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Jul 6, 2008 06:00 PM

New Butcher Shop in La Jolla

An interesting butcher shop will open soon in La Jolla - Homegrown Meats.

At least the webpage looks promising which mentions grassfed beef, organic products, local products etc.

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  1. I have been watching this progress for a couple of months - it is progressing, but fairly slowly. The owner is Matt Rimel who owns the sushi restaurant/lounge Zenbu in the same complex and Rimel's rotisserie on North Torrey Pines (he also has a restaurant in Scripps Ranch - but out of my area so don't know the name). He worked for El Pescador for awhile before starting his own outfit and given his detail to obtaining the freshest seafood for sushi (I believe he has at least one boat and buys locally, caught daily) I'm hoping this will get the same attention and love. I am at the UPS store in that complex almost weekly so I will keep an eye out to post.

    1. I was just walking by and i saw the sign. Inside it is clean and the meat looks amazing. My wife and i were lucky to be there when the owner was in the store and he told us all about his cattle and treated us to some of thier homemade jerky. I have been reading the omnivore's dilemema so i was on the look out for some grass feed beef. The staff is really knowledgable and excited about thier meat. We bought a ribeye and we are having it for dinner tonight. So far the place is great. I am looking forward to dinner tonight.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Bellairs

        I am interested to hear your report. I stopped in on Wednesday and the staff did not know what they were talking about (no owner on site). They seem to be a little unclear as to whether the beef comes from their own cattle on Palomar mountain or from "somewhat local and nearby family farms". One of the four owners owns Zenbu which has a pretty good pedigree for their fish sources, and he was quoted in Thursday's La Jolla paper that all of the behind the counter help at La Jolla meats would "be actual chefs". My first conversation and look-see left me a little cautious. Sticking with Brant beef across the street at Jonathans for the time-being.

        1. re: foodiechick

          I was there for the grand opening on August 2nd. The most interesting beef they have is "the grass-fed local beef" raised on Palomar Mountain. I bought a 2.5 inch thick New York strip cut to order. To prepare it I hit it with sea salt, and fresh ground pepper, seared it in my hella hot cast iron pan, then finished it low and slow in the oven at 275 to an internal temp of 130. I liked the meat a lot, it had a different flavor than Brant. It was not cheap though, at $22 a pound, my steak was $31. Keep in mind that other types of beef are sold at Homegrown as well. It is not all grass-fed from Palomar Mountain.

          1. re: Captain Jack

            The young man behind the counter told me that all of their beef was grass-fed on Palomar Mountain and slaughtered there as well. I'm being a little harsh given that they have only been open a week, but I found there labeling unclear if not confusing and the person I spoke with unclear. I really want them to succeed - love the concept - but I'm not sure if I want to stand and inquire the origins of each cut in order to pick up a steak for dinner. BTW, have you heard the term "grass-finished"? Friends of ours in Dallas special order their beef from a local company whose claim to fame is "grass-finished" grain used at the end to put more weight on the animal. Wonder how Homegrown methods compare. Guess its time for another visit in a couple of days.

            1. re: foodiechick

              Grass finished? That seems odd; isn't that the exact opposite of what Brandt does?

              1. re: DougOLis

                I thought that it was Brandt is doing. (And what I don't like about them) They are doing a corn based diet for the most parts of the life of the cows and finish with some grass feeding. From their webpage: "...Instead we feed our animals a vegetarian corn based diet for over 300 days without the use of antibiotics by feed, water, or injection". I find it ironic when they claim that they feed their animals "...the way Mother Nature intended". when feeding with corn is exactly the way is not doing it. For me Brandt beef is doing things better than many other beef farmer but still quite far away than things shouldbe done and I think they got way too much hype.

                1. re: honkman

                  If I recall correctly from speaking with the Brandt family about this, some of Brandt's animals are fed on grass when they are very young, but for the remainder of their life they are fed a diet composed of corn (the principal ingredient), lmperial Valley grasses, and other vegetarian ingredients. Brandt does not label their meat as "grass fed" or "pastured", they are very transparent and honest about their operations.

                  I don't know the details of Mendenhall (sp?) Ranch's (the ranch mentioned which is in Palomar Mountain) feeding. Of beef that I've seen labeled "grass fed", in my mind there are 4 main categories:

                  1) 100% pastured, eating only grasses that are in the ground
                  2) 100% grassfed, which eat only grass but in addition to pasture the diet might include hay or the like which has been grown elsewhere and/or been stored
                  3) grassfed with grain supplements, where the animal gets some grain added into its diet in the last part of its life (see Charter Oak Style Meats
                  )4) grassfed and then moved to a feedlot for finishing on grain for an unspecified time (I gather that Painted Hills Ranch does this from what I see on their website). With this method it is hard for me to see how the benefits of grass-fed beef are being realized, although I am not an expert.

                  1. re: jayporter

                    I didn't meant to imply that Brandt is not honest about their operations (they describe it on their webpage) but I have some problems that they claim that their beef is "true natural" but use at the same time corn as the principal ingredient to feed the animals which is clearly not natural to beef diet. In addition, why do they have to feed the animals vitamin E for the last 100 days which is again not natural. One of the main effects of vitamin E in beef meat is that it will delay the oxidation process and off-color effects which means the beef will look good (not taste) for a longer period of when it is on the shelf.

                    1. re: honkman

                      Yes, I think you and I are on the same page in terms of how we would like our beef fed.

                2. re: DougOLis

                  yes and first time I had heard of it - I think it is just a label to mean 100% grass-fed...start to finish, if you will. BTW just found this great write up and explanation of what the people behind Homegrown Meats are doing. Hope the ops don't take it down because it is very informative.


                  1. re: foodiechick

                    Hi, that would be my blog. Thanks for the mention. In fact, I met Captain Jack there on opening day. I think what they're doing is promising. The beef is pricey, though. I bought a rib eye for $22/pound and gently grilled it on medium heat, which you have to do (the "gentle" part) because if you treat grass-fed beef like corn-fed and overdo the heat, you wind up with leathery steaks. I was told by one of the owners that one reason for the high price is that they only send one or two of the cattle to slaughter up in LA at a time (as opposed to the usual 20 minimum) and pay extra to have the place completely cleaned before their animals are prepared. And, of course, getting a grass-fed animal to the right weight takes far longer than corn-fed. I do like Brandt, but I also dig that we have local grass-fed beef now available in San Diego.

                    1. re: sandiegofoodstuff

                      I don't think that's necessarily true. My grass-fed beef purveyor taught me to cook thin steaks (flat iron, hangar, flank) over high heat for a short amount of time and to cook thick steaks over high heat briefly then move to medium heat. The most important thing is to cook them for a shorter amount of time than corn-fed. Maybe if you were cooking it to well-done you would want to do low and slow but not for medium-rare.

                  2. re: DougOLis

                    Sorry, it doesn't sound very nice, is this the bovine's last meal before well you know.

                  3. re: foodiechick

                    Grass fed means the cow ate nothing but grass its whole life while grass finished means it mostly ate grain but they switched the feed to grass shortly before it was slaughtered. Basically grass finished is a marketing gimmick to confuse costumers and get higher prices for meat which is mostly not grass fed.