HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

quick Russo question

capeanne Jul 17, 2009 07:30 AM

cant find anything with search or on their website...would someone please advise re if they offer and the quality of their meat (as in for grilling , steaks , chops) I am going for the first time today and need to know if I need to make a Savenors run first....Thanks very much

  1. pondrat Jul 17, 2009 09:25 PM

    If you want the farm market with meat experience better to go to Wilson's Farm in Lexington where they have a decent variety of meat (including Niman ranch) along with a great selection of produce.

    13 Replies
    1. re: pondrat
      PinchOfSalt Jul 17, 2009 09:49 PM

      Wilson Farm has a nice selection of their own produce this time of year, but I don't think I would ever say that they have a broader selection of produce than Russo's. Plus, Russo's prices for the same things that Wilson's sells are generally quite a bit lower. Please understand, this is not a criticism of Wilson's, it is more a matter of praise for Russo's.

      1. re: PinchOfSalt
        t
        teezeetoo Jul 19, 2009 06:21 AM

        i'd second Pinchofsalt. Wilson's has lovely things but they are no where near as eclectic in their range. I get everything from my canned San Marzano tomatos to my POE pickles at Russos and I haven't found an Asian market with better Asian greens. The deli is excellent in range, price and quality, and I find their cheeses second only to Formaggios. Can't think of a place with greater range.

        1. re: teezeetoo
          pondrat Jul 19, 2009 08:44 AM

          I couldn't agree more with both of you on Wilson's limitations. Russo's is in a class by itself. That said we all agree that the choices for a one stop place with excellent produce AND great meat are pretty slim.

          1. re: pondrat
            r
            Ralphie_in_Boston Jul 19, 2009 07:33 PM

            what nobody has mentioned is the added extra of getting to play bumper-carts and dodge-foot in the aisles of Russo's. Shop there on the weekend for this added entertainment feature.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
              PinchOfSalt Jul 19, 2009 09:42 PM

              Actually, for me the other customers are one of the attractions at Russo's. Just look around and you will see and hear people who are shopping to cook foods from their parents' or their own "old country". I don't know how many times I have learned something by hearing people discuss how to prepare a particular unusual type of produce or even had someone spontaneously teach me something. One day I was picking out okra and an Indian woman showed me how she snaps the tips to see if they are fresh. It's sort of like the home cooking board here on CH but **live**. Yes, it gets crowded, but in a particular Russo's-community cheerful way. It is really quite civil.

              1. re: PinchOfSalt
                r
                Ralphie_in_Boston Jul 20, 2009 06:44 AM

                I enjoy the environment at Russo's too. And the other customers, but I draw the line at "civil' when I'm being pushed and bumped by people who are not so patient. Unfortunately for me I'm only able to get there on the weekends, when it's at its most crowded.

                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                  Bob Dobalina Jul 20, 2009 08:09 AM

                  Still friendlier than Whole Foods.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                    r
                    Ralphie_in_Boston Jul 20, 2009 11:06 AM

                    No argument there ;)

                  2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jul 20, 2009 11:33 AM

                    Even on weekends, get out there early enough (say, before 11 or so) and it's not as insane as its reputation suggests.

                    Allstonian and I have established enough tricks that we can do a full Russo's shop -- including stops at the deli and the floral counter -- and be in and out in under 20 minutes.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                      a
                      autopi Jul 20, 2009 12:32 PM

                      I will mildly disagree with everyone on this sub-thread. I have been to Russo's on several occasions when it was a freaking mad house. And I have never noticed any difference in politesse b/w the clientele at WF or Russo's; when it's super crowded, people are super-agitated. I have also never witnessed, much less been the recipient of, spontaneous 3rd-party-vegetable-cooking enlightenment while in the aisles of Russo's.

                      I love Russo's. I just don't go there during peak periods. Once I figured that out, my fondness for the place increased dramatically.

                      1. re: autopi
                        nsenada Jul 21, 2009 12:15 PM

                        Right, and if it's empty, the cheese counter people stuff you so full of free samples you have to roll out the door.

                  3. re: PinchOfSalt
                    s
                    simonr Jul 22, 2009 06:24 AM

                    Once while waiting in the checkout line I got a complete recipe for potato salad that the guy in front of me was going to make for a cookout - if the wait had been any longer I expect he would have invited me...

                    1. re: PinchOfSalt
                      okra Jul 22, 2009 08:27 AM

                      Ouch! No more pinching or snapping!

                      And, occasionally you'll spot a local chef in there as well!

          2. Ali G Jul 17, 2009 08:08 PM

            I've found some decent pork chops in the meat cooler (to the left of the dairy as someone pointed out). They are in cryovac packages and usually cut about 1.5" -2" thick. They don't always have them, but worth a look if you are there. I brine them first since they take a while to grill due to the thickness.

            The DePasquale's sausages are worth a pick up if you don't want to drive over to the actual shop. Although I love the Chinese sausages and I've never seen Russo's carry those.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ali G
              s
              Spenbald Jul 19, 2009 07:09 AM

              Happy to report that they are in fact carrying the Chinese sausages now. Saw them on my last few trips.

            2. k
              katrinkala Jul 17, 2009 08:06 AM

              Unless you'd be making two separate trips out and home, I would make the Savenors run last, or bring a cooler...it's going to be hot today! Enjoy Russo's :)

              3 Replies
              1. re: katrinkala
                okra Jul 17, 2009 08:57 AM

                To tag onto this thread...

                I used to get a nice Amish butter at Russos - roll shape, wrapped in paper - but haven't seen it lately. Has anyone else, or any alternate sources?

                Thanks!

                -----
                Russo's
                560 Pleasant St, Watertown, MA 02472

                1. re: okra
                  phillyfrog Jul 19, 2009 10:47 AM

                  They don't carry that brand anymore, but they have another roll style butter in a yellow wrapper that is very good. I think the brand is Vermont Butter, but I am too lazy to go to my frig and confirm.

                  1. re: phillyfrog
                    okra Dec 4, 2009 10:36 AM

                    Following the lead of MC Slim JB who blows the horn of an establishment worth following, rather than keeping the secret to one's self...
                    I am happy to report that the Amish rolled butter has returned at Russos. Top shelf of the dairy case, right where it always was.

                    I hope they keep it for a long, long time.

                    I have found that once a little warmed, the paper wrapper is very delicate. You might want to re-wrap it in something sturdier (parchment, wax paper) or portion it out once you get it home.

                    -----
                    A. Russo and Sons
                    Watertown, MA, Watertown, MA

              2. fmcoxe6188 Jul 17, 2009 07:36 AM

                Last I was there they had a VERY limited selection- some sausages, some chicken- I dont think Ive ever seen steak there...Id go Savenors for sure- I picked up a delicious strip steak there last night :-)

                1. galleygirl Jul 17, 2009 07:35 AM

                  no meat....

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: galleygirl
                    capeanne Jul 17, 2009 07:36 AM

                    Thanks ...

                    1. re: galleygirl
                      GretchenS Jul 17, 2009 07:39 AM

                      Sorry but Russo's does have a limited selection of meat, to the left of the dairy section. Mostly cryovac'd steaks, a somewhat random assortment of other things, some chicken, Bell & Evans I think. Some sausages, mostly D'Artagnan brand but also DePasquale Italian ones. I have had mixed results with the steaks, you really have to hunt through them to find ones with marbling, but they can be good and the price is right, like most everything else at Russo's. Also, over in the deli section their rotisserie chicken is very good -- as in, put it in the trunk or you'll find yourself sneaking some on the drive home.

                      1. re: GretchenS
                        g
                        Gabatta Jul 17, 2009 08:59 AM

                        The chicken varies between Bell & Evans and Coleman. The Bell & Evans is great, but we have gotten some bad Coleman breasts there. As far as any other meat needs, definitely stop at Savenors (or elsewhere).

                        1. re: Gabatta
                          galleygirl Jul 17, 2009 07:59 PM

                          Okay, sorry, I don't consider salumi when I think meat, and the OP didn't ask for chicken....

                          1. re: galleygirl
                            a
                            AHan Jul 18, 2009 10:42 AM

                            chicken is meat! : )

                            1. re: AHan
                              galleygirl Jul 18, 2009 07:26 PM

                              Yes, by definition it is, but I used my amazing skills of devination (and the OP's notations) to figure out that's not what they meant...

                        2. re: GretchenS
                          d
                          djr222 Jul 18, 2009 12:47 PM

                          I got two strip steaks there a few weeks back and found them to be real good, also check out the thin cut chicken cuttlets they are fab, for breading and frying with a lemon cream sauce, or even put two together with chese and ham in the middle for cordon Blue, I dont think you can cut them that thin by hand and the price is good

                          1. re: djr222
                            Bob Dobalina Jul 20, 2009 08:10 AM

                            Second those chicken cutlets. They are VERY thinly cut - awesome. Pricey of course, when you realize you can get them in larger uncut quantities for much lower, but if time = $$, then it's worth it.

                        3. re: galleygirl
                          r
                          Ruprecht Jul 17, 2009 07:46 AM

                          They certainly don't have a comprehensive meat department, but they do have a limited selection of packaged meats:

                          - Sausages
                          - Steak
                          - Whole chickens
                          - Pork tenderloin

                          Most of the offerings are brand names like Niman Ranch, Bell & Evans, etc. I have gotten some very good stuff there, but if you need something specific it's best to go elsewhere.

                        Show Hidden Posts