New Butcher/food store in Etobicoke
- Pastryrocks Mar 1, 2009 12:52 PM
After shopping for food stuff my wife and I were passing Medium Rare at 5241 Dundas St. West in Etobicoke (http://www.mediumrare.to/home.html). I’ve been waiting for this joint to open for some time. A few months after the fridges where installed I saw no new action at this location, in fact I thought they would not open. After two cows where placed on the roof of the building I knew that they would open at some point.
The place is mainly about meat, organic chicken, beef, pork, homemade sausages, Berkshire pork, Ontario lamb, etc… They also make their own sauces, prepared foods, all in house. In the back of the store is a window that looks into the fridge where Strip loins, T-Bone steaks, and are resting waiting to age further. The colour is a very deep dark red, almost purple, which is a very good sign. There is a great deal of interesting prepared foods, both fresh and frozen. They have organic/free range chicken on sale for, if I’m not mistaken for $2.95 pound for a whole chicken.
Unfortunately my wife and I just finished food shopping and did not purchase anything. But when our present food supply dwindles down I will check out the store. This place looks like it could be a very good food store.
Yes, they do dry age their beef, which is almost purple in colour through the glass, they look rather good. The fat is an off white, and there is some decent marbling, at least what I saw from my brief look. I can't eat beef, so I'll never know how good they are, but to my eye they look good.
The Ontario lamb is corn feed, I’m unsure what the difference between grain, corn and grass fed lamb. I do know that there is a difference with beef, so I assume that same would apply to lamb.
The chicken is very white in colour, no hint of yellow. The owner told me that the chicken is organic, which will tell in the flavour. I asked where the chicken is from and was told north of Bowmanville so I believe.
Of course there is no ice anywhere, which adds to the cost and also waters down the meat. I really wish I knew they where open, that way I would have checked them out before purchasing chicken and pork from Whitehouse meats.
Also, looking at the web site they are selling and I quote “Kansas City B.B.Q. Pork, Memphis B.B.Q. Ribs, Texas Brisket! (This is the first time authentic southern B.B.Q. is being made in Toronto for you to take home and heat!!!)”. So I’ll check this out very soon.
I've puzzled over the roof-top steers for some time and wondered when/if the doors would ever open. Now I wonder how long they'll stay open. That's a grubby strip of Dundas W for upmarket product. I'll try 'em this week but question whether they'll weather the stormy economic waters and the downmarket pressures.
Was a little early for ribs today, but despite that I took a whole rack of side ribs and finished them at home. Threw them into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, then cut 4 ribs off and then placed some butter, maple syrup and BBQ sauce over the rest of the ribs and allow them to bake at 250 for about 30 minutes more. I have food allergies so I’m not keen on eating BBQ sauce unless I know 100% of the ingredients. So I did not have any Medium Rare BBQ sauce.
These are side ribs not back ribs, and they where smoked using hickory. Now I’m not a fan of hickory I find it to overwhelming, but that’s my opinion. In the past I always preferred side ribs to back ribs, but since eating Lykn Chicken ribs I now prefer meaty back ribs, meaty meaning not cut close to the bone.
The smoke ring is quite visible, it is a bright pink-red colour. The flavour of hickory is quite prevalent, more so than the pulled pork from Sweet Smoke. The meat is so rich in hickory flavour that there is not much else to taste. Even after sitting in butter, maple syrup and BBQ sauce the flavour of hickory is quite prevalent. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing, it just that I find hickory like a very young red wine.
The cost is the only negative thing that I have to say about these ribs. I though $20.00 for a full rack is expensive. Now the smoke ring and smoke flavour are there, no question about that. It just that I have eaten ribs in restaurants bbq or grilled, served with a starch and vegetable, and I don’t have any clean up for less money.
I almost forgot, there are serving cooked frenched pork chop, I believe from the rib section of the loin cut, with a simple garnish covered with chaud froid. Unsure of the cost or the flavour, but what caught my eye was the use of chaud froid, I’m not aware of anyone in Toronto who is doing this. I thought this was a very nice touch!
Wow! They're finally open!
I can't remember how long I've driven by their location
(I'm assuming over a year) -- I figure they stopped mid-construction.
I'm going to have to drop by.
Tired a few sausages this weekend and I have to say that the Provence sausage is very good, in fact I think it is one of the best sausages I’ve eaten. Also had two sausages made with fowl, I’m not a fan of fowl in sausages; it does not work for me. But both the Tuscan Turkey (with Sundried Tomatoes) and the Burmese Chicken (with Apricots) where also good. I think I’ve found my place for sausages.
We also made Guyanese style curry with a whole chicken. Turned out very good, they cut the bird up into spoon size pieces with no issue; some places don’t understand the concept of using small pieces of chicken with the bone in, in a dish. The chicken was not a huge 5Lb bird, but was still a roasting size. The flavour was good, even with the hot curry. There where some feathers still on the bird, which is a good sign. This means that the bird was not scalded in boiling water.
I’m unsure who has a better chicken, Whitehouse or Medium Rare. I suppose that Medium Rare is about a $1.00 per pound cheaper, so that does help. I think the flavour of the Whitehouse chicken is better imho. As far as sausages goes, I find that Whitehouse does not use as much fat in their sausages as Medium Rare, which means that they are leaner and also missing some flavour. Also, Medium Rare does have quite the selection of sausages.
Get to know Frank and his crew and you will have discovered one of the best butchers around. A huge selection of sausages that are really flavourful and nice. The Guinness sausage being one of our favourites. The nice thing with this place they are always trying something new so its not the same boring selection.
If you don't see it generally all you need to do is ask.
Its also great to see a small family business thrive. We need more stores like where owners are hands on and care about what they do.
Medium Rare is great, I drive there all the way from Northwest Brampton.. Although I haven't stopped in this summer season yet.
I have had a couple of misses there, though. Don't buy those extra garlic sausages -- it's seriously garlic overkill. To the point of being inedible.. And also one set of their frozen burgers came heavily seasoned which I didn't realise at the time, which was a turn off too. But pretty much everything else has been great.
I hope they are doing well
5241 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9B, CA
hubby and i have been going to medium rare religiously since last summer. fantastic! i can't say enough good things ... service is awesome!! we haven't bought meat anywhere else since we started going. we're lucky as the shop is quite close to our house!
glad others have discovered this gem!
Been purchasing our meat from Medium Rare since they open lasted year. Purchased many different types of sausages over the last year or so and have enjoyed all. We are less keen on the chicken sausages, but I guess it has to do with the ideal of using chicken and not red meat. Imho this is the best place for sausages I’ve ever come across.
Anyway, tired the ‘Wild’ Boar sausages with Prunes and Cognac which where to die for. I have had boar before, only ground boar meat, and I do like boar. Boar meat is not fatty like pork, it is much meatier not unlike beef. However, the flavour is somewhere between beef and pork if that makes sense. These sausages where wonderful in flavour and texture, the little bite of sweetness from the prunes goes wonderfully with the meat. The touch of cognac is not very strong, but combined with the boar and prunes, all comes together quite nicely.
Unsure why people continue to called bison, deer, boar, etc.. wild? It’s illegal to sell wild meat in Ont. Thought I’m unsure how boar are raised, I am sure that they are not wild. They very well may be range free, living their life in a wooded area, but they are not wild.
Aside from having a whole chicken cut up into small pieces for curry. It’s nice to have an organic chicken cut up with the bone still attached, it makes for a richer curry. I also ask for pork chops. Now I do not like purchasing chops with the loin and the tender lion attached, imho this cut does not make for even cooking. By the time the loin is medium rare, the tender lion part is over cooked. At Medium Rare I purchase a nice thick chop, with only one bone attached, and it is not mixed with different cuts of meat. This means that the chop is cooked evenly. The chops come from a Berkshire pig, and cooking these chops with apples and calvados makes for a wonderful meal.
5241 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M9B, CA
It's been some time since I have written here at Chowhound, I no longer eat out due to chronic illness. However, I still eat and cook at home.
This place is only getting better imho. Two weeks ago we purchased a half shoulder of lamb and boy did it make for great Moroccan style lamb stew. They have another lamb and I have reserved the whole shoulder with the two front legs this time!
There whole chickens rock! They more often than not have 5-6 pound birds, which are great for roasting whole or making into chicken curry (my wife’s job is to do all the curry). You cannot roast a 2 pound bird, fry yes but not roast.
This past weekend they had Porketta (hope that’s the right spelling) for sale, quite tasty! I was also able to get the breast from a smaller turkey, which was about 12lbs or so. I rather have the smaller turkey than those big massive birds. Imho I find that the meat is much more tender from the smaller birds than those big toms. Mind you they also had big huge toms. While I was waiting for the turkey breast two other people picked up a turducken.
My wife has eaten one of their meat pies, when we went back to purchase a 2nd meat pie they where sold out of that meat pie. It was very good according to my wife, and since they seem to sell out of the meat pies often it would appear that many other people also feel the same way.
The bacon there is very good, and I have also seen but not eaten boar bacon, yea boar bacon! The regular bacon, which is nothing like you can purchase at the supermarkets (it all comes from one plant in Quebec and placed in different packages). It is smoked using wood not chemicals and it does taste really good. I’m going to cheat on my diet and make and eat some brownies with caramel and this bacon!
On top of the great meat and food products, those behind the counter are more than willing to help. They will go out of their way to help their customers. The butcher not only cuts up our chicken for curry, but will also remove the skin and fat, even from the wing!
I am glad to hear this from someone who's been shopping there since their infancy. After Frank's untimely passing, I was not sure what would happen with the shop.
I've been a customer since last December and have been hooked ever since.
I totally agree with you about their chicken, pies & bacon.
My inaugural cook on my new smoker was their chicken and while it didn't turn out like I had hoped, it was argubably the tastiest, juicest chicken I've ever had.
Their pies do sell out often. I just recently shared a whole Tourtiere pie with my grandfather who happens to be in his 99th year. His mother was French Canadian and it was a tradition in their home while growing up to have Tourtiere pie after returning home from Xmas mass. Which kind of makes him an authority on traditonal Touritere pie or so he says :) He gave his approval. Only thing we didn't like was the top crust seperated from the filling. Making the presentation unappealing.
I've been thinking recently about ordering a turducken for Christmas. Funny you would mention it.
Their bacon is a staple for me. I am embarressed to admit this but, I pick up a package ever time I go. Doesn't say much about my self discipline. I was under the impression their bacon was/is smoked in house.
I also like their charcuterie & sausages.
I don't recall seeing this thread before (maybed because of the thread title not staying "Medium Rare" but I went to this place for the first time in the summer and I thought it was great too. I had never been in before but still was sad to hear that the owner had died at a young age a few weeks prior. I am glad to hear that the sister/family is still running it well since that point. I talked with her briefly and she was really friendly. I bought a pork shoulder (butt) from there to make pulled pork and it turned out great. Quality of the meat was excellent and they were very nice in cutting out the butt for me from their whole shoulder.
I did buy the Wild Boar bacon and why it had good flavour it also had a lot more fat than "normal" bacon. I enjoyed it for what it was but I probably wouldn't buy that again. Oh, and I bought about 100g of their roast beef (which they make on site I think). It was REALLY good, definitely will buy more of that next time.
glad people are still loving medium rare. we were completely saddened/shocked by frank's passing! it is nice to see that the place is still bustling and quality has remained superb. connie (frank's sister) treats us like family. it is just another stop in our weekly errands ... and i'm so glad the place is still thriving!
Another good buy at Medium Rare, they are selling a good olive oil imho and is not that costly for pure olive oil.
We only use olive oil or coconut butter/oil when cooking and always just use olive oil for making salad dressings or to finish a dish. Since most store bought dressing are not made with olive oil, we stay away from all store bought dressings. There is a way to tell if olive oil is pure and has not been diluted with other cheaper oils such as soy, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, safflower and mixed vegetable oils, which all are very high in omega 6 fatty acids which create inflammation and are low in the healthy good for the body omega 3 fatty acids. I always known that cheaper olive oils (I don’t mean just by cost) are cut with some the above oils that are high in omega 6 fatty acids. One way to tell is to pour a small amount, like into a shot glass, cover and place it in the fridge overnight or so. Now since most fridges at home are usually warm, your fridge should be between zero and four degrees Celsius, the only way to tell is by having a refrigerator thermometer in your fridge. If the shot glass of oil turns to a solid over night or so, then indeed it is extra virgin olive oil. Not all the oil will turn into a solid, just the olive oil will, so if your olive oil is cut with one of the cheaper pro-inflammation oils, that oil will remain a liquid.
Now the question of is this olive oil any good is something that is subjective, but at least you know that it is real olive oil that will not create inflammation in your body, which wreaks havoc with the body and is the root cause of many serious illnesses - including heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer's disease and even arthritis. What is quite surprising is in the US about 80% of extra virgin olive oils are cut with cheaper pro-inflammatory oils, you know the kind that have that Heart Smart symbol on them. So you are paying good money for extra virgin olive oil, and getting cheaper oil that makes you sick. Now canola oil has issues as well, about 85% of this crap here in Canada is GMO (genetically modified organisms) and since no testing has been done here in Canada or the US and most of Europe and Russia has banned these kinds of foods, I’m staying away from this as well.
I purchased a bottle of olive oil by Sol del Limari at Medium Rare, which is grown and produced in Chili, and this olive oil turns to a complete solid overnight. Now In my humble opinion it taste very good, but then add the price $10.99 for ½-liter, well I feel that this is such a great deal.
Here are some links about olive oil and inflammation:
Medium rare is now smoking pork bellies, and then slicing them. Now this is nothing new, bacon smoked with real wood has been done a million times. But what I like is that the smoke flavour is smokey and there is no acidic flavour to it at all. I believe that most bacon that is smoked is done with what I believe is called a ‘hot smoke’, whereas this bacon is done with a ‘cool smoke’. Anyway I’m sure if someone here is familiar with these terms they will correct me if I’m wrong.
There is a slight smoke ring, and when I fried it in my cast iron pan, walked away and ate the bacon, my little treat. I walked back into the kitchen about 20 minutes or so later, and the kitchen still smelled like smoke!
I suggested finding a #3 or at least #2 maple syrup and add or inject that to the bellies, I think it would be sinful flavour wise! Maple sugar would be nice but the cost would be quite high.