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Jan 8, 2008 08:50 AM

Butchers in/near Middlesex Cnty area?

I live in South River, great town for European Provisions, but Long since Dittmans meat market or meat city? closed, I don't know of any other butchers and while the wegmen wannabe EB shopright is good for a lot of things...its horrible for is meat (as well as parking and shitty crowdedness)

I work in south brunswick off of 1 by Princeton, too, and I'm just looking for some place to get some good cuts (but id even settle for a butcher that even knows cuts I request, not like the yo-yo at the supermarket whom I got a blank stair from)

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    1. Yeah, it was real sad to see Dittman's close when I lived in SR. (And, recently, with the closing of Jensen's, the only food retailers I miss from "up there" is the aforementioned European Provisions and Continental Provisions.)

      Have you tried the meat departments at Wegman's or Whole Foods off of Rt.1?

      Other than that, in a different direction (18 South to 9 South) the Foodtown in Manalapan (off Rt. 9, intersection with Tennent Rd., kinda hidden) has the most impressive butcher shop (in a retro sort of way) I've seen in a supermarket in a long time, tho', apparently they got rid of the separate Kosher butcher shop.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JessKidden

        hmm maybe I'll give those a try. I hear there is one in Spotswood? (a meat market that is)

        1. re: RPMcMurphy

          Ah, yes, I have heard about that place (but never stopped in). MANY years ago before the ShopRite (which began as a "Big [or was it Red?] Apple) was around, there was a little grocery store half-way into town, probably called "Summerhill Market" that sort of devolved into a "convenience store" but I have heard it's a bit more than that now. There's also the old "Ideal Market" in Monroe (just on the other side of Spotswood) that's been primarily a meat market at times.

          I recall when Dittman's was still around that area free weekly paper had an article on it and noted that there were only two butchers left in the area, and mentioned one in Milltown as well (maybe owned by Greeks?) but never stopped in.

          Also, the little grocery store in Old Bridge, Market Boy, used to have a butcher shop inside it (separate registers and everything), but don't know the status of that store currently.

          When I still lived in SR and needed to buy ribs for slow-smoking after Dittman's closed (didn't want the "previously frozen" cyropaced "enhanced" crap at the supermarket), I'd get them down on Jackson St. at the Portugese grocery in the tiny strip mall (laudromat, liquor store) which had a pretty good selection of some stuff at it's meat counter. (They even had fresh rabbit, so one time I asked them if they could get fresh whole suckling pig and they looked kinda shocked, and shook their head with a frown. "What, you'll eat a cute lil' bunny but not a baby pig?"). That place had the added advantage of also selling real lump charcoal, something of a rarity in NJ unless you know where to look.

          Or, I'd stop at the big Asian grocery on 18.

          1. re: JessKidden

            stopped by the place in Monroe as its the only place I could find......not too impressed. they weren't really displaying many cuts. I like to see a filet before I buy it!

            1. re: RPMcMurphy

              You could try the Pennsylvania Dutch Market on 27 off of Rt1, They're open Thursday- Sunday and have a large selection of cuts. Make a right from rt1 South onto 522 . When you hit the light make a left and it's the first shopping mall on the right side.. If you're looking for Poultry the Griggstown Farm is close by as well and would have a wonderful selection of birds to choose from.

              4437 Rte 27
              Princeton, NJ 08540

              This page has a list of their cuts:


              link for Griggstown

              1. re: jrd303

                great! I'll give it a try, I work on 522 in South Brunswick

                1. re: RPMcMurphy

                  Have you tried either of the carnecerias on Maine St. near Tanner's Corner or where the Liberty Ballroom used to be on Whitehead Ave. in South River?

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    I haven't actually. Which is sad because it's walking distance from my place! maybe I'll give them a try this weekend.

      2. I'm wracking my brain. I remember the name, but not the location. Where was Dittman's?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          old bridge turnpike or main street (more towards milltown rd, hillside) You just crossed me up!! right near the railroad tracks...but wow, totally went blank. I'll drive by today....

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Dittman's Meat Market was at 273 Main Street (as RPMc said, next to the bridge over the railroad), west side of the street, according to the complimentary wooden combo ruler/oven stick I still have hanging near my oven.

            (As far as "wracking your brain"- now you know how some of us felt trying to remember the Liberty Ballroom and Tanners Corners.)

              1. re: JessKidden

                Yeh, upper Maine by the tracks, that's what I thought. (My grandmother lived around the corner on Clark St. My Dad was born on Whitehead Ave.) Dittman's is now a carneceria that I mentioned earlier. Is it any good? I now get meat, seafood and veggies for mom at the Hong Kong Market on 18. She loves it. Boy are you guys lucky w/ all your food options. When we visit my mom we bring empty coolers and hit the Hong Kong Market(What do you all think of the by the pound cooked Chinese food counter, by the seafood and produce? We love it.) Hispanic and Polish Foods in South River and Indian in Sayreville.
                Jess, you and Ben Franklin are my beer heroes. At Muhlenberg College. one of the Yuengling family was my roomate. I can remember Horlachers of Allentown and Dobre Piva of Scranton and NJ draft ber, take out in white cardboard cylinders(Yum!). One son, (a former Las Vegas chef) just moved to Costa Rica last week and my first question was how's the beer? The second was how's the seafood? I sent a home brew keg and tons of brewing supplies for another son living in Seoul for Xmas because Korean Beer is sooo bad. Three weeks from tomorrow we fly from Bangor to Austin(Look out taquerias!) for a week to visit our daughter and beer websites are already book marked.
                I enjoy your literate and well informed view on things. Go eat an Italian hot dog for me will ya?

            1. If you are searching for pork , lamb or chicken.....I suggest you seek a large Asian Market, like the one in Edison. Generally the beef selection is not very good in Chinese markets, but Korean markets have much better Choice cuts......The prices are better as well.

              1. Joe's Meat Market on Smith Street in Perth Amboy.