HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >

Discussion

Best S.D. Meat Market for Steaks

Over the years, I've purchased steaks at Siesel's (before and after Cohns took over), Iowa Farms, Tip Top, Harvest Ranch, Costco and even Valley Farms Market in Spring Valley. All sell top quality, prime beefsteak and I've had varying degrees of success at each place.

I've now purchase steaks three times at the butcher shop which is a part of Cowboy Star Restaurant downtown on 10th Ave., and I've got to say, the quality and consistency of their steaks is a distinct cut above all the others. I got a well-trimmed, bone-in ribeye that was the best I've ever tasted. Filet Mignons recently had great 'structure' (not flabby or rubbery) and taste. The wagyu hanger steak was also very special.

They carry a small selection of other non-beef items, I remember seeing some chicken, but for special occasion steaks to prepare at home, I believe they're the best in town right now.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Have you ever picked up steaks from the Brandt Beef stand at a farmer's market? We see them at the La Mesa FM and have gotten the bavettes and the flatirons from them as well as ground beef that made excellent burgers.

    1. I'm in agreement with you regarding the steaks from C Star; try the bison rib eye sometime as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ibstatguy

        I second your second. I have been very happy with the steaks I have gotten from Cowboy Star, the rib eyes are as perfect as I have seen out here.

        I still get a lot of my stuff from Siesel's because of proximity, although it seems like the flat irons haven't been as good as they used to be.

        1. re: ibstatguy

          I usually head into their butcher shop for Bison Ribeyes as well. Pretty good stuff, although a bit pricey but a nice treat for yourself. I picked up a prime NY from there once and it was very good but I believe at that time it was like $4 more per lb from Siesel's. I checked prices of aged prime Ribeyes too and they were a bit more expensive than Siesel's on that too which is nearing red line as is. That's getting pretty expensive, even for top of the line. If they'd bring thier prices back to Earth, I'd shop there much more often. They have Rabbit, Quall, Venison, ect, ect, definitely what I'm interested in.

        2. I really like the steaks at Homegrown Meats in La Jolla. They're from cattle raised on pasture on Mt. Palomar. Pricey, but delicious.

          Whole Foods also has a line of grass-fed beef that is quite nice, though also expensive.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Josh

            How pricey are we talking about, Josh? Say... for a flatiron or flank steak?

            1. re: geekyfoodie

              Flatirons are cheaper. They don't have them often, but those and hangar steaks go for around $10/lb. I think. The wild boar bacon is also fantastic, and somewhat more reasonable.

              1. re: Josh

                Do they have other cuts of wild boar or just the bacon?

          2. A little known place for some good steaks is Ibis Market in Mission Hills. You'd never know it by looking, but they dry age prime steaks on site. Their prime is cheaper than Whole Foods choice. They'll bring a slab out, cut the black off, and then cut your steak to order. Very limited selection, but good quality and prices. Caveat - haven't been there in a while, but assume it's still the same.

            1. What kind of prices are we talking about here for the ribeyes? Prime? Dry aged? I just bought a whole side of prime ribeye from costco, 18lbs, dry aged it, and cut it myself. But 18lbs is quite a bit. It was $6.99/lb and was well marbled.

              I'd love to be able to buy a few steaks to enjoy myself though, instead of having to age the whole side (which I do, and split with friends)

              EDIT:I Noticed Cowboy star sells aged, prime beef. I'm going to have to give this a try.

              3 Replies
              1. re: deeznuts

                Don't recall exactly the price, but podnah, it ain't cheap!

                1. re: mcgrath

                  I'll go ahead and give them a call (Cowboys, and Ibis). I don't mind paying for quality, but if it approaches restaurant price I might as well just eat there, good thing the lady loves steakhouses. She only likes filet, but hey, we can't win them all!

                  EDIT: Btw, thanks for the heads up!

                  1. re: deeznuts

                    Last time I bought steaks at Ibis (2 years ago), the prime ribeye was $17.99 and the prime porterhouse was $18.99, IIRC.

              2. I like Iowa Meat Farms a great deal, but recently I have been purchasing the Prime Strip at Costco, it is fantastic.

                1 Reply
                1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                  2nd Costco, and most cuts are under $10.pp.

                2. How much is it at Cowboy's compared to Costco? Would love to try it

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: royaljester

                    This is general and approximate, but I'd say you'll pay close to twice at C.S for the same cut of beef as you would at Costco

                    1. re: mcgrath

                      I havent been to Cowyboy star (it's on my list) but if I get prime ribeyes from costco for 7-10 bucks a pound. CS meat is dry aged so if I could get that for $20/lb I'm there asap.

                      I need to give them a call already and ask their prices. Give them and Ibis a try.

                      On a semi-related note I just had american wagyu at Cut ($100 for 12 oz) and color me non-impressed. Yeah the regular ribeye at mastros was better.

                      1. re: deeznuts

                        Agree with your assessment of the Amer. Wagyu at CUT. Had mine in the Vegas restaurant and it was sort of just there. On the other hand, the little bit of Japanese Wagyu I had there was delectable, and nearly worth the price.

                      2. re: mcgrath

                        Well that works for me, considering I'm obliged to get at least two steaks at Costco when I just want one. =)

                    2. Based on what I had read on Chowhound, I recently decided to get steaks from the Cowboy Star butcher shop. Trouble was: their hours are limited (seems that the hours are closely linked to the restaurant schedule, which makes sense).
                      So, they're closed on Monday, and I was heading out to Borrego Springs for a steak show-down on Tuesday. I re-read The Reader's Naomi Wise's meat article,and I went to Homegrown Meats on Fay in La Jolla. They specialize in grass-fed beef grown on Mt. Palomar. They dry age their steaks. For the taste test, I bought four grass-fed, dry aged items: a ribeye, a NY strip, and a filet--plus a pound of house-ground hamburger. I bought the comparison beef at Henry's ( a filet and a New York). Homegrown Meats gave me a handout on how to cook grass-fed, aged beef, and my friend who tended to the Q followed it pretty closely. The grass fed won out by far! I hadn't had beef that tasted that good since I ate grass-fed in Mexicali about 15 years ago. I mean I had sort-of given up on beef, just due to the mediocrity of what is readily available. Try some grass-fed, dry-aged, and you'll see. Yep, it's not cheap, but for a special occasion, or consumed in small portions, it's well worth it!

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: millerowski

                        Hmm - I'm just now moving to Borrego Springs (from L.A.) and must say your reference to a steak showdown (now THAT"s a meal to give thanks for) snapped my head around, until I realized that of course you were referring to a private venue, not a local restaurant...oh well. Guess I'll just have to pay attention to who in town is trailing the telltale delicious smell of woodsmoke and meat in their slipstream.

                        1. re: millerowski

                          Reading that article looks like I will stick with corn fed. I love the fat!

                            1. re: honkman

                              A lot of people know grass fed tastes better and is healthier with more omega 3, but it's ironic that in that study it was also the cheapest.

                              For steaks, the marbling doesn't matter as much what it's fed, the breed, and what other shortcuts are taken to inflate the beef's mass or marbling at the last minute.

                              The reason they prefer high marbled meat in Japan is precisely because they cook it differently. They use it for shabu shabu, thin sliced bbq, and lightly seared tataki. In all of these cooking styles, marbling matters. For a steak, not necessarily.

                              Real Japanese beef also tends to taste better, regardless of marbling. I've never had "Kobe style" beef that tasted like the real thing, though I'm sure it exists somewhere. Using Kobe beef for a traditional steak is horrifying. You're supposed to grill it in pieces tataki style, very rare on the inside.

                              1. re: royaljester

                                "A lot of people know grass fed tastes better and is healthier with more omega 3" - I doubt that the majority of people know it.

                                1. re: honkman

                                  Yeah, I agree. I think part of the problem is people eating meat too well-done. If you're going to eat something cooked more than medium-rare, the only juiciness will come from fat. When eaten rare, grass-fed beef really shines, IMO.

                                2. re: royaljester

                                  Grill it tataki style, very rare on the inside rj? Sacrilege I say, eat it raw, as I did with most of mine, when Kirk and I visited Urasawa. The fat literally melts in your mouth.