Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 1, 2009 08:46 AM

Good quality ground chuck in Oakland/Berkeley?

For making burger patties. Berkeley Bowl must have 6 different ground beef options, but all of the local/grass-fed choices are too lean, not great for burgers. Only their basic ground beef (the $3.29/lb stuff) is 85% lean. I made burgers from this last time and it was better than fine, but I was wondering where I'd go if I want something a little bit higher quality. Don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it either.

I know the grind-it-yourself method is preferred by connoisseurs, but I'm not quite ready to invest in that Kitchenaid attachment yet.

Will they grind up a chuck steak or a piece of brisket for me at Berkeley Bowl if I ask them to?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not sure which cut they use, but the ground beef at Indus Foods has great flavor and is cheap.

    6 Replies
      1. re: sydthekyd

        I don't remember, but I'm always startled by how cheap it is. Maybe $2.29?

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        The idea of getting it from Indus appeals to me because I'll be in that area anyway to pick up the buns from Acme. And $1.99 (if that is the price) is ridiculously cheap.

        Does it seem like it has a decent fat content? And is their meat prepackaged or is it a regular butcher shop in there? Never been inside.

        1. re: abstractpoet

          Nothing prepackaged. Judge for yourself on the fat content. I imagine they could grind you some fattier if you wanted it.

          1. re: abstractpoet

            I was just at Indus food and the ground meats are $2.29. The beef looked pretty lean as did most of the beef. I picked up some ground lamb. One day I am going to get one of their leg of lambs. They also have chicken, veal and goat.

            1. re: abstractpoet

              Hmm, so I ended up buying from Indus. The ground beef was very lean--the guy behind the counter estimated 90%, and when I told him I wanted something fattier, he said that he would regrind the portion I wanted with some additional fat. Not a fattier piece of meat, as I understood it, but just pure fat.

              I was a bit skeptical--worried that the meat would be ground too fine and that the fat would be distributed unevenly (the latter was definitely the case). Also, I think he overcompensated, and beef he eventually gave me was probably closer to 35% fat.

              In any case, I decided to just give it a whirl, but the resulting burgers weren't the best (and were quite a bit worse than the ones I'd made a week ago with the regular BB ground beef). They were juicy (excessively so, actually), but when cooked medium-rare, parts of the burger had an unappealingly soft, almost mushy texture--I think because of the extra fat. The flavor was OK, but not great.

              Anyway, I think I'll give the Indus meat market another visit when I'm making something else, but for burgers, I'll either stick with the Bowl or try a different butcher shop (Ver Brugge or one of the others).

          2. I like the ground beef at Ver Brugge meat and seafood on College ave just across from the safeway. Be sure to get the lean and not the extra lean.

            Ver Brugge Meat and Fish

            1 Reply
            1. re: skwid

              I second Ver Brugge. It's awesome and a great place to have available.

            2. I believe Andronicos will grind anything you like.

              1. I think most Asian supermarket butchers will grind meat for you, though I'm not sure about the quality of the original meat.

                I gotta say though, the Kitchenaid attachment is totally worth it...I use 50% sirloin and 50% chuck for my burgers and I will never go back to store-bought ground meat. :-)

                1. The meat counter at the back of Cafe Rouge on 4th street sells the same ground beef that they use to make their house burger. It runs about 5 bucks a pound.