New Butcher on Roncey?
Anyone able to comment or have any info on the new butcher shop that has opened on Roncesvalles? From the outside it appears to be akin to the Healthy Butcher but I haven't had an opportunity to pop in.
I've been in a few times now. It's Rowe Farms (http://www.rowefarms.ca) in Karl's old spot. They have lots o meat. Sausages, meatballs, chicken, lamb, beef, hams (peameal included), as well as deli meats (turkey, roast beef, ham) and hot dogs (chicken or beef). At the counter they have marinated stuff - sorry to be vague but I didn't really check that out - I did notice a roast that was stuffed with something though. In the freezer section they have large boxes of sausages, chicken wings, meatballs. All these are their products but they also have things like empanadas, spices, tortillas, salsa, yogurt, milk and eggs from other supplies that are all organic. We bought a chicken last week that was marinated and it was great, then the other day I bought some ground beef and sausages, both wonderful. The deli meats are good too. I heard someone who works there talking about getting in fish too. There is definitely room for them to grow - they did a total guy job on the place and it seems so much bigger. Nice staff too. Happy to have them in the neighbourhood.
I gave them a try last week. I bought a rib eye steak and a package of bone in, skin on chicken thighs.
Comparing the steak to a Cumbrae's rib eye, it was much leaner and had a fairly one note flavour. I didn't really detect that slight gaminess i associate with grass fed beef. Basically, the Rowe farms beef didn't strike me as being of significantly higher quality that most supermarket beef.
I thought the chicken thighs were of decent quality and I braised them (and some merguez sausage) to make a nice ragu. However, I'm pretty sure they didn't come from chickens running free in the open, as per the promo video on their site.
So my take on Rowe farms is that they are offering decent if unexciting product.
I found the look of the store was a little too sparse and prepackaged for my liking. Less like a butcher and more like M & M Meats for the 21st century. They certainly don't compare to Cumbrae's, The Healthy Butcher, the SLM butchers like Whitehouse and Witteveen or several other butchers in town. I don't get a sense of highly skilled butchers preparing interesting cuts, or of obsessively sourced products. I'll probably frequent the shop occasionally because they are convenient to me.