Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Nov 30, 2008 07:24 PM

Butchers in the E. Montco

Hi i recently moved to the area of Ft Washington, Pa 19034. i am looking for some butchers who have good quality of meats. i'd also like to know if they are willing to ground my meats as well. such as when i make maetloaf i like to use a mixture of meats such as veal and beef. also i'm wondering if they cut my meats to my specifications, such as 4oz 6" thick porterhouse steaks etc., etc.

If there is any wehter it be in Ft Washington or within a 15 to 20 mins drving distance please let me know.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is a German butcher on Folly Road between County Line and Street Road. Illg's Meats. They always accommodate my requests when I go there. you can check them out at

    39 Replies
    1. re: crazyspice

      There's Venezia's in Plymouth Meeting on Germantown Pike. I know my sister and brother-in-law buy all their meat there, and they're very happy with them.

      1. re: crazyspice

        I second Illg's. Great meats, with an emphasis on German specialties. I had them do a crown roast of prok for me last Christmas & it was perfect. You can call ahead & place an order for pick-up, or you can just go to the store. My husband loves their smoked pork chops -- they bring out a whole smoked rack & ask you how thick you want them cut. They would be about 20 minutes from you.

        You are closer to Flourtown Farmer's Market, but their hours are limited. I can't personally vouch for their butcher since I have not gone their for meat.

        If you want a real adventure, hop on the R5 SEPTA Regional Rail line at Ft. Washington & take a trip into Center City to the Reading Terminal Market (Market East stop).

        You might also try some of the local supermarkets, such as the Dresher Shop n' Bag (yep, I know it';s a funny name), or Genuardi's. I believe they will also provide custom grinding/cutting, especially if you take the time to nurture a relationship with the butcher.

        Welcome to the area! Both crazyspice & AmblerGirl know the area pretty well, so you should listen to their advice!

        1. re: PattiCakes

          Illg's rocks! Haven't been there in awhile but need to stock up on kielbasa and hot dogs with natural casing and veal loaf and black forest ham and...drool. It is fun to check out all the kewl stuff they carry. I remember going there in the summer. There used to be the truck patch where you could get corn grown right there like a quarter mile away so it was great to pick up a whole summer dinner in one little area. And I wonder if Illg's still has the guardian geese flock. Alas I think the cornfields at the truck patch are now a housing development. My mom used to serve crown roasts Patti. Such a dramatic presentation, it really made it feel like a holiday. And so good. Crown roast of lamb for Christmas Eve and pork for New Year's Day.

          1. re: givemecarbs

            Yep, they give you the crown roast, with all of the little "booties" for the ends of the bones, directions to cook it, and a big pile of ground pork in the center of the crown. I just freeze the ground pork for later & use a fruit stuffing for the center.

            They used to have this one particular goose from that flock that would follow you to your car. He was so big that he could look right in your side window at you. A little disconcerting if you weren't used to it.

        2. re: crazyspice

          I want to thanks everyone for the rec on Illgs Meats. I live in Skippack and never knew this place existed. My wife is a German National and has lived in the States for 20 yrs. We went there Satrday and she was like a kid in a candy shop. I also found there prices very reasonible. We left with a bag full of meats and German goodies for $65.00. Had the Leberkase (Dutch Loaf as it is known in the US) And it was just as I had in Germany.

          Again, Thank You. You made my Wife very happy (Me Too)!

          1. re: Chefmonty

            There is another authentic German butcher, Reikers, on Oxford Ave., a few doors south of Rhawn St. in Fox Chase. I His calves liverwurst in natural casing is the best I've ever had. He also has tremendous snapper soup and all kinds of wursts made fresh on the premises.

            The shop has been there forever and is still run by the original German owner and his son and daughter.

            His prices are also very reasonable

            1. re: artgary

              Reikers seems to have more in the way of home-made German items (for instance, ham loaf -- kinda like meat loaf). Both are wonderful, especially if you are German & looking for a taste of home.

              By the way, chefmonty, if there is something special that you want, you can call Illg's ahead of time to order.

              Fröhliches Weihnachten to you and your wife.

              1. re: PattiCakes

                Just email my wife. Looks like Reikers is our next stop. Probably this coming weekend

                Thanks again!

            2. re: Chefmonty

              Wow Chefmonty! Another chowhound sucess story! Something similar happened to my friend George the beer hound. I read about Capone's beer store and checked it out. I told George and he didn't realize it was there even though he lives like five minutes away. Now he goes there three times a week for their awesome beer selection. Hmm. Might have to hit Illgs and Capones on the same day. Dreamy sigh.

              1. re: givemecarbs

                Thats funny, I am actually a regular at Capones also. Next to food, my next biggest passion is craft beer and Matt does an awesome job of getting us some of the finest in the country and the world.

                Next stop Sly Fox IPA Project Day this Friday!!!

                1. re: Chefmonty

                  What's a Capones? And where? The craft beer comment hit a nerve!!

                  1. re: bucksguy14

                    Capones is a restaurant/beer bar in East Norriton, PA. on Germantown Pike, good pub grub, approx. 20 taps of primo craft beers and an equally primo take-out bottle shop

                    1. re: Chefmonty

                      What's the smoking policy? We don't go anywhere that allows smoking!

                        1. re: Chefmonty

                          Thanks, we'll be giving them a try!

                          1. re: bucksguy14

                            You get around bucksguy! I live near Lansdale and a lot of the people I talk to in these parts don't even seem to know that Doylestown exists. I've never been afraid to cross a (county) line either! Be sure to shoot us back a review!

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              I lived in the Chalfont area for a long time and recently moved to Upper Gwynedd. I'm pretty familiar with Bucks establishments but just getting to know the Montco side of life! Since we have grandkids in the Bucks area (and they always want to go somewhere to eat), we get back there quite a bit. Discovering what's now "local" to us is kind of fun!!

                              1. re: bucksguy14

                                Allright bucksguy! Thats the spirit o' chow! Been to the Quakertown Farmer's Market lately?

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  About the only time we even get near Q-town is when I get an uncontrollable hunger for a burger at Bubba's in Coopersburg. I'll bet I have been in the QMart in about 10 years!

                                  1. re: bucksguy14

                                    I'll probably go soon. Fleck's cinny buns are calling me. It was my grandfather's favorite treat and they are pretty near irresistible. Have you been to Henning's?

                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                      Not yet, but it's on my "to-do" list. How does it compare with the store I still drive 30 minutes to - Wegman's?

                                      1. re: bucksguy14

                                        Ha ha ha ha ha bucksguy! How does any store compare to Wegman's? And they are open 24 hours!!! Best late night munchie run ever! Well I guess I will try to answer your "loaded" question. As far as I know Wegman's discontinued their kewl coupon book but Hennings still has their FSSMonday sales as long as you spend 25.00 on non sale items (milk doesn't count either) and there are some really good deals. I like their pork, they get a lot of local stuff, but I still haven't sprung for one of their pricey cheesecakes. They are open til 11 pm which is nice for me when time just slips away. Most of the people there are nice and helpful but I did have one difference of opinion with one of the managers, Tony. He got so mad at me that he told the cashier not to give me the free Hennings magazine that you can get if you spend a certain amount. But the dust has cleared and I now get the glossy "food porn" mag they have. Some of the sale items are so desirable that they end up giving out rainchecks when they run out, but they are good for a whole month. I could go on and on, let me know if there is any specific thing you want to know as I usually hit Hennings once a week.

                                          1. re: PattiCakes

                                            Oh it is this big supermarket all the way out in Harleysville. They have been there forever but they keep getting bigger. They have lots of local meat and eggs and stuff, and a huge organic section and they are very helpful. There is only one Hennings, they are the highlander of supermarkets. /smacks inner geek :) They got my attention with their sales. I'll probably snag their boneless top round roast at 2.00 a pound. They only let you buy one though. And they have some nice juices on sale too this week. They play the full out supermarket music there too. :)

                                            1. re: givemecarbs

                                              I love Hennings, but I don't think their meat department is all that great.

                                              1. re: crazyspice

                                                Crazy, once in awhile I get a decent sirloin strip steak from there or a nice pork rib roast. What are your favorite things from Hennings? One of these days I am going to splurge on a cheesecake from their bakery. They already think John and I are a coupla loons there, just because once he made me ring this bell from a cat collar so he could find me in the aisles. :) It worked!

                                      2. re: givemecarbs

                                        Carbs - went to Henning's this morning. Nice place. Since I do all the shopping for the household, the prices don't quite hold up to Wegman's. However, they do have some stuff that you don't find in other places. I picked up a few things for making some soups on the coming cold & nasty days. I'm sure I'll go back. One other thing that bugs me about the place (just like Giant) is that they don't take Amex - my card of choice! One thing I forgot to ask, do they have a "shopper's card" for specials?

                                        1. re: bucksguy14

                                          Naw. You just have to show up Fri-Mon. to get the four day sales, and buy so much to get the magazine. I have a card but I'm pretty sure it is just to cash checks. Cold and nasty days? Here in Pa.? LOL did you call that one or what? So, have you been to Gross Goumet in Cross Keys lately? And, I can't resist this one, ever go to the long gone Ed's Diner? :)

                                          1. re: givemecarbs

                                            Haven't been to Gross Gourmet in a while and really, thinking about, I don't miss it that much. Ed's Diner! Our kids loved that place. I'll be we were there at least weekly. I do miss Ed's! Two other places that we liked that are long gone from Doylestown are A Nice Place To Eat, on State Street, and an ice cream place, the name of which excapes me, on Main Street.

                                            1. re: bucksguy14

                                              He he! I know the ice cream place you mean! Used to be right near the County Linen Supply. The name is on the tip of my keyboard. Remember Gino's? The first fast food restaurant in the area? And much later, Burger King? And then Burger Chef? Oh how I miss the little diner further down on Main. Sort of near where Foster's used to be. And the lunch counter at Woolworth's. Heavy sigh. Well the key for me with Gross is that you have to go during picnic weather and proceed with your fried chicken directly to the Tile Works picnic tables, with maybe a stop for a chocolate milkshake from Charlotte's before she moved to Florida. A slow lazy walk in the mercer woods is required after the picnic. You know, to burn off the chicken and potato salad. :) I wonder if you can still get fresh raw chicken also from Gross still. I am always too dazzled by the bbq and fried chicken to ask.

                                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                                I got some fried chicken there once and it was greasy as could be! I threw it out.

                                                1. re: crazyspice

                                                  Yeah they have changed hands like twice since back in the day when it was a paradise. Next time maybe I will get the rotisserie chicken. There is/was a chicken factory across the street. Now some uptight guy who runs a catering business is usually there. Don't know if the Dancing Queen still works there.

                                              2. re: bucksguy14

                                                Bucksguy! Philip Arthur right??? I finally remembered the name of that ice cream place!!! Wheee!

                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                  Ya know what - I think you may be right. I have a friend who's pretty good at verifying this type of thing - she's not too good at the initial remembering of a name or place, but really good at saying "yeah, that's it". I'm gonna check this out with her!

                                                  1. re: bucksguy14

                                                    Heh. When I remembered the name it felt like pulling a splinter out of my mind! My mom Loved that place!

                        2. re: bucksguy14

                          Thinking about stopping there tonight to pick up some mad elf. Just wish the beer store took credit cards. Chefmonty what do you usually get to eat there? I've heard the wings are very good.

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            Wings are good and so are the mussels. but my favorite is probably the roast pork sandwich with roasted hot peppers. But I'm usually there for the beer

                            1. re: Chefmonty

                              Gotta have something to break up the beer a bit, I'm a light weight. Thanks, maybe I'll try that pork sandwich.

                  2. There is a good butcher in the Flourtown Farmers market, which is practically in your back yard.

                    1. I would suggest Joe's Meat Market on Jenkintown Road in Ardsley. It looks like an old fashioned corner grocery from outside, and well, I guess it is. However, it is run by two german brothers and they do all kinds of butchering, including venison, rabbit, etc.

                      My husband calls them frequently to order special cuts and they are always great about it. They have also sliced and/or ground our own product for a minimal charge.

                      Plus, they have great prices on their deli meats and the best chip steak (for cheese steaks)!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: xtian

                        I had forgotten about Joe's. They used to have a great deal on Thursdays on chipped steak (the kind you use to make Philly steak sandwiches). You are right, xtian, it looks a little like an old time grocery store from the outside.

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Thursdays is still the magic chipped steak day. ;-) It is our standard "first night of camping" meal all summer long-- and a treat for our friends from New England.

                      2. Illg's Meats is only good for the German foods. The meats are grain fed from large mass produced meat factories. (they told me themselves.) I live behind the Floutown farmer's market and am there every weekend...the breakfast sausage is great, otherwise forget it. He is overpriced and his meat is tough. Venezia's in Plymouth Meeting (Germantown pike above the mall on the left, next to blue fin) is very good as well as the Chestnut Hill farmer's market. If you want amazing grass fed beef, on Saturdays at the bottom of Chestnut hill on the cobble stone road next to the large flower market, several Lancaster farms set-up stands. The beef is wonderful, but is not cut to order because it is actually frozen. That should not deter you though, it is truly amazing and so different than grain fed, anti-biotic filled meats. The meat is so tender it melts in your mouth!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: hillster

                          Hillster, you are misleading our fellow Hounds by saying that Illg's is only good for the German foods. They carry the German meat specialties that some other places may not carry (such as a variety of wursts, and smoked pork chops) but that is in addition to their full-service meat offerings. In addition, it is also a haven for many customers of German descent who are looking for German grocery items and treats not readily available in other stores.

                          I have always found their meats to be of excellent quality and their service exceptional as well. I guess what I am trying to say is that I would catagorize them not so much as "German Butchers", but rather butchers who happen to be German.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            The items you mentioned are German related. Their beef is purchased from the mass market and not very good. The OP was not asking for brats or smoked pork chops

                            1. re: hillster

                              Please read the full post before you comment. I said that Illg's carries the German meat specialties, such as wursts & smoked pork chops, IN ADDITION to their full service meat offerings.

                              The OP was looking for a butcher shop where they could get meat custom ground, and previous replies speak to that.

                              The fact that Illg's beef is purchased from the mass market does not really bother me -- I have always found it to be of excellent quality. I tend to go to Illg's when I want something special or something a little out of the ordinary; I do this because of the quality of the meat, but also because of the personal service that Illg's provides. In fact, I do most of my meat purchasing from Genuardi's in Roslyn just because it's easier to do that when I am doing my other grocery shopping; I really need to go out of my way to go to Illg's. I will, however, be following the recommendations of many other posters on this thread, and making a trip to Joe's (Ardsley), since it's only a stone's throw away from me. If the quality of their meat and the level of service is really good, the fact that the meat is/isn't mass market purchased will not weigh in my decision to patronize them.

                              I am sure there are others who, like yourself, do not care for beef purchased from the mass market, either for reasons of taste or for philospophical reasons. You provided a valuable service in letting those people know of an alternative local choice, and your fellow Chowhounds thank you for that.

                            2. re: hillster

                              I must agree with PattiCakes' comments about Illg's.

                            3. By all means check Joe's Meat Market. Heinz and son Ralph will cut it like you like it. I get all my meat there and have been pleased. Nice people and I like to support the non-franchised.FWIW

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: thirtysixred

                                Also want to endorse Joes on Jenkintown Rd. Also suggest you try their cooked meats from the deli. My kids even seem to like the cheese more - they eat a lb ina few days from there - rather than it is curling up after a week from the supermarket.

                                1. re: FriskLamb

                                  You know what? Joe's is so very close to my house, I feel silly for not having gone there. I'll have to give them a try. Thanks for knocking some sense into me!

                                  Actually, I have a big comforter that needs to be washed & it won't fit in my home machine. I'll stick in the super-sized one at the laundromat next door to Joe's & wander over to the market while it washes. How's that for time management!

                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                    I too will throw in a plug for Joe's. I used to live just down the road, and was never disappointed by anything purchased there. They do their own roast beef and pork which are also both delicious.