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Need good whole Lamb. Where to go in SD?

I'm Greek and Greek Easter is right around the corner. It's traditional to roast a whole lamb on a spit and I was wondering where I could get THE BEST lamb in SD?

We're roasting it for my school's (UCSD) Greek Club Easter Celebration.

I have looked into Tip Top meats in Del Mar, and they said lamb runs around $5 / lb, the average lamb being between 50-60 lbs.

Any info will be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Upstarter

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  1. You might want to check w/ one of the Middle Eastern markets in Clairemont. Balboa International Market and Deli on Balboa Blvd. sells whole lamb.

    1. You might want to check IOWA MEAT FARMS, TALONE MEATS, or Tommy's Quality Meats.

      Iowa is store, Talone is a slaughter house and Tommy's is a wholesaler.

      You might also want to contact the Church in Encinitas and ask them what they would recommend.

      Good luck!

      1. Check with Siesal's Meats just off Morena Blvd. Siesal's has been a wonderful source of great meat for me for three decades.

        1. I would also call North Park Produce...they have a great selection of Middle Eastern foods.

          1. I think North Park Produce would be a good idea (they also have 12-15 types of feta) and also check with the woman who runs European Deli on Park, near the Greek Church right there. She may have some good suggestions. I also am Greek and we ended up special ordering stuff from Seisels once our own butcher shop closed. I personally think that Whole Foods lamb is the best in town but to special order from them might be ridiculously pricey.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jturtle

              Question Jturtle,

              How is Seisels Lamb? Also, how is the price? Is $4.98/lb a lot for lamb?

              Also, how big is the average lamb? Like i said, Tip Top meats sells 50-60lb ones, but we're hitting $250-300 bucks for that, And something cheaper would be appreciated. WITH THAT SAID, quality is key, so i don't want to serve junk.

              Any other tips/ info about lambs would be appreciated? We're all in our 20's and have never cooked a lamb on the spit. Any tips, tricks, etc would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

              Upstarter

              1. re: upstarter

                Since it is way past Easter, I assume you have another idea for a whole lamb.

                During the last day or two of the San Diego County Fair (near 4th of July), the livestock are auctioned off per pound. The local 4H clubs raise the animals at local High Schools. Some (pigs) end up going for $2 a pound and others (lamb and goat) can fetch closer to $5 a pound.

                Usually the animal is portioned off so you can freeze it and use over the year, but you may be able to get the one you bid on intact from the slaughterhouse. I had to pick my goat up (pre-portioned for two) in Riverside off the 215 two years ago.

                1. re: upstarter

                  My suggestion would be to skip places like Siesel's and Whole Foods, and instead try a middle eastern market like Balboa International Market and Deli. Whole lamb is an item eaten with more frequency by middle eastern cultures. When you go to a place that doesn't cater to this customer base, you're in the realm of expensive special orders. Most ethnic foods cost much more if you don't buy them in an ethnic market. At the very least I would do a price comparison between the different options. I am imagining that Seiesel's, Iowa Meat Farms, and Whole Foods would all be significantly more expensive for a whole lamb. YMMV.

                  1. re: upstarter

                    Have you tried asking the butcher at Northgate? I've always had good luck special ordering stuff at Mexican markets whether it has a been Kid, Lamb, Mutton, Duck etc.,