Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Mar 19, 2008 07:32 AM

Whole Foods - Dry aged meats

How is the quality of the dry aged beef that is sold at Whole Foods? Beef being so expensive these days, I would like some info and opinions before purchasing to prepare at home.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Poor. I have never been pleased with the meat from Whole Foods and I no longer buy meat from them. I think our store is not the best. The seafood counter often reeks all the way to the front of the store.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Docsknotinn

      Thanks for saving me the expense, much appreciated...

      1. re: Sean

        If dry aged meat is a special splurge for you you might consider ordering steaks from Peter Lugers or a specefic ranch on line. It's not cheap but you will get a very nice steak that really is dry aged. You can also order Coleman Ranch or Nieman on line but you might want to search locally for one of theese brands first before to decide to pay freight. Whole foods has carried Nieman ranch here in the past.

        1. re: Docsknotinn

          Colemans is a beef company, not a ranch, and that's what they sell most at Whole Foods. Peter Luger's serves commodity beef like everyone else - no big deal. Of what you mentioned, Niman Ranch is far superior. IMO, however, they tend to over dry age their beef, and I joked with Bill Niman about this, but he likes them stinkier than I do. You might also try Four Story Hill Farm, Harris Ranch or Brandt Beef. The latter is my favorite, but I don't think it's available online, and certainly not dry-aged.

          1. re: almansa

            My understanding was that Coleman beef is actually raised on the coleman ranches. Is that no longer the case? Coleman beef used to be carried by whole foods here but I just returned from our local store (which is pretty small for a whole foods) and they did not have coleman or at least none marketed as such. They did have some dry aged strips but at $23 a pound they didn't look so great.
            I have not tried Peter Lugers but they seem to have a stellar reputation. I'm sure you are correct about it being commodity beef but it is but dry aged prime.
            I greatly appreciate the other suggestions. I'm planning on ordering some dry aged steaks this week so I will look for those you mentioned.
            Lobels is an interesting on line option as well. Rather expensive but apparantly highly regarded by some.

            1. re: almansa

              I found a link for Brandt so I thought I'd post the ones you mentioned as well as Lobels. I could not find a link for the Four Story Hill Farm. By any chance have you tried the Cowboy rib eyes from Brandt?




              1. re: almansa

                I love Niman Ranch beef...also Lobel's and Harris Ranch, although the latter is wet aged. I don't think anyone mentioned Allen Bros. They have dry and wet aged beef, which is excellent.

        2. I think, as Docsknotinn mentioned, that each Whole Foods is different and your individual store will impact the quality of the beef. I've tried the dry aged rib-eyes and porterhouses at the Hadley, MA Whole Foods, with mixed results.
          First time the meat was exceptional, next time or two it was very good, then twice it seemed no better than the regular counter meat.
          I've switched to their standard meat (usually Coleman) when looking for higher end stuff, unless the rack of meat in the dry ager (you can see it at this WF) looks like it's really out of the ordinary.
          I wish they carried more 100% grass raised beef, rather than just "organic." And/or certified that the animal was never incarcerated at a feed lot.

          1. I'm not sure where you live but Stew Leonard's in CT and NY sells dry aged beef at the butcher counter.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mkoso

              I am talking about the new Whole Foods in Cranston, RI. They also sell the meat from the butcher counter it is displayed behind glass where it is dried...

              1. re: Sean

                I haven't tried their aged beef, but I've found their meat department to be spotty overall. Sometimes their in-house sausage is out of this world. It's also been just "eh" and once so salty it was practically inedible. (I'm talking about the new Cranston location, specifically.)

            2. I'd suggest finding a local butcher who will gladly help you out with either what you are looking for, or information to get it. WF's is a case study of the success of a solid marketing scheme..

              As for WF's seafood dept - it is perhaps the most foul counters I've ever been by. Fresh fish does not smell like the WF's counter - at least the times I passed by it (West Hartford).

              There are a couple decent things in WFs (or used to be). Peanuts (which they continuously have marked up - I now buy direct from a Virginia peanut farm), Beer (have some decent selections but nothing you cant find in a local grog shop), Eden Soy Sauce, and premade pie shells (when needed in an absolute pinch). Most else, in my opinion, and for my needs, is not a very good value with the worst offender being that meat & seafood counter (which I've never ordered from and never will. The prices are extreme for what appears to be mediocre quality).