple of days (or longer) after seasoning.
                      Also let them get to room temp. before grilling.
                      I am not a Whitehouse fan, and have had good and bad.
                      Before the original owner died, I purchased my beef from them.
                      Tried the angus from Lowlaws, and it was tough, .. far too fresh.
                      I agree that nothing grills as well as a rib, but hubbie prefers strip.

                      1. re: erly

                        You season it and then let it set for a couple of days? Sounds like theres so many problems with this.. First and foremost though, aren't you worried about the seasonining drawing excess moisture out of the steak? For the same reason you salt your steak only directly before its about to go onto the grill

                        1. re: duckdown

                          no salt, you are correct.
                          Salt should be last minute.
                          Just lots of garlic and peppercorns, and a drop of oive olive oil
                          You need to know your fridge temp.
                          I am fortunate to have a couple of drawer refrigerators, so it is easy to check,.
                          Don't cover the steak.

                  2. Cumbrae's is without a doubt the best in the city. They are very expensive, but the level of quality is worth it. I would question the price anywhere else. I have shopped at Whitehouse, Oliffe, and Pusateri's. I haven't been to the Healthy Butcher yet.

                    I wouldn't shop at Cumbrae's for myself personally. I go there when I have guests over from out of town. There are other good places to go. I'd be happy to list any that may be convenient to you if you could tell us what neighbourhood you'd like to shop in.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Googs

                      Been to all of the above (except Oliffe) and purchased two 2" ribeyes from each; did a similar "taste off". Cumbrae's beat all - Whitehouse, Pusateri's, Healthy Butch, The Butcher, Royal Beef and Nortown.

                      1. re: Googs

                        Googs, you are a good person.
                        I do the Longos thing.. half the price, and very tasty, for guests, unless they are very special.
                        Why I prefer Cumbrae, to the other exceptional butchers mentioned, is that they are consistent.. have tried all above, except Royal Beef.
                        Liked Oliffe, almost much as Cumbrae,but not their location.
                        Tried Nunzio twice, and the beef, organic or not was tough..
                        Not as good as longos.

                      2. The original comment has been removed