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Mar 22, 2010 07:37 AM

Help me find a good kosher butcher, please.

I've been asked to make brisket for the seder meal, but it's got to be kosher meat. I'm happy to travel, although I'm hoping not to have to trek up to northeast Philly. I live in Chester County. The Main Line, Montgomery County, and Delaware County are all okay. Where should I shop? Thanks!

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  1. I've seen kosher brisket at Trader Joe's before. If you can find one, this is the best deal going and the meat is really good. It's not always available, though.

    In Narberth/Penn Valley area, there is a Kosher Butcher right on Montgomery Ave ( I would assume they have brisket available there, but you might want to call ahead with the holidays coming up.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Brian_G

      isn't there some acme on the main line that's got kosher stuff?

      1. re: Bob Loblaw

        I've used the kosher brisket from TJ's and it is very good.

        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          Yes the Acme on Montgomery Ave (Narberth/Wynnewood) has a kosher butcher section.

      2. Thanks to each of you. So now, given the choice of TJ's, Main Line Kosher Meats and the Narberth Acme, which one do you think has the best quality brisket?

        2 Replies
        1. re: CindyJ

          TJ's is the best option in my opinion if you can find it.

          Not sure about the other two.

          1. re: CindyJ

            The brisket at TJ is "only" Triangle K which some people do not cionsider to be an accpetable supervision. Whatever. You may wish to ask if this is ok for whom you are making this dish. I mean why go to all the trouble and have it not be acceptable, KWIM? Anyway given the other two choices, which I belive everyone would find top have acceptable Kosher supervision, MLKM has LOVELY meat (I don't eat brisket unless I must so I never buy it nor have I made it) but it is more pricey than Acme. I have always been happy with what i have bought at MLKM. Just yesterday the Acme had some really lovely looking briskets (both smaller sized and the huge things my mom would subject me to growing up) The mega briskets were in a special cooler on an endcap near the kosher salads. The rest were with the other Kosher meat in the front right hand corner of the store near the Kosher deli counter (which is now Kosher for Passover) I have always been happy with the meat I have bought at Acme too. I have yet to buy red meat at TJ's so I can't comment on that.
            HTH .

          2. I recommend SImon's Kosher Meat Products in Northeast Philly
            6926 Bustleton Avenue
            Philadelphia, PA 19149-1805
            (215) 624-5695

            An old-school butcher with some great chops.

            1 Reply
            1. re: matanarjuat

              If you do decide to purchase at ACME, I'd suggest asking the USDA Grade of the Kosher Brisket. The ACME's I have shopped at (City Line mostly) carry USDA Standard, not USDA Choice, and frankly, the tenderness difference is significant. I would not want to purchase a KOsher brisket if it were onlhy US Standard Grade, even though it it perfectly wholesome. Tha't's enough to explain a pricing diffrerence between Trader JOe's and ACME maybe. Trust me, the difference in tenderness makes the US Grade Choice well worth it.

            2. Sorry, but a shiksa commenting here. Cindy, you sound a little iffy about obtaining kosher meat, but maybe I'm misreading your post. You'll be adhering to a kosher preparation as well, right? Isn't that as important as the meat itself, especially during Passover?

              3 Replies
              1. re: PattiCakes

                Not exactly. Few people have the capacity to adhere to Kosher preparation if they do not keep Kosher in their home, but it is reasonable to prefer a Kosher brisket when one is making brisket for a Seder. if the participants were strictly Kosher, a person not in that community would not have been asked to make a meat course. I'm going to a Seder of Secular Jews, where the brisket probably won't be Kosher at all. I'm" doctoring" Gefilte Fish for that Seder, but I am starting with Kosher for Passover canned fish, even though the pot I will cook it in is not my 'saved for Kosher food only pot'. There are many different levels of Kosher observance. We have many friends who observe Kashruth in their homes, but will eat at our home, even meat, whereas others will not.

                1. re: Bashful3

                  Bashful: thanks you so much for the information. I always though Kosher was an all-or-nothing proposition. Sounds like it can be confusing even for those who are knowledgeable.

                2. re: PattiCakes

                  It's not that I'm "iffy" about obtaining kosher meat; it's that I want to honor the request that was made of me. I'll be cooking this brisket to bring to my brother's home for the seder meal. My brother and his family keep kosher, and they know that I do not. It was their request that I make the brisket, and that I use kosher meat. Those requests are absolutely fine with me, and the resulting brisket will be fine with them. All of the ingredients used in the cooking will be kosher, and kosher for passover, as well. However, I'll be cooking it in my home oven, in a French oven I already own, both of which are not kosher. But as I said, my brother understands that, and as long as it works for him, it certainly works for me.

                3. So I went on my kosher brisket shopping trip. First stop, Trader Joe's. Yes, they had kosher brisket for $6.99/pound but it looked positively awful. Small pieces wrapped up so tightly I could hardly tell what was in the package. No way I was going to chance that purchase. Next stop - Acme in Narberth. Wow! That was an impressive kosher and kosher-for-Passover department, even by Shop Rite standards. And there in the end case were the kosher briskets. Whole, untrimmed brisket for $8.99/pound and trimmed, first cut brisket for $12.99/pound. Neither was really what I was hoping to find. The trimmed brisket was just TOO trimmed -- most of that lovely layer of fat had been removed. The whole brisket was just too darned big. I knew ML Kosher Meats was just down the street, but, I did a bit of rationalizing and decided to go with a 7.5 pound first cut. I figured that with the loooong braising time (4 hours), even without the extra fat it'll still cook up really tender, and it looked nice. So... mission accomplished!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CindyJ

                    I usually dont reply to these things, but I had to this time. I never found TJ to be good for anything fresh. I LOVE their frozen products, but I never had a good experience with fresh. I always found that something else is better. I was excited when the Acme had a Kosher section, but frankly I always felt like it was pretty dirty and I never got good customer service. ML Kosher Meat is pricey, but I always had great experience there no matter what. You can really taste the freshness in their products. I also found that because it's family owned I get incredible customer service. I ask for something and I get it. The extra cost is worth it to me, especially in an economy like today. If you're going to spend the money, spend it right.