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Reasonably-priced lamb

Being the bargain-shopper I am, I'm looking for the best price for fresh lamb this Easter. Normally I get a butterflied leg from Fairway, but with prices skyrocketing as they are, Fairway seems like an expensive option to feed all my guests.

So I ask you: where can I find decent-to-good lamb (chops, racks, legs -- anything except breast) for a reasonable price in the city?

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  1. I passed by Esposito's pork store today where I saw a sign that said baby lamb for easter. Their prices tend to be very good. I'm a bit perplexed by "baby lamb" as I thought all lamb was supposed to be baby sheep.

    1. Not sure if the Manhattan location will have it, but Western Beef in Queens carries pretty good lamb and it's always on sale around easter. I think I paid $1.99 a pound for a bone-in leg last year, which the staff butchers at the store happily boned for me. A bunch of other grocery stores (Pathmark, S&S, etc) had lamb pretty cheap too, but I think the quality is better at WB, generally. The Manhattan location is on 11th Ave (West End Ave), in the low 60s I think. Maybe WEA and 61?

      1. Western Beef usually sells meats, including lamb, at much lower prices than most other markets in the city. I've been happy enough with them when I have been particularly cost-conscious in the past. But you should take a look to see if the quality of their meat meets your standard.

        1 Reply
        1. re: racer x

          Western Beef would be my first choice for an alternative; I just find their lamb not especially lamb-y if that makes any sense. Also I've never seen the butchers at either Manhattan location to get a cut cleaned up. Will they let me open a package and have it deboned?

        2. Reasonably priced and lamb are not often equivalent, but I've been pleased with what I've purchased at Ottomanelli's on Bleecker....lamb loin chops for $10/lb.

          1 Reply
          1. re: 280 Ninth

            Seconded. American lamb with great flavor and it's very nicely trimmed before it hits the scale.

          2. How about a Chinese Butcher Shop in Chinatown or the LES?

            3 Replies
            1. re: fourunder

              I’ve looked for lamb in two different butcher shops in Chinatown and never seen it in either one. My understanding, from my Chinese cookbooks, is that the only Chinese who eat lamb are from the area near Mongolia and those in the south who are Muslim who substitute it for pork. Just about the only time you see lamb in a Chinese cookbook, it’s being used as a stand-in for goat.

              1. re: JoanN

                Joan,

                In the past, taking my Mother shopping,she always purchased lamb in Chinatown. as I stated in the other thread on fish, we generally shop on the South side of Canal Street. She usually purchases pork related items, but when purchasing lamb for soups she buys shoulder blade and ribs. Based on that memory, I would assume the butchers purchase the whole lamb and would have the legs and or shanks available. I would defer to others who have more experience.

                1. re: fourunder

                  I tend to shop in one of two butcher shops (depending on whether I'm farther east or west), one at 57 Bayard and the other on Grand. If they had lamb, I didn't recognize it and they didn't understand what I was asking for (not at all unusual, by the way). I'd love to find a source for lamb in Chinatown, even if it's just ribs. I hope someone with more knowledge than I does indeed jump in here.

            2. I think the cheapest places are the Senegalese places in Harlem. I've been a couple of times to a place on 125th (sorry, can't recall crossstreet). If you're used to the look of a grocery store, you might find it a little, um, disorganized, but I've only gotten really good lamb there at reasonable prices. I'm pretty sure I found the place through chowhound, so try a search.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jasmurph

                Do you know which train it was closer to?

                1. re: cimui

                  It's within a block of the 2/3, i'm pretty sure, but I can't remember if it's east or west of the stop. It's definitely on the North side of the street

                  1. re: jasmurph

                    that's enough to go on. :) thanks!

              2. I had the same problem at Christmas time when I was hosting 10 people and wanted rack of lamb.

                I don't know how much Fairway's is going for, but Freshdirect currently has "Boned, Rolled, & Tied Leg of Lamb" for $5.99/lb.

                How much travel can you tolerate? If you don't mind taking a train out to Jackson Heights, Patel Brothers sells less fancy preparations for a good price.

                6 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  That's a great price on Fresh Direct, but the minimum order is where they get you. One roast is going to be $35. I can butcher my own meat so long as I can get to a good beginning cut, so perhaps Patel Brothers it is. Do you know where exactly the store is?

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Yes, the minimum order req is the catch, isn't it...

                    Patel Brothers
                    42-92 Main Street
                    Flushing NY 11355
                    718-661-1112

                    It's off the Main St., Flushing stop on the 7 train

                    I don't know what cuts they have, so you might want to give them a call. (They actually answer their phone.) In the past, I've bought lamb loin and kebab meat, there.

                    Jasmurph's Senegalese market lead sounds promising, too, and might be a closer trip!

                    1. re: cimui

                      Just called Patel Brothers and was curtly informed, "We don't sell meat!" Any clues on a location for the Senegalese market? I may just end up going to Curry Hill otherwise.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        If you're willing to explore outside Manhattan, just post on the Outer Boroughs board (if you haven't already). There are choices in Jackson Heights, for example.

                        1. re: JungMann

                          Oh no... How embarrassing, I'm sorry. I must have confused it with another market visited at the same time as Patel Bro's (which would've been off the same 7 train stop). I'll attempt to figure out where it was.

                          In the meantime, this thread has info on finding lamb in JH: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35969...

                          (I know the place I went to wasn't Trade Fair, but that doesn't sound like a bad option.)

                          1. re: JungMann

                            JungMann, I just e-mailed you the name and location of the lamb vendor in Jackson Heights, since it's not really appropriate for this thread. Good luck!

                    2. Costco, if you're a member, has leg for $3.99 a pound. I've served it to friends with nothing but compliments.

                      1. Just back from Fairway. Whole (bone-in) leg @ $3.49/lb, on up through shank half, butt half, boneless, and to just under $22/lb for racks. That last surprised me, as they had racks around Xmas for about $8/lb and I was really hoping they would again for Easter. But no. They also, for anyone with the equipment and inclination or into serious butchering, had a couple of whole baby lambs. No price posted on those.