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So Since Thundering Hooves closed...

I'm in the market for other "Greater Seattle" sources for grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork and lamb, and chickens that were happy until they met their maker. I've done the farmers' market routine, and that seems to be a so-so option for stewing meat, but the leaner cuts of vacuum-sealed frozen meat are inevitably dry. Sea Breeze is good, but they always seem smug and I despise that they refuse to put up any signs at all telling you what you're looking at and how much it costs.

We're talking never-frozen, aged (for beef), butcher-wrapped not shrink-wrapped, happy meat. The fat might have a golden hue and the meat feels almost tacky to the touch. The kind of place where no one thinks you're difficult or looks at you funny for wanting slab bacon or leaf lard or asking where the meat came from and what the animal ate. Preferably (but not neccesarily) local and organic and able to (at the very least) special order offal and cheeks and tail and whatnot.

I do the controversial Bill the Butcher (http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arch...) from time-to-time, and have recently heard good things about the Swinery in another thread.

Where else?

The Swinery
3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

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  1. I love the products at Rainshadow Meats in the Melrose Market.

    1. Bill the Butcher's various outlets are now quite good about telling you the provenance of their meat and my experience is that they will try to work with you on off-cuts. The size of their operation is helpful in maintaining a good selection.

      The Swinery and Rainshadow Meats both have better charcuterie than BTB, but their selection is spottier.


      The Swinery
      3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

      1. Thanks to you both! I'd heard of Rainshadow but somehow had it in my head that it was out in the boondocks. Being carless, that location is actually far more convenient than Bill the Butcher's.

        And yeah, Adam, BtB is great as far as I'm concerned (as I noted in a mysteriously deleted post in that locked thread). At this point it just feels like it's worth saying up front that I know it's a bit controversial.

        1. I like some of the frozen meats sold at the farmers markets:

          The ham steaks sold by Olsen Farms are really delicious.

          I love the rib steaks from Stokesberry Farms. (I'm reluctant to talk about this, because they tend to run out of beef.) Their eggs and chickens are my favorite. Sometimes they have fresh whole hens, in addition to the frozen ones.

          5 Replies
          1. re: val ann c

            I love the Olsen Farms taters. And I've snagged excellent leaf lard from them. Roasts have been pretty good, but not excellent. They are just wonderful people, so I definitely plan to continue supporting them and buying meat from time to time.

              1. re: infoegg

                I thought Skagit was all frozen, except for chickens.

                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                  Yes, i think you are right. Forgot you were looking for all un-frozen. Hard to find.

            1. re: val ann c

              I just tried those ham steaks a few weeks ago and they are spectacular! And quite easy to fix for a work-night dinner.

            2. Ballard Market has beef that's labeled grass fed. It's kept in a separate case from the other beef, closer to the counter. I can't remember the brand, though.

              1. I find Bill the Butcher to be among the best local butchers other than the Swinery for certain things. I go to the Magnolia store and both of the guys there are very knowledgeable and helpful. They also work on sourcing the things that I want.

                The other places i've been to are

                A&J Meats on Queen Anne which is just a total joke, very very overpriced the seafood place stinks and the meat is of a poor quality not to mention after about 10 requests for a few specific cuts etc that were repeatedly ignored.

                Rainshadow Meats I found the beef here to be pretty good but the attitude and we are so superior message was just uneeded. In addition when I asked about certain cuts and sourcing certain game meats I was told that they didn't do that.

                Swinery is great and has probably the best bacon in seattle.

                The meat place down by de laurenti in pike's place pretty good but not really grass fed etc.

                Overall the ability to request certain cuts of beef and game and actually have anyone deliver on it is terrible in Seattle. Its funny because in LA i have 5 places that I could go to easily and they would stock a lot of the stuff that I wanted. To me it doesnt' seem hard to have Venison Rack's, Wild Boar Shoulder, duck etc as a regular item.

                Queen Anne Cafe
                2121 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

                The Swinery
                3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116