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Buying prime beef in Phx(particularly E Valley)?

z
ziggylu Oct 10, 2007 07:46 PM

Anywhere besides AJ's?

A day off turned into a long tiring day at work instead. My plan for dinner got blown away by how late I got off today...so...with an AJ's just steps away I went in to search for something tasty but easy to make for dinner. Really wanted to just go out but we've been trying over the last couple months to curb our dining out habits/budget...

To reward us for our disciplin I decided to splurge on a good steak. We rarely eat them(3-4 times a year tops) so when I do buy one I like to go ahead and get the prime. Plus with a potato, salad and glass of wine we could have a great dinner and tired me could put it together with no effort. Brought home a Rib Eye which was delicious.

Just wondering if there are other options for prime around? AJ's meat is always really good and for the rare occasions I buy a steak I don't mind the premium(we split one so it was still a lot less than going out for dinner tonight). I know Costco has excellent steaks but we don't eat them often enough and I hate to freeze them for as along as it would take us to get through a package of them(especially since we always split the big steaks).

Just wondering what, if any, the other options may be? Don't think I've seen prime anywhere else in my travels, but maybe I haven't traveled to the right places...

  1. o
    oryza Feb 18, 2008 11:16 AM

    Costco

    1. yamalam Feb 17, 2008 07:24 PM

      Just bought some prime tenderloin at the S. Chandler Sprouts on sale for $9.99/lb. Wow. Hoping it's not too good to be true.

      http://www.sprouts.com/flyer/view_fly...

      4 Replies
      1. re: yamalam
        azhotdish Feb 17, 2008 08:00 PM

        I have a hard time believing what I'm seeing here - please report back on your thoughts on the meat. I need to stop by my local store and see if they still have any left.

        1. re: azhotdish
          o
          oryza Feb 18, 2008 11:16 AM

          I purchased tenderloin at Sprouts a while back for the same price; I think they clear it out once in a while as an incentive... it was quite tender and lovely...

          1. re: azhotdish
            azhotdish Feb 19, 2008 08:44 PM

            I bought four pounds today, and all the filets looked great, well marbled, and definitely prime. I hope they taste as good as they look...it's an absolute steal at this price. It's not trimmed like AJs prime is, but at that price, who really cares?

            1. re: azhotdish
              azhotdish Feb 25, 2008 09:42 AM

              Well I have to admit that I am not that impressed with the meat from Sprouts. I did a standard prep steak au poivre this weekend cooked medium rare, and I found there to be some tough connective tissue within the filet. Are there different grades of prime? Perhaps this got a lower grading - the taste was pretty good and most of it was tender, but there isn't much wiggle room in a 8oz filet. I hope the rest of it is better...

        2. NitroGen Oct 29, 2007 08:55 PM

          Midwestern Meats in Mesa offers the best Iowa corn fed beef that is superior to any retail, wholesale, mail order or online purveyor that I have ever used, including AJ’s!

          The holiday’s turns Midwestern Meats into a bit of a madhouse as people call ahead for their Rib Eye Roasts (Already spiced and trussed if you say please!)

          Best Bacon? Why the Pork Shop in Queen Creek of course..but that is for a different posting.

          4 Replies
          1. re: NitroGen
            d
            Doug in Mesa Nov 26, 2007 09:01 PM

            We stopped into EJ's to check the meat counter Sunday. I think the hours are 10 til 2. It's nice to have a source for prime in the East Valley. We walked out with a 4 lb eye of round for under $20. We'll use it for several recipes where lean is important; aren't they all now days.

            1. re: Doug in Mesa
              h
              hungryinaz Nov 28, 2007 01:23 PM

              After trying some delicious prime ribeyes from EJ's about a month ago, I revisited the semi-new butcher shop last week for prime filets. They were cut thick, roughly 3 inches, and my husband was a little nervous about cooking them right but he nailed it and they were amazing. Melt-in-your-mouth style, pink but not bleeding all over my plate. Don't know how that was possible and also don't know how they had such an enjoyable texture - a firm/dense texture that looked and tasted like nothing I have ever experienced with Costco or grocery store choice filets. EJ's also has giant twice baked potatoes ($4) in the fridge - one is big enough for two sides and they are yummy! I'm loving this place so far, it's expensive but worth the splurge once in a while and I feel very lucky something of this quality found it's way to east Mesa.

              1. re: hungryinaz
                yamalam Nov 28, 2007 07:13 PM

                Do you know how much they were?

                1. re: yamalam
                  h
                  hungryinaz Nov 29, 2007 08:10 PM

                  The rib eye was around $18 per pound and I think the filets were pretty close in price.

          2. l
            Lala0310 Oct 21, 2007 02:54 PM

            I buy my prime beef from AJ's, Whole Foods or Lobel's in NY.

            Right now AJ's has Prime NY for $17.99 lb, this is at the Central/Camelback location. I picked up four today and just got done vacuum sealing them.

            I love Whole Foods dry aged meats. I pick up my bone in prime rib roast there and rib eyes too.

            When I feel like splurging I buy from Lobels in NY. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? OH YEAH! I try to buy a number of things at once to make the shipping costs hurt less! lol Their bacon is to DIE for, their Hot Dogs, YUM. The bacon comes in a 2lb slab, you slice it yourself. It is so meaty and yummy. I just bought some bone in filets! My mom was recently out here to visit from CA. I ordered up the filets from Lobels, oh my they were soooooo good. Mom said she needed to come out more often! LOL

            2 Replies
            1. re: Lala0310
              p
              p_dubs Oct 24, 2007 11:45 PM

              I totally agreee with the meat from Whole Foods. We did a comparison grilling the same cut from AJ's and Whole Foods. The Whole Foods steak has a much stronger beef flavor than AJ's. But I'm not complaining about AJ's either, but we all agree the dry aged steaks from Whole Foods is alot better. I didn't try their non-dry aged meat, but they are cheaper. I will not go back to Hobe Meats again, you don't want to spend that kind of money and don't know what you'll get.

              1. re: Lala0310
                z
                ziggylu Oct 25, 2007 10:22 AM

                I haven't shopped at Whole Foods in several years now. When we first moved here I did a lot of shopping there but with so many other options now I don't go out of my way to get there. I did buy meat and fish there when I shopping and remember being underwhelmed for the prices.

                The new one is opening up down the street from me so I'll have to get it another try when they do open closer to home. If they ever open...first September, then November and now they're saying December so we'll see...! Just hope they don't put the Sprouts out of business across the street.

              2. jcoz23 Oct 12, 2007 04:06 PM

                There is a great butcher called Von Hanson's Meats & Spirits, 2390 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224 ,(480) 917-2525. I couldn't find a website for them. I have tried the ribeye and filet. I don't know if they are "prime" but they taste like steakhouse quality... but are pricey

                16 Replies
                1. re: jcoz23
                  azhotdish Oct 12, 2007 04:12 PM

                  VH does not sell prime (just quality midwestern) beef, but the quality is very good as has been noted in the past.
                  http://www.vonhansons.com/

                  1. re: azhotdish
                    z
                    ziggylu Oct 12, 2007 04:51 PM

                    I bought some steaks from Von Hanson's the last time we had steak...back at the beginning of summer when we were having some friends over. Two NY Strips that time. We were really disappointed in them...tough and tasteless. For the price, some of the worst I've ever bought. For now, we just stick to buying hot dogs from Von Hanson's.

                    For the money, Costco has some of the best steaks out there....but you have to buy what is for us too much at one time.

                    1. re: ziggylu
                      tara17 Oct 12, 2007 05:26 PM

                      I've only tried the "grilling steaks" from Von Hanson's and it was awful. Tough and tasteless, just like you said. I keep wanting to try a ribeye, but the price keeps me from indulging. I have, however, had a ribeye from MidWestern Meats and loved it. Even Firenza, who doesn't like steak, said he could be converted based on the taste he had of that one. I also had a ribeye from Butcher Bob's in Peoria and that was pretty good too. I don't think it's "prime", though.

                      Next time you go to Von Hanson's for hot dogs (which are great), pick up a pound of the best bacon I've ever had in my life. And I LOVE bacon - I'm an expert! :)

                      -----
                      Butcher Bob's Quality Meats
                      11663 W Bell Rd # 2, Surprise, AZ

                      1. re: tara17
                        z
                        ziggylu Oct 12, 2007 05:40 PM

                        I know Firenza has mentioned how good the bacon is at Von Hanson's...we haven't tried it yet though because we're always stocked up on the bacon from the Pork Shop out in Queen Creek. Have you guys tried theirs yet?

                        Someone told me that Von Hanson's sells chicken backs...I need to go in and see if that's the case(for my dogs not me!)...I'll pick up some bacon to try when I do!

                        1. re: ziggylu
                          h
                          hopegoode Oct 12, 2007 06:50 PM

                          A year or so ago, I bought delicious prime steaks at Hobe's in Phoenix. Is that store still open? If so, I'd advise giving it a try.

                          1. re: hopegoode
                            hohokam Oct 12, 2007 07:10 PM

                            Hobe is still there, but there have been mixed reviews on this board regarding the customer service.

                            -----
                            Hobe Meat
                            6044 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016

                            1. re: hohokam
                              Bill Hunt Oct 19, 2007 05:50 PM

                              Yes, Hobe is still open. We had some less-than-stellar results, when we first moved to PHX. After about 3 trips (we were in a condo for the first 6 mos. about a mile away), we gave up. The staff was friendly, but the meat did nothing for us. That's when we found AJ's.

                              I'm looking into getting some Prime, aged beef, from a wholesale supplier, through a restaurant, and will report on it, when we get around to doing it.

                              Hunt

                          2. re: ziggylu
                            tara17 Oct 15, 2007 04:36 PM

                            We haven't had bacon from The Pork Shop yet, although we keep meaning to try it. It's definitely on the list!

                            Von Hanson's has a whole case of dog treats, so I'm sure you'll be able to find something for Fido!

                          3. re: tara17
                            azhotdish Oct 15, 2007 02:58 PM

                            I have to echo Tara's experience on this one, unfortunately, with the grilling steaks - they were quite tough with very little flavor. I would expect though, with more careful treatment, you might be able to nurse some flavor out of them, but they're certainly not a simple seasoning and "quick grill" kind of steak as the name implies. I guess in terms of beef, I haven't had a good experience at VH's but would not write them off until I try their excellent-looking rib eye.

                            1. re: azhotdish
                              Firenza00 Oct 15, 2007 03:08 PM

                              We still have a Midwestern Meats ribeye in the freezer, so we didn't grab a VH one on our last visit. We got the lesser-priced ribeye from MM and it's about $3 or $4 a pound less than VH's ribeye. We saw the Costco steaks, but like the previous person said, that's way too much for us, since Tara is usually the only one who has a steak and I generally have something else.
                              But yes, that damn bacon from VH. Yum. MM's bacon is really good, but just not quite as sweet as VH bacon is.
                              Hobe does have significant customer service variance. On one visit, the younger folks were very friendly. A subsequent visit, there was a defnitely surly older guy behind the counter. We've tried Hobe bacon, but I don't think we've had steaks from there. They are much closer than either VH or MM, though. We just try to plan for a weekend trip to Chandler/Mesa when we need to stock up.

                            2. re: tara17
                              winedubar Oct 15, 2007 04:01 PM

                              she's not kidding - the bacon is DEEEEE-LISH

                              1. re: winedubar
                                Bill Hunt Oct 19, 2007 05:54 PM

                                OK, I know that this is getting off-topic for the OP, but I've been looking for great, thick-cut, applewood, or hickory cured bacon. Tell me a bit more about Von Hanson's, please.

                                Thanks,
                                Hunt

                                1. re: Bill Hunt
                                  azhotdish Oct 19, 2007 07:50 PM

                                  Best bacon you will find in the valley, Bill. It's thick-cut, smoked in-house, and just all-around excellent. At $6.99/lb, it may not be the cheapest, but it's well-marbled w/o having too much fat. If you're ever in the East Valley, it's definitely worth stopping in for a pound (or five). They also do bundles of various cuts (link is below) if you have the room for them in the freezer.
                                  http://www.vonhansons.com/bundles.html

                                  1. re: azhotdish
                                    tara17 Oct 19, 2007 09:23 PM

                                    100% agreed on the bacon. Best stuff I've ever had. It's double-smoked, and I don't know if that's what it is, but it almost tastes sweet. We can't get enough. We cooked it way too long one night, and it was a bit crisper than we like, but it still tasted great. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

                                    1. re: tara17
                                      Bill Hunt Oct 20, 2007 08:03 AM

                                      Azhotdish & Tara17, thanks for the info. I'll definitely try it out. We do not get to Chandler all that often, though my wife has several meetings out that way. I'll equip her with a cooler and some cold-paks next time she's there and get her to stop by Von Hanson's for a few pounds.

                                      Hunt

                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        firecooked Oct 29, 2007 09:31 PM

                                        I have been getting Nieman Applewood bacon (no nitrites) at TJ's. easy and works for me.

                      2. s
                        steaklover2172 Oct 12, 2007 10:45 AM

                        I know from shopping at Bashas' that they recently changed their meat provider. They now offer Steakhouse Classic steaks. Although not prime, the meat is consistently steakhouse quality and they're a great value.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: steaklover2172
                          scorpioscuba Oct 12, 2007 11:23 AM

                          I'm not sure I would agree. I wanted to make a Bistecca the other night so my fiance ran out to Bashas and bought a Steakhouse Classic Porterhouse (at that point in time it was our only option - looking back I should have waited). It was only ok. It was a good price - but I would not get one again. I'd rather spend more money for a better quality meat. I don't tend to marinate or otherwise do anything to the meat other than salt and pepper it to get the true flavor of the beef and because of the quality of the meat, it was not what it could have been. Just my opinion.

                          1. re: steaklover2172
                            m
                            Molto E Oct 12, 2007 02:59 PM

                            Bashha's uses young Holstein...one thing that does not get looked at enough is when restaurants serve prime meat, is it that really true? That aspect is not regulated so just because a restaurant claims that they serve prime does not mean it is so.

                          2. HomeCookKirsten Oct 11, 2007 10:01 PM

                            I could be crazy, because of course now I can't find a link or any info at all, but once a quarter or so, Bashas does a special "Prime Mid-Western Beef" or whatever kind of sale, and apparently it's the same supplier and quality AJ's normally gets.

                            They set up a special on-ice, attendant-manned display back by the meat area and I can say every time I have tried the meat, it was GREAT in the AJ's way. I've tried the filet mignon, New York and the Rib Eye and all were excellent and affordable like $10-12-ish per lb or so I think?

                            Perhaps inquire at your local Bashas and watch for the event?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: HomeCookKirsten
                              z
                              ziggylu Oct 12, 2007 08:42 AM

                              Really? I've seen the Angus events there. Bought a steak several years ago at one and we were disappointed in it so haven't tried again. WIll have to watch to see if they're doing prime quality ones now. The Rib Eye at AJ's on Monday was $24.99/lb.

                              I guess I need to get to Midwestern Meats someday and try theirs. I've only had the bacon and the burgers from there(we used them as meat purveyor at a place I worked ) but both were actually pretty good.

                              1. re: ziggylu
                                scorpioscuba Oct 12, 2007 09:02 AM

                                I did run into EJ's Meat Shop at lunch yesterday and they do have a great selection of Prime and Choice Beef. The proprietor was very friendly and helpful and said that whatever you don't see in the case they probably have in the back room (the shop area is pretty small, but clean and neat). They will cut the meat to your specifications as well. The prices looked better than AJ's but I obviously wasn't able to compare directly.

                                1. re: scorpioscuba
                                  z
                                  ziggylu Oct 12, 2007 09:17 AM

                                  Thanks for teh update. I'll have to give them a call next time. How far east is Alta Mesa Drive?

                                  1. re: ziggylu
                                    scorpioscuba Oct 12, 2007 10:27 AM

                                    It is between Higley and Recker. Their website isn't really up yet but they do have a placeholder with phone numbers:

                                    http://www.ejssteakhouse.com

                                    Bret was the one in the meat shop, I believe.

                                    1. re: ziggylu
                                      z
                                      zebcook Oct 26, 2007 07:17 AM

                                      Out of curiosity I went to EJ's last night. The meat selection was small but looked good and prices for prime were a little under what I remember AJ's being. The beef is corn-fed from Omaha which is good by me since I used to live there. The guy behind the counter for friendly. When I asked if he ever had dry-aged steak, he said they didn't have space but they were moving into another storefront next door. It sounded like he might start doing it then.

                                      Two nice prime New York cuts at $18-19 a pound.

                                      The place was on McKellips between Higley and Power. Even coming from my new office on S. Power it seemed like a long ways out there.

                                    2. re: scorpioscuba
                                      h
                                      hungryinaz Oct 25, 2007 10:13 AM

                                      I bought three boneless prime ribeyes ($18/lb.) at EJ's recently and they were delicious. Nice fat but not too fatty, very tender and very flavorful. They make their own chorizo and two types of sausages as well. Awesome selection, huge for this part of town as we have no AJ's or Whole Foods nearby. I typically buy my steaks at Costco on Power but these are WAY tastier.

                                2. scorpioscuba Oct 11, 2007 07:50 AM

                                  I've bought ribeyes and porterhouses at Midwestern Meats - I can't remember if they were "prime" or not but I do remember they were excellent.

                                  http://www.midwesternmeats.com/

                                  Also, EJ's just opened on Alta Mesa Dr and McKellips. I haven't been in yet but it is supposed to be a prime/choice steakhouse restaurant, bar and butcher shop. So that may be an option. I play on stopping by this afternoon to check out the butcher shop so I'll report back tomorrow.

                                  -----
                                  Midwestern Meats
                                  4308 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85205

                                  1. azhotdish Oct 10, 2007 07:59 PM

                                    I'm curious to see the replies on this, because I'd love an alternative as well. We eat steak more often than you, but rarely eat prime (maybe twice a year) at home. For $27/lb for prime filet at AJs, I haven't found anything that even remotely comes close in terms of taste.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: azhotdish
                                      Bill Hunt Oct 19, 2007 05:44 PM

                                      I'm watching too. Yesterday, Prime tenderloin was ~$35/lb., but was oh, so good. We nearly always do Prime, even going so far as having Prime sirloin double-ground for burgers. I've tried their "American Kobe," plus some, supposedly authentic Kobe burgers, and have underwhelmed. Since AJ's (7th St/Thunderbird) is just over the hill, and we buy our beef within a few days of the meal, it's not that big a deal. With just two of us dining, having a freezer full of meat is not an option, that I want to consider, even if I save a few $'s. Still, a good alternate source would be good. We were spoiled in Denver, as we had a marvelous meat market, just up the street. So far in PHX, AJ's has been as good as I have found.

                                      Hunt

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