St. Paul Butcher Shops
Hi Chowhounds. I'm about to move to the St. Paul area and would like suggestions for local butcher shops (retail or wholesale) where I can get fresh and inexpensive meats (beef, sausage, chicken, lamb, and pork.)
I drive by Big Steer Meats often and I've wondered if it was good... Also, do you know if they sell any local or organic or grassfed beef? Or is it pretty much all conventional?
Also, most of the meat that we buy (chicken, beef, and bacon mostly) is generally from farmers at the St Paul Farmer's Market. Specifically, Farm of Wheels and Bar 9. Love their meat! And you can't beat buying it directly from the farmer. The market even runs in the winter.
I believe it's all local grown, organic I don't know.
I know they do all their own smoking and curing.
He said inexpensive, that is the reason I bring up the steer,
My favorite place that does not fit into that class is
Von Hanson's. I love their marinated whole chicken breasts
and the seasoned grill steaks.
Are you on the east side of St. Paul or west side? On the west side (near Macalester & St. Thomas) you've got Widmer's.
Northwest, around Como and 280, there's a hidden gem of a meat counter in Speedy Mart. Try their brats.
Otherwise, it looks to me like a vast wasteland of grocery store meat counters. Rainbow at University and Snelling for pork ribs.
Whole Foods has pretty good quality but when I asked them for pork rib chops, frenched, they looked at me like I was from another planet and I had to show them their own lamb chops and say: Make a pork chop, but like that. The first guy said: Those come from NZ like that, we just put them in the display case. The second guy was game, he tried and seriously butchered some pork. It looked like I'd done it myself (bad) but tasted fine in the end.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can try the meat counter at El Burrito Mercado on Concord Street or Dragon Star on Minnehaha & Dale.
What about the place up highway 61, on the east side just south of the Mercedes dealership? They've got a black angus on the sign. Are they still in business?
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107
Yes, the Angus meat market is still open and I can personally attest to the quality of their meats. I've ordered two items:
-I got a pork tenderloin that I served with 112 Eatery's squash and a raspberry gastrique. The meat was incredibly juicy and had a good pork flavor. I served this at a dinner party of four and several other friends have asked when they are coming over for dinner.
-For Valentine's Day, I made the Yabba Dabba Do from the French Laundry Cookbook. Basically, this is a bone-in prime rib with bordelaise sauce and scalloped potatoes with layers of prunes. For this, I needed a Cote Du Boeuf or Rib Steak. I called and ordered it a day ahead. I forgot to mention that I needed the bones wrapped and the meat double cut. When I showed up to pick it up on Saturday morning, it was already all done for me. The butcher knew what I was likely doing and took care of it for me himself. If I don't say so myself, it may have been the best piece of meat I ever cooked at home myself. Some of that may have been Thomas Keller's guidance, but it was one of the most flavorful pieces of meat I've ever had.
I'd say this is likely the best butcher shop on the East Side. I'd also try Capitol Meat Markets off Rice and University. The owner there is a real piece of work (in a good way) and I've made their ribs several times with good results.
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Depending on where in Saint Paul you're talking, I have picked up some very nice beef now and again at Widmer's Super Market. It's a little neighborhood market on St. Clair between Fairview and Cleveland, @1936 St. Clair. They dry age a lot of their beef, and seem to have real butchers that rejoice in the idea of meat.
Also, I'll second the reccs for Saint Paul Farmer's Market-at least, the one downtown, which is the only one I hit regularly.
Widmer's Super Market
1936 St Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
The St. Paul Campus of the U of MN has meat sales on Wednesdays from 2 to 5 PM. The products are made mostly by students, so you have to be a little willing to accept some variation, but overall we've been really happy with what we've gotten there. We always buy our Christmas ham from them, and they're willing to fill special requests like chicken necks and backs for my dog. They also have the best bacon :)
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