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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?

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  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.

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            Ver Brugge Meat and Fish
            Oakland

            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.