Clevelanders: Where do you buy your meat?
Hi local Hounds. I wanted to get everyone's opinion on where is the best place to shop for meat and poultry. I frequent the West Side Market, but I don't always think the value and quality rival that at Costco. What do you think? Is there an awesome place I am not aware of? Sincere thanks!
Costco sells factory farmed meat, processed at one of the "big 4" slaughterhouses. Most stands at the WSM sell locally raised, locally processed meat. For me, it's no contest. We buy 99% of our meat there. Sometimes we buy meat at the Mustard Seed market instead, but that's about the only other place I'll buy meat anymore.
Due to the recent weather and other circumstances, we recently bought a chicken from the grocery store. It was so fatty and tasteless when we cooked it, I couldn't even eat it. The difference between that type of chicken and what we get at WSM was very obvious.
Some stands are better than others at the WSM. It took some shopping around before I found stands I'm happy with in both service, selection and quality. Unfortunately, I mostly know stands by where they are in relation to other stands, so I can't give you any specific name recommendations.
Oh, I will also add that in the summers, we do buy some meat directly from the farmer's at the farmer's market. We go to the one in crocker park. Have been pretty pleased with the chickens, eggs and dairy we've gotten there, not so much with meat we've bought there (overpriced and not worth the money). Chef's Choice meats in Berea is one I haven't yet tried that a lot of people recommend, and also I do recommend the Sausage Shoppe for any and all sausage needs you might have, they are about a 5-10 min. drive from the WSM and a very cool little shop.
I don't know how sensitive you are to pricing, but we pretty much buy all of our meat from the North Union Farmer's Market at Shaker Square. Open year round (with the exception of two one week breaks), NUFM has locally grown chicken and duck from Tea Hills and Plum Creek, grass fed beef from Millgate Farms, pork from New Creation Farm. There are a couple of others that have recently been added to the fray but haven't bought from them yet. The chicken and the beef is absolutely worth the price. The jury's still out on New Creation. I've made some of their chops, butt, and ribs and I can't say that I've been "wowed", but I am getting used to cooking on a Big Green Egg so I think that might be part of the problem.
We probably don't eat as much meat as most people so the price isn't as big a deal as it would be for a family of 8. I can't really speak to much on the west side, except that Kris Krieger does some great sausage at Chef's Choice Meats. My mom lives in Berea, so I always stop in when I'm in the area.
I know a lot of people who think that New Creations pork is the best available anywhere in the area. I don't cook so all I've eaten is the bacon and some of their sausages. The breakfast sausae is great. Easily the best I've found.
There was a second pork vendor at the market last Saturday, but I didn't buy anything. Also the large collective of Amish vendors sells pork and there's a guy who sells only pork sausage (and potatoes and eggs). New Creations also sells beef, right? New Creations sells a heritage breed of pork as does the Amish stand. They also sell heritage beef, as does one other vendor. I don't know what breed of cattle they raise at Millgate.
I also like many of the vendors at WSM. Vince's for basic beef (does not have high end cuts), DW Whitakers for pork and chicken, although for variety cuts there are many that are good. For premium more meats, Mr. Brisket is quite good. http://www.misterbrisket.com/. make sure and get a cornbeef sandwich when you go. Chefs choice meats is also great, esp the steaks. They also make and cure many of their own meats and sausages. http://www.chefschoicemeats.net/chefs...
here is how I would rank the above:
Mr. Brisket (almost tie
I buy any ground meat the day I am going to use it so that is not a problem for me.
Don't bother with the butcher shop on Milltown by Cleveland road. Its overpriced junk.
Marshallville Packing Co has good sausage but most of the meat is not the greatest.
Obviously Gerbers in Kidron has great chicken.
Where in Medina do you shop?