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Meat at T&T, Your Comments?

I've been really impressed with T&T at Cherry Street and never get out of the place without spending at least $50. I'm not that old, but when I see the huge variety of Asian goods that are available and compare that to how I grew up, it amazes me...

Anyhow, some question about meat available at T&T: anyone know where they source it, or have comments on the quality? I was amazed to see whole beef tenderloins (vaccum packed) at $4.98/lb! But what would I be getting myself into?

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  1. I actually just stop in there for meat and fish, for the most part. So incredibly cheap. Obviously it's not Cumbrae quality, but I've had the beef tenderloins from there and it certainly stacks up to anything one would buy from Loblaws, and at half the price. The AAA flank stank is fabulous.

    1. I've seen very well conformed, well marbled beef there. The major catch seems to be little or no aging, which would partially explain the price points.

      Cuts used for slow cooking and in Asian recipes generally have been successful. Things like short ribs and flank steaks were good. Thinly sliced ribeye for hotpot would likely be fine, but I've had beautiful, thick, well marbled ribeye steaks that were tough and tasteless.

      No experience with tenderloins but if they are AA or AAA, it would probably be worth the risk.

      7 Replies
      1. re: embee

        I had a close look at the prime rib at the Warden/Steeles T&T meat counter on Monday which were indicated as AAA grade. They had large areas of solid fat, but the meat itself was not well marbled....don't believe it could be AAA.

        1. re: T Long

          AAA need only have small marbling. If you want a guaranteed well-marbled cut , you will have to pay the price for Canada prime, and it is hard to find. Your experience is normal, and not a reflection on T&T.

          http://www.beefgradingagency.ca/grade...

          ed. to change slightly to small, and add a link

          1. re: jayt90

            Maybe...but compared to the AAA from Dominion's (Red Grill brand) and Costco's...T & T's were significantly less marbled. I've had good luck eye-balling rib roasts, and would definitely pass on the meat I saw at T & T...if I wanted AAA.

            1. re: T Long

              Thing is, there is a spectrum of marbling that qualifies for various beef grades. Not all AAAs are created equal.

              1. re: T Long

                I have not checked out T&T because I have had good luck with the sources you mention. Have a look at the inspection agency link, which I added while you were posting.

          2. re: embee

            The current meat grading system was put in place to promote feed lots and the consumption of cheap corn. Well marbled beef is not always a good thing. With Kobe beef, okay, but I'll take a lean bison steak, perfectly cooked, over a well-marbled beef steak any day. Since this is a T&T thread, I will say that I find the quality of their meat to be exceptional, considering the price point.

          3. I don't know where their meat comes from, but of all the bigger asian groceries stores we have access to, T&T is the only one my wife trusts. The only trouble we get is trying to get them to grind up the on-sale meats for us. She targets the younger guys working behind the counter and has to sweet talk them into doing it for free.

            1. I have a question/comment on some tuna sashimi I picked up from their sushi department at the Mississauga location...when I opened the container the sashimi was sitting in a pool of blood..I was disgusted! Is this normal?

              3 Replies
              1. re: burlgurl

                I usually buy my meats at Loblaws or Dominions. T&T is the only Chinese supermarket where I pick up meat. I like their striploin for $4.99/lb. And their flank steak. I worry about meat at other chinese markets where they have been sitting uncovered all day.

                1. re: caitlink

                  I am sure the other chinese markets for meat are ok, as the gov't health departments have guidelines.

                2. re: burlgurl

                  Hmmm, I haven't noticed that at the Cherry St. location. I just bought a pound of tuna sashimi (frozen) from them. I'll let you know if it looks strange.

                3. Gee, my local Price Chopper has vacuum packed tenderloins for less than $4.00/lb. Rib eyes are generally between $3.29 and 3.49. I think it's AA grade, which certainly isn't the best, but I generally get about 10 steaks for a $20 investment. You do have to do a little trimming on some of the cuts, because the silverskin is still on, but I still figure it's worth it to get a $2 8oz. steak. Luckily, my stomach seems to have shrunk as I slouch towards senility, so I can't finish anything bigger!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: KevinB

                    Thx KevinB: I followed your tip about Price Chopper meats from an earlier post and have enjoyed the steaks. I recollect seeing a "USDA" stamp...so likely meat is from a US source?

                    1. re: T Long

                      USDA Select last time I looked. Same low grade that Loblaws sells when they have "bargain" whole sections. It can be good, but often isn't. But if you are looking for cheap protein, it does the job.

                      I don't belong to Costco. My understanding is that they carry much better quality meats of this type.

                      1. re: embee

                        I'm sure you are correct...it would be too much of a bargain if it was rated any higher. But the 2 packs I've gotten so far have resulted in steaks better (more tender) than Dominion's...."AA or better" cuts. I will not expect them to be consistently better in the future though.

                        1. re: T Long

                          My friend, I'm glad you have enjoyed them as I have; I completely agree they are not the best steaks I've ever had, but I think as value for money, on everyday meals, they make a great deal. Who eats USDA Prime 4 nights a week, except business people on expense accounts?