Hilltop Steakhouse Butcher Shop
I started this in a different thread (about flap meat) but think it's worthy of its own topic. (I did search, and found none dedicated specifically to it, only offhand remarks.)
Hilltop's butcher shop strikes me as an underrated, underappreciated place. It's not a full-service butcher in the traditional sense. But the staff is fairly helpful, if not always overly friendly. (They lose points on knowledge: two people I asked both did not even know of the existence of flat iron steak, though one of them seemed annoyed enough that he didn't know about it that he might perhaps go in the back and look it up. The other guy clearly didn't give a ****) They will help you out with customizing large cuts if you ask, even if they sometimes grumble about it.
The prices range from slightly above average to tremendous. Saturday, for instance, they had Flank Steak for $3.99/lb, flap meat steaks for $4.99 and Filet Mignon steaks for $6.99. 85% lean ground sirloin was available in family pack bags (3+ lbs) for $2.69. I've had bad meals in the restaurant (twice only, because I'll never do it again!) but I have yet to buy a bad piece of meat in the shop.
Additionally, they carry DiLuigi's sausage at a better price than the grocery stores. And Sat. they had al Fresco sausages for $1.99 for a 12 oz pkg, half the grocery store price. And they carry peking dumplings made by the Chinese Spaghetti Factory, which I otherwise have a hard time finding, except at the 88 type stores, none of which are convenient to my house. And those dumplings are a family favorite.
In short, very good to great prices, god to very good quality food, and moderately helpful staff.
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Have not been there in years- but I used to like to get their boneless turkey breast. Hole fresh breast- great cut into tips and marinated for the grill. Also used to like their coffee- will have to make a trip by soon,. Thanks for the reminder.
I've been cooking a few flat iron steaks. They're top blade with the connective tissue trimmed away..a little chew but great flavor. Cut across the grain.
I don't know if it's a new cut or just a new name. I know I went into a shop and paid $5.99/lb for "upper top blade???" and a few weeks later it was called "flat iron"...and $8.99/lb..same cut..:)
If you get into Chinatown, the Chinese Spaghetti Factory is on Essex St, a few doors from Chau Chau City. They'll sell their dumplings to the public..bags of 50 and larger