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Edmonton >>> Calgary??

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  • jojok Jul 2, 2010 05:59 PM
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Friday afternoon, got nothing to do so I decided to learn something new.

The topic of choice is Canada beef. I learn that the best grade of Canada beef is of grade Canada Prime (equivalent to USA Prime grade but lower than Kobe beef grade).

With that knowledge, I wanted to know where I can get this canada prime grade beef in Calgary. Research told me that most of the prime grade is not sold to the general public. Only restaurants can buy them.

But then I read this article http://www.communitycontent.ca/en/201...
My foodie mouth starts to salivate with the possibiilty to buy this grade of meat and cook it at home.

The question then: Which Costco has been selected to be in the program??

The mission is set...call Costco in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge to find out if they carry any of these Canada Prime grade beef.

Result:
Calgary: None of the costco carries this grade (AAA is the best they can offer).
Red Deer: No one answered the phone
Lethbridge: Got to the customer service who couldn't answer the question and transferred me to the meat department. Sadly no one answered the phone in the meat department.
Edmonton: Called Sherwood Park and Edmonton South ... BOTH answered the call in less than 10 seconds (the customer service and meat department)... AND the best part is they do carry Canada Prime grade beef.

I don't know what else to make out of this research. Edmonton >>> Calgary in terms of Costco's beef.

I feel betrayed by the promise of "World-Class" city promoted by Calgary :-(
Bummer...what a way to start the weekend.

Recommended Action:
Press Costco Calgary to carry this prime grade cut by keep on requesting them to their customer service.

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  1. I wish we could get prime beef too but I'm fascinated by your criteria for betrayal. I may be mistaken but one of them seems to be the speed by which the phone was answered by the Costco meat department?

    5 Replies
    1. re: sharonanne

      hahahah no Costco's meat department response time is not my criteria that determines a world-class city. I was just impressed with Costco Edmonton...not only they carry prime grade beef (this is one criteria of world class city) but their customer service is also top-notch.

      I am just upset that Edmonton is chosen to be in the program but not Calgary (Maybe they are chosen because they run the store well?? - 10 secs response time would then suddenly become an important criteria).

      1. re: sharonanne

        Well another article here http://www.farms.com/FarmsPages/Comme...

        In there it says: Costco’s Prime program is currently being tested in a number of strategically chosen Costco stores in western Canada with plans to roll out to additional locations nationally over the next six months.

        I am disturbed by the phrase "strategically chosen"...I guess Calgary is not a strategic beach head market for prime grade beef (and Edmonton is???).

        Also it has been six months after the release of the article....I am a bit worried that the program is not going well and we may not get it here. Time to pester Costco's customer service with the Carry-Prime-Beef-Or-Give-Me-Back-The-Membership-Fee threat.

        1. re: jojok

          Time to import beef from Edmonton. How weird is that?

          Who knows what they were looking at when they determined the strategic locations. Let's just hope the stuff is selling well enough for us to get some. Pestering is a good idea.

          1. re: sharonanne

            Better yet, maybe you should all ditch Calgary and move to Edmonton. ;)

            If you are really desperate I'm sure someone here would be willing to cart some beef down for you....

            1. re: anonymoose

              I wouldn't go so far as "desperate" but thanks for the advice. I visit family in Edmonton often I'm sure I can handle it.

      2. The Costco in the NW at Sarcee & Stoney Trail has prime beef (or at least it did 2 weeks ago). You can tell the Prime grade by the black styrofoam packages.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Merry113

          Yes, I bought some beef marked as Prime at the Beacon Hill Costco in the NW (off Stoney and Sarcee) back in May. I also saw it the last time the wife and I were there (about a week ago).

        2. What a depressing post. I just bought 1/4 of a grassfed cow, so I don't have any room in my freezer and not allowed to buy anymore beef..... and I work close to the Sherwood Park Costco and live close to the Edmonton South one. I hope the program continues for a while, or I'll be cursing the beef gods.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Libertycafe

            Well you just need to eat enough beef this week to make room! :)

            1. re: Shazam

              I'll do that if jojok reports back on his/her taste-test of prime grade steaks. More meatloaf, anyone?

          2. Well well well...GOOD NEWS. I just phoned Costco NW and South... They do carry Prime grade beef (Ribeye, Tenderloin, Striploin). But Costco South right now is out of stock, more shipment coming for the weekend.

            Well that is a relief. Now I can back to say that CALGARY IS WORLD-CLASS city.

            Now let me check if Toronto has it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jojok

              On the topic of Costco beef, does anyone know how long Costco ages their beef? While I haven't tried their Prime, I have found their AAA to be a bit tough at times.

            2. People think AAA is prime. I did not know the marker for prime was the black styrofoam tray. That is information I can use.

              1. Bought a package of ribeyes at Costco South on Monday, tossed them on a very hot cue until med-rare, salt and peppered, let rest for 5 and had one of the best steaks I've had anywhere without question. I will buy them only whenever available. The cost was only a buck and a half more per kilo than AAA.

                Though I did not notice when before cooking so much, or when hot, a couple of days later when I ate some cold, I noticed the marbling, and it was the most marbled steak I'd ever had, short of Waygyu.

                Go there and buy, buy, buy so that they keep them coming in.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Scary Bill

                  Isn't that marvelous? only a dollar and a half more per kg and the taste is at least doubled. I am just glad that this "study" has positive and long lasting benefits to us all. The Costco membership has suddenly become so justifiable.

                  Now I will try this Costco's prime grade beef on my new Big Steel Keg charcoal griller (will pick it up at the home hardware tomorrow). Giddy up!

                  1. re: Scary Bill

                    Thanks for that, I bought a smoker last week, will try making BBQ roast beef with it using that beef!

                  2. We had the tenderloin and it has ruined us for other steaks. I figured tenderloin was a good test as it can be dry. This was fork tender and juicy.

                    1. Yum Yum Yum. I can't wait to go buy a big striploin and cut it. Anyone recommended any butchers that will cut the beef for you? Last time I tried cutting a striploin at home with my knife it was a disaster.

                      1. Well, I tried the ribeye from Costco this weekend, and it was definitely one of the most tender steaks I've had in a long time. It received rave reviews from my parents, and particularly from my father (who ran a restaurant for 17 years and did all his own butchering in-house). And I will likely buy prime, as long as Costco continues to carry the grade.

                        However, I noticed that most steaks from stores, including the Costco prime grade, have less flavour now than what I remember from years ago. The beef that comes closest to that flavour (ok, so we're talking about the time before the 80's) is Spring Creek Ranch. I admit I haven't yet tried the steaks from the grassfed cow I bought, as we are still making our way through all the hamburger and stew meat. Plus my parents are waiting to receive a care pkg of beef from their farmer friend who raises a very small number of cows in east central Alberta, so it will be interesting to taste beef from from 2 other sources.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Libertycafe

                          Could just be your taste buds declining.

                          1. re: Shazam

                            LOL, I did wonder about that as well!

                            1. re: Libertycafe

                              bought some prime at Costco in Calgary now that we are out of our 1/4 cow. Wow, what a difference! I was a little sticker shocked, but when I got home and weighed the steaks, discovering the striploins were almost a full pound and the tenderloins were 10 oz I felt much better. 1 steak serves 2! You can sure see the difference in the marbling (as noted above). With all the rain had no desire to Q, did a cast iron pan fry/oven finish on one strip, it was amazing. I think we might be ruined for buying cows now....my stomach has trumped my morals :(

                        2. BTW asked Costco meat dept staff one day when there was no prime on sale and he said it was flying out and they couldn't get enough of it, and yes they will continue to carry prime cuts. Great news as I too am addicted. And jojo, it is not that much more expensive than AAA at Costco-at least not at present.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Scary Bill

                            'flying out' - interesting, I wonder where it actually comes from???

                            1. re: cleopatra999

                              Maybe "flying out the door"?
                              Instead of beef on the wing.

                              1. re: cancowboy

                                oh...silly me. you are probably right....

                              2. re: cleopatra999

                                Well for starters, beef comes from beef cattle, a cow subset. (I thought you would have known this) A cow is an animal as opposed to a vegetable. It is a product of Canada, and it appears that it may be from Alberta, as the Costco Prime initiative seems to have started in Alberta.

                                http://www.communitycontent.ca/en/201...

                                And so I have been told by someone I trust, some of them do fly, much like pigs.

                                Hope this helps.

                                1. re: Scary Bill

                                  yes immensely, I was terribly confused, here I was keeping my beef in the veggie drawer....
                                  :)

                                2. re: cleopatra999

                                  Sorry this was a smart reply, but I didn't scroll down far enough to see scary bill beat me too it.