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Dec 21, 2010 12:47 PM

best supermarket meat dept. in Bergen County

I am planning to buy a standing rib roast for the holidays. I priced it at Whole Foods yesterday and, while I often defend WF prices, $15.99 lb (NOT organic either) seemed really high. Then again, I'm not much of a meat cook so I don't know what to expect with regard to price or quality. I'm wondering what experiences others have had with area meat departments (i.e.Costco, Fairway, Stop 'n Shop, Shoprite etc).
Also, if anyone has any advice on buying and cooking a rib roast, I'd appreciate it.

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  1. The snob in everyone will suggest you purchase Prime Grade Only....but I'll ask you first how many are you planning to serve...adults, and children? What's your budget? Depending on the store and Grade, you can purchase on sale from 3.99-24.99 per pound this time of year.

    17 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Is that, like, preemptive name calling?

      1. re: tommy

        It eliminates the impostors....

        1. re: fourunder

          Shew. I'm the real deal.

          Fairway has standing rib roast (Prime) for about 12.99/lb this week. Just got a small one for tonight.

          1. re: tommy

            Did you opt for the First Cut, 3 ribs....or do you prefer the Second Cut, 4 ribs, smaller bones, sometimes referred to as the Small End?

            1. re: fourunder

              I opted for 1.5 bones as it's just for two. Basically a big steak. And I think it was cheaper than buying the steak, but it had better marbling than rib steaks that I saw in the case.

              But it appears to be from nearer the short loin than the chuck, judging by the curvature of the bone and the muscles (the small end, I suspect). Not much serratus ventralis to speak of. I find the meat nearer the short loin has better marbling in general, and without as much of that intramuscular fat that the rib has toward the chuck end. Just my preference tonight. I usually love more serratus ventralis.

            2. re: tommy


              If you are ever in the Bronx....Master Purveyors @ Hunts Point.., they supply the top places in the city.

              My Thanksgiving 7-bone was 9.99/lb for Prime. Christmas is going to be a full Strip Loin Roast.


              1. re: fourunder

                A lot of places supply the top places in the city. I always get a kick out of those claims. Luger probably has 20 purveyors. They are grabbing the best of the best and leaving us with the rest. :)

                9.99/lb is a good price, especially if you're buying a standing rib roast for a bunch of people. It adds up.

                Now the question is: sear, or not sear. High heat, or low heat. Etc.

                But do try Westwood if you haven't. I haven't found a better butcher in my area of Bergen county. For beef, at least.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Is Master Purveyors open to the public?

                  1. re: pabboy


                    Yes it is. I suggest you give them a call first....and speak to the manager. He'll explain the pricing to you over the telephone. If you purchase the whole short loin, they'll cut them down into steaks for you and cryovac them for a nominal charge. You can also go there to purchase Skirt steaks and other cuts as well.

                2. re: tommy

                  how was the fairway roast? I'm only feeding 5 people so I was guessing that I"d need about 5 ribs? more? less?
                  I've heard of the place in Westwood but I'm so swamped with things to do and its kind of a haul through xmas traffic from my neck of the woods (teaneck). fairway is a little closer and I have something on hold at that bestbuy anyway.
                  Anyway, it sounds like the Whole Foods price of 15.99 isn't that high after all. I have very little experience with roasts - actually none. My mother-in-law does made one for xmas every year but this year she kind of passed the torch and my family is insisting that I keep the tradition going. She always pays 4.99 at shoprite and, honestly, they've tasted pretty good over the years but I doubt that I've ever had prime so I can't really compare. I'm sure prime is much better.

                  1. re: lisaud

                    It was quite good.

                    I suspect you wouldn't need 5 ribs for 5 people. Probably 4 at the most. Heck 3 would probably do it.

                    1. re: tommy

                      I agree, three would be just fine. This link should help explain the difference between first and second cut, as discussed above, for lisaud (or anyone else reading along):

                      I lean towards sear first/low temperature roast (300F) myself, fwiw.

                    2. re: lisaud

                      The 4.99 ShopRite Prime Rib is not terrible. The item is treated as a loss leader item at the Holidays. I've purchased them throughout the year and treated them as steaks, like tommy did with his recent purchase at Fairway. Different Strokes and Price Points for.

                      Unless you are looking for leftovers and second helpings...Four Bones.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Sooooo...I bought the prime ! I bit the bullet in Fairway. I bought 4 ribs which came to a little over 8 lbs and.....$111.00. It seems obscene, frankly and I'm betting I never do it again but I was there and it was there and I figured it was pretty good since they have a pretty good rep and so I went for it. I realize we spend a lot more relatively speaking for a lot less in a restaurant and that's kind of how I rationalized it. The only thing is that if I mess it up I can't send it back to the kitchen and it will be an expensive mistake. Not mention that we'll have nothing for dinner. I guess I'll use the CI recipe. Should I use convection?

                        1. re: lisaud

                          FWIW, I have never made a poor puchase of beef at's always been great. I'm sure your going to have a great experience as well.

                          I'm not sure which CI recipe you reference, but in the past, CI was the seed that turned me on to low temperature slow roasting @ 225*. More recently, I have been using the <> Perfect Prime Rib method, essentially the same, calling for a holding time to let the meat rest, then back in the oven for a high heat blast to brown.....removing from the oven and serving immediately. Assuming you are shooting for medium rare temperature, your four bone roast will take approximately 3.5-4.5 hours to reach approximately 118-120*, when you would remove the roast and allow it to rest.

                          Some points to note:

                          * With regards to the convection oven, using it will reduce the amount of time need to reach your goal temperature. My ovens do not have the feature, so the comments I made above reflect that.

                          * With low temperature roasting, it's virtually impossible to ruin a roast by over-cooking

                          * If you purchased an Organic, Grass Fed roast, it may reach the target temperature sooner. I'm not a grass-fed fan, but by all accounts I have read seem to indicate grass fed beef cooks faster than corn fed beef.

                          The following two threads have many good ideas and information :



                          1. re: fourunder

                            thank you and everyone who took the time to respond and share your knowledge and ideas. I will post the results in case anyone is interested on how my foray into the world of prime turned out (and I will definitely use the slow roast method). Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas to all!

                            1. re: lisaud

                              So the Fairway prime rib roast was excellent. Unfortunately, I had a cognitive lapse and forgot to take it out of the fridge early enough so I ended up letting it sit out for @ 2.5 hours and then cooked it at 300 deg. with the convection on . As a result (based on what I've read) it didn't cook evenly; the ends were much more well done and the middle was perfectly medium rare. Which was alright since I like my beef a little closer to medium (horrors, I know).
                              The 3-rib roast (8.5 lbs) was way more than enough for the five of us so I have lots of leftovers. Only problem is that no one wants to eat the leftover meat. It was so rich and heavy to begin with that once was enough...for a while at any rate. I guess I'll freeze what's left. Does it freeze well? Or should I use it in another recipe?

            3. Definitely only buy Prime.

              All kidding aside, although I'm not, go visit Sal at Westwood Prime Meats. He will sell you a very good rib roast, and give you any advice you want. Call ahead (for the price), as they are busy this time of year.

              Supermarket meat departments are, in general, filled with laborers, not meat experts...or cooks for that matter.

              Westwood Prime Meat
              190 Westwood Ave Ste 1, Westwood, NJ 07675

              1. If you have access or availability to a Restaurant Depot in the area the quality is always outstanding because of the turnover and the prices are competitive.

                6 Replies
                1. re: dsiciliano

                  I always wonder about this place. Are any good steakhouses sourcing beef from Restaurant Depot? I'm wondering if they sell notable beef, or just regular beef for cheap.

                  1. re: tommy

                    They do sell Prime and Veal, but no Dry-Age. I purchase Flat Iron and Hanger there on the cheap.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      Email me and tell me how to get around the entry requirements.

                      1. re: tommy

                        Do you have a friend who owns a food establishment? I would imagine the Restaurant Depot would give you a membership as an insider with your blog.....especially if you have a sales tax number.

                        BTW...the Hanger averages about 2.50 for the year....The Flat Iron/Top Blade is usually a little higher. They have a house label for beef (Superior Angus), which is an additional half buck per pound over the others.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          My EIN is not related to food. I was under the impression that you need something beyond proof of an EIN for entry. But, I don't really know. And I think I'll stick with Sal!

                          1. re: tommy

                            It doesn't have to be food related. We have a jewelry store and we got a restaurant depot card with the ein.

                2. For those of you who can use this info, Kings supermarket sometimes has wagyu ribeye steak on sale for less than $15 /lb. Wow, I was very very impressed with the quality. I also bought some prime ribeye steak and compared the taste and there is no doubt wagyu was the winner.

                  Also, Costco carries prime beef and according to my super foodie friend, they carry a really good quality beef.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Monica

                    Did you do a side-by-side blind taste test? What were the differences that put this Wagyu over the top? From where did you get the Prime ribeye?

                    1. re: tommy

                      I got the prime ribeye from Kings too and yes, my husband and I did a side by side blind taste but that blind test was a joke because wagyu was so much better in everything...texture, had more strong meaty flavor..a nice one....I am not a huge steak person but wow, it was good.

                  2. Kings wagyu is a very good beef, however, if $$ are limited, Costco "prime" is an excellent tasting beef....and the prices beat any private butcher shop........I have found over the years as an inveterate beefeater, that beef is a "science"...raising the animal, buying, dressing, grading, storing, cutting, all are intricate processes that the average consumer isn't aware have to trust your butcher to be honest, and give you the best advise......which isn't always the case.