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Where to purchase prime rib in DC-area?

Does anyone know where I can purchase prime rib in the DC-area? I've tried Whole Foods, but they don't have it. Are there any butcher shops that sell it?

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  1. Any butcher or supermarket will have a "ribeye roast" which is what most restaurants sell as "prime rib". Now if you are looking for PRIME ( which is the highest grade the USDA grades meat) prime rib, I'm not that familiar with Washington area upscale butcher shops. There are a couple of places in Baltimore that sell Prime beef if you're interested.

    1. Costco has good bone-in standing rib roast as well as boneless rib-eye roasts. They won't cut them to order so you have to buy whatever size they offer but the remainder can be frozen or cut into steaks for another meal. Their meat quality is very high.
      They generally have USDA Choice beef which is usually fine for this cut as it's well marbled anyway. When Alton Brown did his Good Eats episode in rib roasts, that's what he recommended using.
      If you want USDA Prime beef, Union Meats at Eastern Market usually carries it and they can cut just the number of ribs you want. They will also cut the bones for you to make carving easier and then tie it properly. They're an old-style full-service butcher and have terrific quality. Sometimes during the holidays when it gets really busy, they can be a little crabby, so make sure you allow plenty of time if you go there.

      1. I believe they have it at the meat counter at the Amish Market in Germantown. Probably also in Burtonsville.

        1. It is difficult to find genuine "Prime" dry aged standing rib roast in the D. C. area. Wegman's has it once a year, for Christmas, and this is by special order at about $20 per pound. To the best of my knowledge there is only one Whole Foods that has it regularly and that is the 75,000 square foot Whole Foods at Fair Lakes where it is about $18 a pound. It IS available every single day there. Balducci's carries it by special order at most of their stores but it sells for $22 or 23 a pound. At Christmas, the McLean store, like Wegman's had it in their meat case last year.

          It is possible that Wagshal's might carry it in Spring Valley but I am not certain. A year or so ago I called, trying to source it, and was told it was available but only by special order.

          Still, having said this, there is a very real alternative to the above: The Organic Butcher in McLean has its very own standing rib roast from Organic beef raised on a farm near Culpeper. It's priced similarly to the others and available with two or three days notice. I've used it along with Wegman's and Whole Foods and it is every bit as good. In fact, I've prepared Prime Rib for Christmas every year for ten or so years and will do so again this year. I'll buy it at the Organic Butcher-not the others.

          1. Here's a link to a Post article on the subject of local butchers


            There is also My Butcher & More in Gambrills Md. which has a good reputation. There are also some country meat markets up in Frederick Co. which might be useful.

            The answer to your question depends on what you really meant by "prime rib." Meat from that part of the steer is readily available as "boneless rib roast," and is very good if you find a nice piece (cryovac wet aged). If (as I suspect) you are looking for the same cut but with bones (what most people think of when saying "prime rib") that is a bit harder but any decent meat market should have it at least during the holiday period. Wegmans certainly does. Check. If you want actual USDA prime grade meat (as in good, choice, prime) that is much harder, but it can be found for example at Wegmans and other spots mentioned by Joe H. If you want dry-aged, especially prime dry aged, that is harder still. Note that with any of the above you can dry age it yourself at home--I've done it with good success more or less (well, less) following Alton Brown's directions (I skip the terra cotta part). BTW IMO the best part of the cut is ribs 8-9-10, so if you only want the best ask for that--Wegmans once told be they would cut it on request---the full roast runs from rib 6 to 12.

            To learn much more, search "spinalis dorsi" here on CH.

            1. You can probably get it at the Laurel Meat Market, on Main St. in Laurel, MD.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 4X4

                Here's a link to a pretty thorough listing/discussion of everywhere to buy meat in the DC area:


              2. Any of the Whole Foods with Dry Aging programs will have it: Georgetown (Glover Park), Silver Spring both have dry aging units. I don't recall if Tenley got one in their renovation. Its ben so long since I've been to P Street that I have forgotten but I would think they might very well have one. I think Silver spring does a better job with their butcher shop than the other area WFM's although Tenley Town is a close second.

                WFM's regular beef is from a non graded program so it doesn't come as prime or choice, it is a run of the herd program. But with all natural beef, the internal marbling is lower and the tenderness comes from the way the animals are fed and raised.

                I myself prefer a low internal fat non aged prime rib like Meyer Angus (not to be confused with Black Angus which is a marketing program and not a breed in the USA). IMO the greatest :prime rib: int he world is Chianina beef from Tuscany which wouldn't even grade out as choice in the US but it is incredibly flavorful. Low internal fat prime rib needs less cooking time and should only be cooked to rare or medium rare.

                1 Reply
                1. re: deangold

                  Where in the DC area or elsewhere in the USA can one get one's hands on some pure Chianina meat?

                  I'm not sure I agree with your description of Angus cattle/meat. Most Angus cattle are black, and the terms "Angus" and "Black Angus" are nearly interchangeable (but see below), as least as a practical matter. To that extent, Black Angus is indeed a breed, and far more than a "marketing program."

                  I assume the marketing program you refer to is the "Certified Angus" program started by the American Angus Assn. (AAA), which now functions as a semi-independent entity. Contrary to the thrust of your statement, it does not use the term "black". Just "Certified Angus."

                  There are also red angus cattle, and pretty much always have been. The AAA cut red cattle from their breed registry a long time ago, so to them all angus is black angus (so red angus are thus automatically excluded from their certified angus program). The Red Angus folks have their own association. However, the redness stems from a recessive gene and the remainder of the red animal and its meat are functionally identical to the much more common black variety. Meyer is a red angus producer, but makes no claim I know of that their meat is markedly different due to that factor. They use "pure water," all-veggie feed, and no antibiotics and hormones, which is fine if you have an organic bent, but they also feed their animals corn, the basic ingredient that puts fat and marbling on any meat, so I'm not clear where the "lean" and tenderness part comes from, other than Madison Avenue.

                  As near as I can tell, the main claim the red folks make why red is better is that their cattle don't get as hot standing around in the sun.

                2. I'm not a cook but my friends all swear by Union Meats at Eastern Market for meats. They are what I guess you could call a "real" butcher shop.

                  1. That's easy-Wagshall's in the city, Balducci's on old georgetown Road in Bethesda.

                    1. The Butcher's Block in Annapolis is the best place I've found in the Balt DC area. They cut your roast or steak to order and have dry aged prime and choice aged beef among many other tasty treats! I had a prime rib from them over the holidays that was absolutely amazing! My family all agreed it was the best piece of beef we'd had in years!

                        1. I've purchased pretty respectable prime rib roasts from the Rockville Magruders on a number of occasions. It has always been around Christmas time when I purchased. I'd go reasonably early in the am on the 22nd or 23rd of December, and alway found a nice cut that cooked up into a wonderful Christmas dinner. I don't know how good it is this time of year.

                          1. I thought of this thread last night when I found myself behind a truck for Capital Meats. It had a website (capitalmeats.com) and they seem to sell prime, but it looks like you have to buy a considerable amount. Take that as you will.