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Nov 6, 2007 04:43 PM

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.

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