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McKinnon Butcher Shop (Salem NH)

sorry folks. i was hoping to find a full service butcher but this ain't it.
sure it looks all petty and stuff but that's about it.

i spoke to them on the phone and said i was looking for specialty meats, the girl said 'like liver and stuff?' to which i said yes. she assured me that they had a full selection of offal.

so i went yesterday and found that not only did not have much of anything along these lines but two 'butchers' i asked didn't even know what Tri-Tip was. it wasn't until i said that it used to be called 'HoneyMoon Roast' did they acknowledge that they sometimes have this. i did find one in the prepared case but it was halved. they said that i could make a special order for a whole one, but i wanted it now.

when i questioned them on their offal selections they had really no clue. sure they had calves liver, chicken livers and the like, but so does MarketBasket. i asked about sweetbreads, kidneys, tongue, hearts (beef) all which got the same reply, 'no, but we an sometimes get them in, frozen, as a special order.' solly chally.

i poked around a bit and their meat case sure look good but i noticed that almost all their steaks are cut pretty thin (<3/4") and again i was told that they could cut a steak thicker but the butcher made a face like i was nuts to want such a thing. as comparison Butcher Boy in No. Andover cuts all their display meats very thick and will cut one down if that's what you want.

stopping at the fish counter i inquired as to whether they cut their fish on premises, they said yes. then i asked if they still had any frames available from that days cutting, and again i had to explain that frames were the heads/bones etc. i did manage to speak to one fishmonger who said that i could come by tomorrow and that he would hold 5#'s of frames for me, but when i came back the next day, no frames, he said they didn't come in that day, wait, what? i thought you said yesterday that you cut fish in-house?

last chance, produce. again, looked real pretty, but when i asked if they had any Rabe they pointed me to a pile of sad, yellowing leaves. ahhh, no thanks.

oh well, my seach continues. at least i have Butcher Boy.

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  1. They have a few interesting items on sale scattered about the store, but nothing really stands out - especially if you're coming in from a distance just for food shopping. I did get some cut veal steaks on special sale (that had just arrived that day) and believe me when I got home it had already that slightly "old meat" smell and it really turned me off. Needless to say, I haven't been back since.

    1. I have to agree with the other 2 reviews. I bought gound sirloin there once it had the worst flavor and texture.....we actually through it all away.

      I do use them to but my meat for my dogs and that is about all they are good for IMO.

      Love Butcher Boy and am willing to pay the extra money for the quality.

      If you ever find a place for good offal let me know!

      1. Like I said in other threads on this, why bother, just go to Butcher Boy and be assured that you have knowledgable butchers and the best quality meats, also the reputation of a long existance in the area. Why risk your hard earned $$ on a second class place. Just a note on the orig post, tri-tip is generally a name used out west, however BB would know what you want.

        7 Replies
        1. re: treb

          yah, BB won't get it (tri-tip or hangar) for me unless i can order a bag, about 15#'s. Tri-Tip used to be available in the case at The Meat Market further down 28 but is now a Special Order.

          i had originally gone to McKinnon's for offal.

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            That's a big bag! I've had tri-tip in CA, great on the grill. I also saw an episode of Good Eats on Food TV, he gave a translation for east and west coasters on tri-tip and other cuts. I've also had buffalo hanger, YUM!

            1. re: treb

              yah when i asked for tri-tip at McKinnons they didn't know what i was talking about until i called it a HoneyMoon Roast. now THAT'S going back some years.

            2. re: ScubaSteve

              How is the Meat Market? We got a gift cert. for xmas and haven't been yet.

              1. re: lexpatti

                as i had said The Meat Market was really special when they first opened, now, not so much.

                1. re: lexpatti

                  Steak tips leave a lot to be desired vs. Butcher Boy

                  You'll find plenty of things to spend your money on though, it's a big place with some nice gourmet items. They have wine too.

                  1. re: mjg0725

                    not a fan of steak tips.
                    my problem is that in my area there are other places selling what i need that are closer. i was hoping that McK's was going to be a Destination Market.

            3. Just wondering if any of you guys have tried a place in Danvers called "The Butchery."? They seem to have a pretty good selection of items but I haven't really been yet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MeatMan84

                Yes, it's a good place, with a good reputation.

              2. You usually can find tri-tip at Trader Joe's. Personally, I am not impressed with tri-tips but that JMO. I have been buying spoon roasts lately and we love them and have had great luck with the taste and tenderness. I bought my first spoon roast at McKinnon's in Danvers and now sometimes I just luck out at Market Basket.

                1. to walk in the store is fairly inpressive they have a good variety too prices are pretty good.
                  first time i tried their meat it was blah not must taste to it Not that it was bad just not flavorful
                  i just tried it a sec. time, never again the hamburg cooked into mud the sasauges turned whitish inside
                  the only think i will go for is deli meats they have a big selection of brands yeah you can get almost all of them at most supermarkets but not all together in one location

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      If you are ever up in Manch. - Sausage Heaven makes some really great homemade kielbasa and sausages. Funky hours since they moved.

                  1. I went into McKinnons for the 3rd and last time this past Friday.. I will never go back.. I normally am a faithful Butcher Boy shopper but we were getting snow and I did not want to make the trek to North Andover.

                    Well I wanted some ground veal, they do not offer it.. I went to the case and grabbed 3 pounds of some veal stew meat and asked them to grind it for me.. Well. I might as well have asked them to grind off their arm.. Not only did it take over 20 minutes of me waiting at the meat counter they also hiked up the price from 1.99 a pound for the packaged meat to 4.99 a pound for the grinding..

                    then I went to purchase some fresh basil and none was out.. this mind you was at 9am on a Friday.. I politely asked the man in the produce section if he had any fresh basil, he pointed to where I just was and said it was over there. I indicated that I was just there and there was none on display and he replied well all we have is out.. amazing..

                    the last straw was in the cheese department, I picked out a nice piece of romano cheese and asked the man to please grind it for me and again it was like I was asking for a monumental effort.

                    I was not previously impressed with this place anyway and this customer service or lack thereof finally put me off them forever.

                    Butcher Boy is without a doubt the finest meat market in the area, they are not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but they understand they are there to serve thier customers and do so in a great way while providing great quality product.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: JChester

                      that is just awful that a place that thinks they're a full service butcher would actually charge you for grinding meat.
                      i'm all set with McKinnons.

                      1. re: JChester

                        That sucks. When something like that happens you should really try to contact a store manager. Sometimes the people working in the store just don't care. Now if you get the same type of attitude from the manager that's different.

                        1. re: JChester

                          Actually, you probably would have saved money at Butcher Boy, they are light years better than McK's. Good to hear a real story about this place but, sorry you had to experience that type of treatment.