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Sep 9, 2010 11:18 AM

BN Ranch products

Read the piece in today's Chronicle about Boulevard Burger in San Mateo that serves meat from Bill Niman's BN Ranch

It seems like every once in a while, a restaurant in SF (or the Bay Area) will have a special featuring a BN Ranch product, but I was wondering if there are any other places that regularly source their meat from BN Ranch.

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  1. Boulevard Burger is in San Leandro, not San Mateo. :)

    Back to your regularly scheduled discussion; I am also interested in BN Ranch sightings.

      1. The Pop-Up General Store has a limited number of BN Ranch turkeys for pickup on the 23rd:

        5 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I ordered a BN heritage turkey from Bi-Rite, SF.

          I'd love to see more folks differentiating between BN and the old Niman brand that Niman himself appears to have disowned/discredited.

          1. re: Fine

            I don't think Niman Ranch has gone downhill, and I doubt many people are confusing the two.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Bill Niman thinks Niman Ranch has gone downhill:


              "(after) a new management team took over in 2007...the company sold its custom butchering plant in Oakland and prepared to sell its high-end feedlot in Idaho. Niman Ranch began to purchase cattle ready for slaughter from feedlots over which the company had little control...Mr Niman said feed standards dropped and animals were transported distances longer than 500 miles, which stresses them too much."

              I've noticed a trend in fewer upscale Bay Area restaurants serving Niman Ranch meat. Cafe Rouge, for example, has moved to Creekstone beef and whole Magruder steers which they butcher in house. I mostly see Becker Land pork on the menu at Pizzaiolo, whereas they used to use a lot of NR. NR tends to be advertised in casual places, take-out, burger joints, etc.

              I agree with you that anyone who knows about BN Ranch is unlikely to confuse it with Niman Ranch,

              5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

              Cafe Rouge
              1782 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710

              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                There are arguably better alternatives available to small numbers of consumers in certain places, but I'm dubious of claims that Niman Ranch's quality has dropped. Their protocols are open.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Based on a conversation with Nicolette Hahn Niman, I think Bill takes issue with Niman Ranch's current beef operation, but that the pork and lamb operations remain much as they were when Bill was with the company. I'm pretty sure that the changes in the beef program do, in Bill's eyes, compromise the quality of the beef (and the experience of the beeves -- the two are related). At the same time, I think that even Bill would admit that the current Niman Ranch beef is superior to the vast majority of beef available in supermarkets (and even butcher shops). It just doesn't meet Bill's (very) high standards.

                  On a related but tangential note, the BN Ranch hot dogs recently available through the Pop Up General Store were great!

        2. The Marin Sun Farms store in Market Hall in Oakland carries BN Ranch product. They had some flyers out today.