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Apr 7, 2011 07:29 AM

METRO Eglinton Square - Do they butcher their steaks with a Lawn-Boy?

What's the point of selling AAA striploin if the cut looks like you lobbed a grenade at a steer? I'd rather cross the street to No Frills and buy a well-cut AA that I can finesse into tender tastiness. Is this the way Metro always does it?

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  1. I have a similar "beef"(couldn't help it, sorry)with Highland Farms Mississauga meat dept. where steaks and chops are cut ridiculously thin--always.Ask why or for a thicker cut and all you get is a bemused shrug.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Kagemusha

      HF in Scarboro told me they use a machine, and can't override it.

      Costco also uses a machine, obviously set thicker to sell more meat, but they will cut to my spec. if I rap on the window, and give them some time.
      Not totally related, but I asked them for a brisket flat well marbled with a fat streak in the center, and they were glad to do it.

      1. re: jayt90

        Completely consonant with my Costco experiences. Despite the clinical look of the place, their meat dept in the Heartland Mississauga warehouse is friendly and happy to oblige on things like this. They're usually only around till noon or so, though.

      2. re: Kagemusha

        Well then you guys are getting better service than Metro has to offer. It isn't just that the steaks are thinly cut. They're misshapen as well. They seriously have no form at all. As for asking for a cut, you'd be lucky if the butcher comes out of hiding long enough to ask. They have a phone you use to make your request to the back room. After that, you get what you get. No interaction at all. At least I can see people behind the counter across the road. They needn't install a counter at Metro. Just have the guy come out so you can hold your fingers apart to display the desired thickness and size.

        1. re: Googs

          If added salt is a concern for you, then just watch out when you buy meat at No Frills, or other stores in the Loblaws family. A lot of the meats, especially cuts of pork, are labelled 'seasoned', which means they add salt to the meat. For last week's special on beef rib roasts at No Frills, the roasts were also seasoned. Who needs added salt to their diets, plus I've heard that salt is generally added to poorer cuts of meat. I don't see as much 'seasoned' meats at the Metro in Don Mills where I usually shop.

          1. re: Chatty Cathy

            Well, at least if the steak looks like a ragged mess, you know they didn't use meat glue to hold it together!

            1. re: Chatty Cathy

              "Seasoned"="embalmed." Injected brine extends shelf life and adds weight--a grocer's dream. NG(Loblaws, et al.) seem to be flogging lots of US-sourced pork and beef--most of it so-so quality that's often "seasoned." You're safe if you're literate and make a habit of reading labels. Bought a Canadian "seasoned" pork tenderloin that cooked up shriveled and tasteless.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I never had a problem at that Metro, I mean, its a grocery store not a butcher shop, so I dont expect custom cuts or anything special. That being said, anytime Ive bought steaks from them has typically been when they are on sale, and Ive never had a probem with the cut or quality. If I want a special steak, maybe a really thick steak, Ill go to a butcher shop( I like the one at Warden and Ellesmere, SW corner)...

                1. re: jmarcroyal

                  Chatty Cathy, I appreciate the advice. I never purchase seasoned cuts of meat anywhere and that includes from a boutique butcher. Seasoning at home is the only way.

                  Indeed Metro is a grocery store. However, walk across the street to No Frills and you'll see what a grocery store can do if they give just a little bit of a damn. Go to the counter at Loblaws Queens Quay and see what plenty o' damn can do. No custom cut request necessary at either location.

                  Using "its a grocery store" as an excuse for underserving their clientele just doesn't, pardon the pun, cut it. They're complacent and it shows.

                  I have every intention of shopping at Kostas now that the good weather is here. I shouldn't HAVE to leave my neighbourhood just because Metro lacks any observable skills. Metro should wake up and smell the competition.

            2. re: Googs

              The Metro stores seem to retain the individual features of the Dominion stores they took over.
              In my area (White's Rd.) they retained a decent meat cutting counter which has better quality than most of their meat trays, but fairly high prices
              Chances are, Dominion at Eg. Square never catered to that kind of market, and Metro hasn`t really stepped upscale yet.

              1. re: jayt90

                Yeah, that's my local Metro too (I can walk there). When Metro took over, first all the prices went up (which I mentioned on this forum, seemed to be a chain-wide phenomenon), then they did some minor renovations. The meat counter has always done a decent job, as you said, but they have to compete against Independent and Loblaws that also do a decent job and are (arguably) slightly more upmarket, so they can't afford to slack off.

                OTOH, Metro at Eglinton Square has to compete against No Frills and Wal-Mart. That means they're fighting on price not quality, so you know they'll cut corners (bad pun).

                1. re: TexSquared

                  IMO they should differentiate themselves in the same way they do with their cheeses. By offering more choice of a higher quality than can be found elsewhere in the neighbourhood. I go to Metro specifically for their parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, etc plus the Lactantia milk. I go to No Frills for just about everything else. It needn't be that way. Why not sell a good steak and let No Frills supply the salad?

                  1. re: Googs

                    That used to be Dominion's MO, remember their old slogan "Mainly because of the meat." That went by the wayside as vegetarianism became more popular, and totally disappeared when Metro took over.

                    The Pickering store clearly still adheres to the good old ways (although that store probably opened long after the slogan went away!) but Eglinton Square does not.

                    1. re: TexSquared

                      I remember. I hear that slogan in the back of my mind when I stare at their offerings and it taunts me. I'm not saying they need to have boutique butcher quality standards. I am saying that if they're selling AAA, the least they can do is cut it well. Otherwise, they may as well drop their standard a bit more and sell only stewing and frying meats.