HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

Half Smokes and meat retail

daves_32 May 28, 2008 05:41 AM

Good morning,
can someone recommend a good place to get some local meats and half-smokes (NO CRAB CAKES) to take back to michigan to grill for my buddy's rehearsal dinner? I like the ideas in these forums for ready made items (chocolate, wine, and the like) but I am looking for some grilling foodstuffs. I called Ben's Chili Bowl but they said i had to buy them by the box. any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

  1. s
    Steve Jan 20, 2010 05:00 PM

    if they are a 9 (assuming that's good), why aren't they served anywhere?

    1. g
      georgetownronin Nov 5, 2009 12:54 PM

      Ben's has them in it's online store. Minimum order is $60 for 16 half smokes, or 32 for $100. I should say that I've never ordered them online.

      1. monkeyrotica Nov 5, 2009 11:11 AM

        I HIGHLY recommend BK Miller's Meats in Clinton, MD just south of Andrews AFB. They've been around forever and have Mangers Halfsmokes (mild or spicy) in 5lb boxes for $16. They can also get you whole pigs.


        1. t
          towi Nov 5, 2009 07:10 AM

          You can get fully cooked Half Smokes at Shoppers Food Warehouse in the Baltimore/Washington area. They are called Capitol Half Smokes and they are great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: towi
            Steve Nov 5, 2009 01:07 PM

            Capitol Half Smokes are edible, I get them from time to time. But this is a clear overuse of the word great. Cannot compare to what's available at Canales.

          2. monkeyrotica May 28, 2008 10:36 AM

            Canales in Eastern Market is the only place to buy uncooked halfsmokes in DC.

            FYI - Mangers halfsmokes need to be cooked over very low heat, otherwise the skin burns and the center stays raw. Those halfsmokes at Bens have been sitting on the grill for close a long time, allowing the fat to melt and the skin to crisp. That's how you get the distinctive halfsmoke "snap" of the skin and the burn of the hot fat. Don't rush it. If you're in a hurry, split the halfsmoke down the middle and grill on both sides like you would a kielbasa. That's why they're called "halfsmokes" anyway.

            4 Replies
            1. re: monkeyrotica
              sweth May 28, 2008 11:21 AM

              And a 4th vote for Canales.

              Potentially shameful discovery: Mangers' halfsmokes are remarkably microwave-friendly. It's not the same flavor as grilling them, of course, but you get them evenly cooked w/o burning them, and you get them much faster. (Purists can still finish them on a grill or pan, of course.)

              1. re: sweth
                hill food May 29, 2008 10:16 AM

                oh, sweth...really.

                love love love the selection and variety at the Canales' stands.

                1. re: hill food
                  monkeyrotica May 30, 2008 07:48 AM

                  I just wish Calanes would offer some of those delicious sausages at Tortilla Cafe next door. If Ben's can serve them by the ton, I'm sure he could as well. And NOBODY serves hot boudin in this town.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica
                    hill food May 31, 2008 01:39 AM

                    hear hear!

                    it was nice during the facility interim some things could still be found.

                    and a decent pupusa.

            2. c
              cleveland park May 28, 2008 08:01 AM

              Eastern market in capitol hill

              2 Replies
              1. re: cleveland park
                daves_32 May 28, 2008 08:17 AM

                Of Course, Eastern Market. That was going to be my thought but I had forgotten about the butcher shops in the South Hall.
                Does anyone have any recommendations on the best butcher there? Canales, Union...
                I am looking for half smokes, sweet (or mild) sausages especially with herbs and/or cheese.

                1. re: daves_32
                  Tujague May 28, 2008 10:05 AM

                  There are two Canales at Eastern Market (they're brothers). Canales Meat Market (closer to the center of the Market) has Manger half-smokes (mild or hot), which I believe are the same that they serve at Ben's; at any rate, they were rated the best in the area by City Paper last year. I had them over the weekend, and they were good. I haven't tried their other sausages.

                  For other kinds of sausage, I go to Canales Deli (next to Paik Produce); I think the prices are a little better and they have an interesting selection, including an excellent Boudin Blanc and a spicy andouille.

              2. debit May 28, 2008 06:41 AM

                Laurel Meat Market on Main St. in Laurel. They sell half-smokes and other grilling yummies.

                Show Hidden Posts