HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Standing rib roast: Savenors or WFM

I'm planning on grabbing a standing rib roast, with the two relatively convenient options being either the Charles St Savenors or the Cambridge St Whole Foods. Without utilizing their capabilities to get me USDA prime or something like that, would I expect to find better quality from the Savenors option than WFM (I haven't actually price compared, but am assuming that Savenors is going to be more $$ than WFM)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Savenor's is outstanding - and you will pay for it. But they will provide some of the best meat in town. Whole foods has some nice stuff but Savenor's is a special treat.

    The best values I have seen on rib roasts (Choice - not Prime) was of all places - Costco - go figure.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Northender

      I've read that about Costco actually (and not just w/ rib roasts) but it's not really practical for me (both from a transportation and a time sense - which is really why I'm limiting this exercises to these two options). I have been meaning to sign up w/ Zipcar, and if so - that reminds me that I've read good things about Costco's meats :)

      I did a small amount of research and am of the (possibly incorrect) belief that Savenors will be an extra $2/lb. Given how much it costs anyways, that doesn't seem to be all that much more I suppose.

      1. re: Northender

        <The best values I have seen on rib roasts (Choice - not Prime) was of all places - Costco - go figure.>

        And you are comparing Costco's quality to Savenor/s???????

        1. re: ChefJune

          No way as I said:

          "Savenor's is outstanding - and you will pay for it. But they will provide some of the best meat in town. "

          No comparison

        2. re: Northender

          I agree Costco has some great beef, but I've never bought a rib roast from them...with that said, do you know if they will french the bones on the rib roast for you at Costco?

        3. I would go with Savenors. I have noticed that Whole Foods has been charging extremely high prices for meats lately- Dh came home recently with 2 veal chops which cost more than $40. While WF has good meat, if you are going to pay almost the same I would go with the butcher.

          1. Between your two choices, I am sure you would be pleased with both. I would probably go with Savenor's if the difference is only $2/lb.

            How soon do you need the roast? I have been extremely pleased with the standing rib roasts I have ordered from River Rock Farm in the past. The flavor is outstanding as is the butchering (no issue with special requests such as having the bones lifted). They deliver right to your home for free over a certain minimum (which your roast will surely hit unless it is very small).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gabatta

              Was looking to get this either tomorrow or (preferably) weds, for Thursday. I can't see from their site the minimum amount of time required though.

            2. Call first. Make sure you can choose the rib numbers (not just the number of ribs but which ones) if you are paying dearly.

              Personally, for such a delicious cut as rib roast, I don't think it's necessary to pay for Prime - for rib roasts that are not dry-aged or of some special local provenance, it's usually a waste of $$ for bragging rights.

              If J Pace & Son has re-opened its Cross Street location (I can't recall) and if it offers a butcher counter there, I would probably check them out too. The butchers at their Saugus location are great, and their meat is very good, not overcharged if not a bargain.

              Whole Foods is a national chain, and it charges a premium with mixed justification, while Savenor's is local and also charges a premium based on reputation (often but not always deserved).

              Personally, I've grown to appreciate the butchers at Market Basket in Reading. Local chain, budget, but they can give you a good deal if you don't need the pedigree factor.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                re: the rib numbers - I'm looking to get either 5 or 6 ribs (haven't decided yet), so figured it probably wouldn't matter that much since that covers almost the entire thing anyways.

                re: J Pace, I hadn't thought of that. I know they have a space over in the Blossom Court area, but dunno if they have a butcher.

                1. re: jgg13

                  the original J Pace on Cross St is open but I don't think they have a butcher shop..good sausages.

                  I agree with Karl, if $ is an issue, no need to pay up for prime. I'd probably call Sulmona's in the NE and ask them if they can get it. We're getting close to the wire.

                  If $ is no object, just go to Savenor's

              2. I was at costco recently and was tempted by a rib roast, but I didnt have any friends around to eat with me. I was dying to make a recipe I saw in bon appetit recently- porcini stuffed standing rib roast. They looked great though. I would skip savenors and WFM and go to john dewars, if price isnt an issue, I think they are the best, and if you dont have a car it is D line accessible in newton center.

                1. I would check out Fresh Pond Market in Huron Village. (A couple of bus stops past Formaggio). Yes, I know it looks like a quickie mart from the street, but they have a full service butcher. The counter is tiny and they have a lot of specialty cuts back in the back, so be sure to talk to the butcher if you don't see what you're looking for. Can't speak to the specific quality of their meat vs Savenor's/ WF, but it's in that league. Price wise it might be slightly less, but don't count on it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cpingenot

                    Thanks for that tip. Will definitely check it out. Had no idea.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Fresh pond market is a great place- I used to live a couple of doors down, and it was a cook's dream corner store. It's like a cross between a mom and pop IGA and Formaggio. I believe it is owned by a pair of brothers, and it's a friendly place, with a well curated mix of exotic imports and local artisan products.
                      Good bread (iggy's flying pig, clear flour), good wine selection, lots of condiments, spices and specialty dry goods- and you can buy toilet paper and Clorox! The vegetable section is the weak link, but it's fine for basics.
                      The butcher has a fancy vacuum sealer and I believe that they butcher in house and then put the lower demand cuts in the freezer, so if you want a rabbit, or short ribs there's a fair chance that they can pull it out.

                  2. Savenor's is worth the (steep!) splurge. I recall spending about $17 a pound for standing Prime rib roast to feed 15 people at the holidays back in 2005. The results were impressive, arguably the best roasted meat that ever came out of my oven. If you are looking to wow, Savenor's will do the trick.

                    1. I believe Savenor's standard is prime, and you'd have to ask them to order choice.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: enhF94

                        Savenors is about $20 a pound. WFM is about 15. I just got one at WFM.

                      2. stop the presses! John Dewars in Newton has standing rib roast for $13.99 a lb. I think their staff is very knowledgable as well and they have always given me great tips on how to cook different cuts.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cassoulady

                          I have bought a rib roast from Dewar every year for at least 20 years. It is always good. The only thing you need to watch for is they often give you a piece much bigger than you want (I order on the phone and when I get there it is all wrapped and waiting for me with my name on it). Excellent meat.

                        2. So I picked it up @ Savenors tonight. First, thanks to those providing info on other spots - that'll come in handy in the future when I have more flexibility!

                          It turned out to be $15/lb, which is less than I thought it'd be, and was labeled as being USDA prime (which even more makes it less than I thought it'd be). Now, the important part will be the taste test :)

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jgg13

                            Sounds like a deal - hope you enjoy it. Should be great.

                            1. re: Northender

                              Money well spent. I wish they were serving a Savenor's prime rib where I am going for Christmas!

                              1. re: Gabatta

                                I'd say that I could share, but I'm already thinking I probably should have gotten one more rib than I actually did ;)

                            2. re: jgg13

                              Just to report back, it turned out phenomenal. That was worth the extra cost, for sure.

                            3. You might try John Dewars. I have never gotten anything there that was not fabulous! Their tenderloins are incredible! The meat just melts in your mouth.

                              1. I've bought excellent choice rib roast at Mckinnon's Market in Davis Square at a very reasonable price- I believe better than Costco.