Butcher Shop Cafe; Kenmore, WA
I have always tried to be supportive of the privateer versus big box vendors. Driving along Juanita Dr NE, I came across a purveyor of fine foods.
Butcher Shop Cafe at the corner of Juanita Dr NE and NE Arrowhead Dr.
Speaking with the butcher who was getting the shop ready for the day, he says that they are providing not only fresh meats but prepared foods and a lunch and dinner menu.
Kobe beef, Kubota pork, lamb....poultry including duck, guinea fowl, quail, and squab were all available.
A limited selection of charcuterie including terrines and to my surprise a foie gras
Prepared food looked to be reasonably priced for to go and their sit down meals.
Hope to hear of other Chowhounds experiences. I will update when I have another opportunity to try their foods.
The butcher also said they will be slowly expanding their meat counter and prepared foods selections. For those local to the area, a postcard campaign will be under way and a website as well
Thanks for the post urika... did they say what all the large cooling trucks were for... they can't be selling that much meat already?
I went a few times (and sent 3 other local groups) when they first opened and the food was fantastic. Their lamb meatballs in a red sauce over rice was one of my favorite things I've tried in awhile. I know one of the great ideas they were going to implement is you could pick a piece of meat out of the counter and they would actually grill it up right there for you at no extra charge. Not sure if this has ever happened, but, wow would that be cool. Kind of like picking your lobster out at a fancy seafood joint.
And the 3 people that I met that actually do the cooking and work the counters could not have been more friendly. Really good people.
Unfortunetely, I have tried to go back 4 separate times for lunch and dinner when they were supposed to be open (according to their sign the previous time I was there) and they have been closed. Strike 4 and your out.
Besides the above I have stopped in twice in the morning when they have put the sign out (OPEN CAFE) only to find the door open and the lights off (clearly not open!!!). You see a sign that says "OPEN CAFE" in the morning you think you might be able to get a decent cup of coffee.
Besides poor food, the best way to run off your customers is to be flakey... because we all know it comes from the top.
If I only knew when it was consistently open, I would love to go back.
I've been doing the books for Select Gourmet Foods, the butcher behind the Butcher Cafe. He has been supplying the area's finest restaurants with high quality fresh meat for many many years so the refrigerated trucks ARE in use.
I asked about the signs, and apparently non-cafe workers were putting the signs out even on the days the Cafe is not open - hopefully this has been stopped. They are in the process of getting everything working well before they have their official opening sometime in September and during this process, there will be times when they are not there on the scheduled days. However, once they do "fully open", they will be there consistently Tuesday to Saturday.
And yes, they have started the choose your cut of meat which they will cook to order. It's just the price per pound from the case no additional charge. Extra charge for any sauce, addition or side dish.
I've gotten to sample some of the food when I've been there doing the books, and it has been great. Be patient, they want to get everything RIGHT before they really open.
Thanks for the update!
That is strange that they are 'kind of' open... but, that would explain the odd hours. Hopefully, they can get up something explaining when the official grand opening is before they run too many people off.
I'll give 'em one more shot (strike 5). Thanks.
Since my last post I've tried to go back a couple of times (should be strike 5 and strike 6) since I received a post card in the mail about some vague grand opening sometime in September. Closed both times both during the middle of the day on a Wed and a Thurs. It's been 10 or so days since I last tried.
I have no idea what their hours (because they've changed so many times... I guess they are open at 12:30-8:30 Tuesday through Saturday now... but who knows?) or how to tell if they are open... sometimes there is a big board that says open others only the front door is open (and past experience says that this means that they are for sure not open).
I would LOVE for this place to work out... but, if you can't count on it how does one make plans to eat there?
Be open when you say are, and get one of those neon open signs. Oh yeah... who in the world opens at 12:30 and expects to have a lunch crowd?
Finally was able to get in for a dinner and look around. Wow... is all I can say. The meat in the display case was gorgeous. But the food was even better. Generous portions and the chef was generous bringing out samples of some of the other items.
If the people who drove by knew what was inside and they were consistently open this place would be sure to succeed.
Can't wait to go back!