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MEAT MASTERS - Old-fashioned, family-owned butcher shop in Katy

j
Jaymes Mar 8, 2011 11:32 AM

I've just discovered something I thought no longer existed - an old-fashioned, full-service, family-owned butcher shop, and it's right out here in Katy.

They've got, or can get, whatever you want - prime beef, imported lamb, kobe beef. You name it, they've either got it or can get it.

And they've also got great sides and other specialty foods.

It's hard to keep a butcher shop going these days, what with all the competition from the grocery stores and large discounters like Costco and Sam's. Anyone interested in fine meats and excellent service should at least give this place a try.

http://www.meatmasterskaty.com/home.html

  1. Lambowner Jun 10, 2011 12:56 PM

    Some of you might like to take a weekend drive to Kovasovic's in Rosenberg. My people there buy all their meats at Kovasovic's.

    http://houston.citysearch.com/profile...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Lambowner
      b
      bishopsbitter Jun 11, 2011 07:09 AM

      Don't know how this place has escaped my radar (it must be well hidden away?!) but thanks for the tip! Will check it out for sure.

      1. re: bishopsbitter
        Lambowner Jun 11, 2011 09:16 AM

        It's a block off of Hwy 36 on M. Take 59 to 36 and turn North on 36. It's a fun place. Well, for people like us. Others might like Six Flags.

        1. re: Lambowner
          b
          bishopsbitter Jun 11, 2011 12:30 PM

          Found it, thanks! Had to check it out as have driven around most of the byeways of Rosenberg without stumbling across it.

      2. re: Lambowner
        b
        bishopsbitter Jun 11, 2011 10:22 AM

        Checked it out (it is hidden away east of Hwy 36 on Ave M).
        You know not the best day probably as they are about to close for "family vacation" after today.
        What I saw on offer was pretty standard with nothing out of the ordinary on display apart from a tray of (pretty good looking) fresh liver. They were selling Wright bacon and I didn't really spot anything that appeared "home made" on offer. They do appear to have good deals on big freezer stock-up packs. 1/2 cow at 2.99 per pound. Again, what I am looking for always is mainly "something I can't get anywhere else" and I didn't spot much here of that nature; in fact the meat market in Eagle Lake (where I live) is pretty comparable and saves the 30-mile-each-way drive. But still worth knowing about, and such places should be encouraged for sure.

        1. re: bishopsbitter
          Lambowner Jun 11, 2011 07:36 PM

          I sure hope you didn't make a special trip from Eagle Lake, since you didn't find what you wanted! I think this place has been there for a loooong time so is encouraged by locals. I've only been once, and brought home some steaks and their special rub. By "home made" do you mean sausage and such?

          As far as Rosenberg generally, it has some good food spots like 3M for burgers. I haven't been to the taco place that Triple D went to . I like the awesome Herfort's for custom jewelry. Excellent family, the Herfort's. If you want to design or change a piece of jewelry, there's no other place in Texas to go....

          1. re: Lambowner
            b
            bishopsbitter Jun 12, 2011 09:29 AM

            Well it was (a special trip) but no matter.

            Yes I am after home-made [anything] (boudin, cracklins, sausage, head-cheese . . .).

            While I have never been I just knew the first time I saw 3M signage that they were good for burgers and malts. And the jewelry store has always intrigued me as "diamond ring factory" is a kind of crazy sounding description. Both businesses right next to each other.

            When I first came to Texas (from Oklahoma) I bought red and green SUPER hot not so much salsas as creamy sauces and good cracklin's at El Tejano there on the main street.

            But since then I cannot work out if they are even still in business. I have periodically poked my head in there and the place is unlocked but no food and no service and th eplace appears deserted. I tell you though those red and green (polystyrene tubs of) salsas were marvellous although well off the "can handle" scale for most I would expect. Perfect on tacos and so on for those who can handle extra hot stuff.

            I am always looking for good fresh Mexican "cracklin's" (the Spanish correct name escapes me chicharrones or similar: I am talking more the pork belly style versus just the skin itself) but have been disappointed except for El Tejano (old "not today's!!) product at one place. Yuk!! Urgh!! Cracklins MUST be cooked daily.

            I would appreciate any Rosenberg tips (any cuisine at all) you are willing to share! Thanks!!!

            bb

      3. m
        Minus2 Mar 9, 2011 05:43 AM

        Do you know if they carry organ meats?

        10 Replies
        1. re: Minus2
          j
          Jaymes Mar 9, 2011 06:45 AM

          I don't, right off hand. But the fellow that owns/runs the place is very knowledgeable and accommodating.

          He told me that he has access to all of the suppliers that supply the big restaurants in town - Ruth's Chris, Perry's, Feast, etc., and can get the exact same meats.

          I feel pretty sure he'll happily get whatever you want. I'd suggest you telephone him and ask.

          1. re: Minus2
            b
            bishopsbitter May 21, 2011 03:47 PM

            Definitely not. Went here today. Not an "old-fashioned, full-service, family-owned butcher shop" in any way, but not to say they can't do a good filet or strip steak. It's just they are all just packaged product dispensed. Also lamb has gone by the board. (They don't do it any more.) In effect just like the meat counter at HEB or Kroger. Ask for anything out of the ordinary you are not going to be in luck. Cases full of the Louisiana crawfish-stuffed chickens you see in similar frozen cases at HEB. These are fine, but there is nothing here that seems to eminate from HERE. I think in terms of getting what we crave it's Chinese places like on Bellaire. we have to rely on Or drive to Louisiana.

            I am saddened because no-one should expect to be able to be a butcher, without butchering. I don't want to hear about "the nature of the meat industry makes it impossible for us to" . . . in the UK it is not impossible at all. (but there is a built-in possibility of monetary loss).

            I bought their $40 freezer pack. Didn't look great but will report on whether there's anything there worth celebrating.

            what we want in Katy is a butcher's shop such as can still be found (2 3 or 4) in any sized town in the Uk where meat is celebrated in all its forms.

            I wanted this to be better.

            1. re: bishopsbitter
              j
              Jaymes May 22, 2011 09:50 AM

              I am very saddened to hear this. When I first went in, the place did have the look and feel of an old-fashioned butcher shop. The woman in front of me had ordered some steaks, 2" thick, and pork chops 2" thick, slit for stuffing. The guy was busy chopping and slicing them up. I had a big chat with him and he told me how he had been in the meat business for, I don't know, twenty years or something, working in the meat departments of some of the big grocery stores, but how it had always been his dream to own a real butcher shop. I'll admit I was a little worried about how he could manage to keep it open against that sort of competition. But I got some bacon, and ordered a fresh Colorado leg of lamb, which I requested be butterflied for me.

              I marinated that lamb in olive oil, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, Beau Monde seasoning, and soy sauce overnight, and then we put it on the grill. It was absolutely fabulous. My guests couldn't get over it.

              But I drive by that shop often. And I've noticed that there seem to be no cars parked in front of it. I thought to myself just last week that he won't be able to keep it open much longer with no business. Probably would be cutting service, and that would be the beginning of the end. Sounds like that's what happening.

              I'm sorry, Bishopsbitter. Looks like I steered you wrong. But I'm even sorrier for that guy. I owned a small business for a time. You get really wrapped up in it, even far beyond the obvious financial concerns. It's hard to see it die.

              But, on a cheerier note, do you ever go to Tony's Mexican Restaurant on S. Mason? We go there often, and went again last night. I had the chicken mole poblano. Nope, not the most sublime and over-the-moon mole I've ever tasted, but really very good. I'll definitely order it again. Our family really likes Tony's.

              Perhaps I'll have better luck recommending that.

              -----
              Tony's Mexican Restaurant
              870 S Mason Rd Ste 152, Katy, TX 77450

              1. re: Jaymes
                b
                bishopsbitter May 22, 2011 12:39 PM

                Jaymes,

                I feel the same way. I own my own business and, while it's not retail, I want everyone's enterprises to succeed and am sad as I too could sense this man was foreseeing it not working out. (He even said "I don't make a lot on the freezer packs" which is a sign of financial troubles --- to say so to a customer) You can tell. And I feel bad for him. In this economy these "dreams" likely seem to fail for want of enough seed cash to really get established and the (what must be very annoying as a proprietor) human habit of flocking to places newly opened, setting unrealistic outlooks of business, then moving on elsewhere. I am not like that. If you know what I mean by a traditional "British butcher's shop" I would patronize that all the time. But they make their own sausage (in our neck of the woods their own boudin would be called for, their OWN crawfish-stuffed chickens . . ---even the meat market in Eagle Lake does their own boudin!), their own black pudding, pease pudding, boil their own hams, make sandwiches from freshly cut roast pork or said hams, their own beef, pork pies and Grosvenor pies etc.etc.etc. Even the boudin at this place was third-party plastic-wrap stuff.

                I asked about the various cooking equipment as to whether anything was on the go but no. Yes, I really want things to succeed but this morning I ran down to 99 Ranch Market on Hwy 6 and got pork bellies, lambs' testicles, pork kidneys, beef tendon . . . all stuff a "full service butcher" should not have to special order.

                The Katy man showed me his filet and it looked OK, very well marbled, but (am I the only one who finds plastic wrapped meat sitting in its own blood utterly offputting?) I know I know, all the guff in supermarkets must arrive like that, we just dont' see it.

                These folks (the man at Eagle Lake similarly started to do fried pork rinds, virtually inedible and tooth breaking, but a sign of "creativity" nonetheless and I said I loved the idea but surely cracklin's would save dentist's bills. He didn't take any notice. I am sure he could do a stiff trade in cracklin's) have to be sensitive to the customers (at least somewhat). Then he stopped doing the rinds because they were too doggone hard and inedible. Duh! You only have so many teeth you can break! :-)

                Don't feel bad. I picked up on the downturn and feel that had I seen it in its earlier heyday incarnation I would have been more favorably impressed.

                I still hope it can succeed but something has to be PRODUCED there that can't be gotten elsewhere. That seems to me the secret that will draw people back. And you can get thick-cut steak or butterfly chops anywhere. But not hot cracklins' or home-made red boudin or pease pudding and fresh-boiled ham (NOT I hasten to add spiral cut in any way shape or form!!!) ;-)

                Something as simple as hot links of home-made boudin. That's something the competition don't do. Also get on the Chinese butcher's delivery roster instead of the plastic-wrap brigade and encourage Chinese & Vietnamese (& BRITISH!!) customers who live in the area to keep the turnover going on the 'exotica'. Difficult I know but frankly the only reason I go to the meat market in Eagle Lake is their home-made boudin (everything else is generic). Therein lies some "business secret" right there. It could be home-made anything . . .

                And of course it's that creative investment in new things (which are risky and may fail miserably at the first few attempts until the magic combination is landed upon) which is most unlikely in a difficult cash-flow situation. Vicious circle.

                All best. Tony's sound's good. But places called Tony's often seem to be. There's one in Sealy also which is a sentimental fave for Halloween for some reason and half decent CFS.

                1. re: bishopsbitter
                  m
                  Minus2 May 31, 2011 06:38 AM

                  If you want homemade (plus fresh and wild caught) meats, check out Revival Market in the Heights. I grew up in Europe and it is the closest I found to a traditional butcher in Houston.

                  http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

                  1. re: Minus2
                    j
                    Jaymes May 31, 2011 09:49 AM

                    Yes, I was just in there a short time back. They also have beautiful fresh lard. That guy is raising his own pigs and chickens on his farm.

                    The store also carries wonderful European-style breads, and those fabulous Rancho Gordo beans.

                    It's a jewel of a store, and certainly deserves all the support we can give it.

                    1. re: Jaymes
                      b
                      bishopsbitter Jun 1, 2011 01:38 PM

                      Whoa, an out of town for a while but need to check that place out! Thanks -2 for the lead.

              2. re: bishopsbitter
                b
                bishopsbitter May 29, 2011 05:32 AM

                Following up: having tried his frozen pack the quality of the meat *is* good which excellent flavor, even though frozen. A tick above supermarket in taste (at least pork chops). So perhaps he just needs more business in the door and we could gradually adapt what's on the roster to be less pre-packaged, if there was demand and business.

                1. re: bishopsbitter
                  j
                  Jaymes May 29, 2011 10:07 AM

                  Well then, perhaps there's hope. I've got to admit when I saw you had posted to this thread, I feared it was to say that you went by there yesterday and he had closed.

                  Think I'll stop in there next week and pick up something. Maybe I'll get one of those frozen packs. It's nice to have stuff on hand, ya' know?

                  1. re: Jaymes
                    b
                    bishopsbitter May 29, 2011 10:15 AM

                    It is, it is. And perhaps drop a few ~subliminal~ hints about "home-made boudin" and "shrink-wrapped meats-(no matter how good)-o-phobia" :-) I know it won't (not that it couldn't) happen here but 90% fresh and 10% packaged is what a real butcher's shop should be. He's got the ratios reversed right now and I think the key to any success is to change that. Perhaps the frozen packs are part of the problem not the solution . . . . and should not be encouraged (after all good [completely fresh] meat can be frozen if desired, by us, the customer). Difficult, as per prev.

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