Where to buy lamb (raw) in the boroughs?
I grew up in a Welsh family, so I'm a big fan of chops, roasts, legs, stews, etc.
But for some reason, this variety of meat, despite it being seemingly equally disliked as liked in the US, is often one of the pricier options in a typical market. $10 for two or three tiny chops?
As such, I'm wondering if it might be better to source lamb from markets who cater to populations where lamb is not exotic, but rather a typical staple. Middle East? Indian?
I don't mind riding the train in order to get some good, safe fare. Suggestions?
I live in Astoria where lamb is plentiful. But I don't think it's ever cheap. There are many butchers by the Broadway and 30th Ave stops on the N train. They're all good. But lamb chops are never cheap. Neither is a leg of lamb. But shanks and cheap and bones and heads are basically free. I think you should go to a butcher that sells a lot of lamb for quality. I doubt the price for legs and chops will be much cheaper.
Or, if you really want some fun, go to the live poultry place at 31-37 20th Ave (Ditmars Ave stop on the subway). Pick out a live lamb! You can't get much fresher than that. Plus you'll have lots of leftovers. You should read The Supper of the Lamb for inspiration.
Astoria Live Poultry
31-37 20th Ave, Queens, NY 11105
Try Brooklyn! Very up-and-coming in the food scene/ home to multiple ethnic enclaves enjoying lamb, etc. Also you might try asking some of the men with the kabob carts where to get raw or even if they'd sell you some perhaps? (never tried it but worth a shot...).
Trader Joe's (Metropolitan Ave, just off Woodhaven Blvd, in Glendale) has frozen lamb chops and rack of lamb for very reasonable prices. I am not a major lamb lover, but I've gotten it and it is very good. There is also an Asian market, forget the name, on Broadway in Elmhurst, maybe half a block from Queens Blvd, that carries frozen rack of lamb for maybe $10 or so....(from NZ, I believe).
Frozen TJ's lamb tastes a lot closer to the mutton side than lamb but that may appeal to you. Generally, any decent butcher shop will carry lamb. Its not a big item in the standard grocery store as most americans don't each much of it. If its available in your nabe, try fresh direct. You can order it in bulk and specify how you want it cut. Its great if you eat a lot of lamb.
Try Frank & Sal's in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Their meats are always primo. Italian families in the neighborhood usually order a whole baby lamb for Easter. The store itself is a destination with many imported Italian specialies. Take the D train to 18th Avenue in Brooklyn and walk north 4 blocks.
Frank & Sal
8008 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11214
Try fertile crescent grocery and halal butcher on Atlantic avenue near times plaza.
570 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217