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May 11, 2011 07:17 AM

Mail Order Steaks

Husband got a new grill and I'd like to get amazing steaks to christen it with. I've had Allen Brothers and they were wonderful. Any other place that you'd suggest?

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    1. re: ferret

      Be aware that those sites are 100% grass fed beef. Although grass fed beef is trendy because its a bit leaner and some people object to the practice of using feedlots to feed cattle corn etc to fatten them up, most people agree that grass fed beef is less flavorful. Top end steakhouses use mostly corn + other grain finished beef.

      1. re: twyst

        Where are these "most people"? Grass fed beef is delicious with intensely beefy flavor. Grain fed for me now is bland and mushy.

        I've ordered steaks from Tallgrass Beef, which is owned by Bill Kurtis of CBS News fame. Good stuff, the prices are decent--it runs sales a lot--and you'll get an apron. Great hot dogs, too.

        1. re: MandalayVA

          I think Tom Colicchio's statement on why he doesn't use all grass fed beef in his steakhouses is pretty telling. He said he would use it, but people wouldn't come to his steakhouses anymore.

          Some people like grass fed beef better, but I think its safe to say a majority prefer corn fed as far as flavor is concerned, mostly because it is what they have come to expect. Grass fed beef is leaner and is healhier, corn fed beef has more fat and therefore more flavor is the general consensus from most people I talk to.

          Even in the article linked in the post we are responding to, it says VERY few top end steak house in all of the US serve all grass fed beef. Don't you think that if the majority of people preferred grass fed it would be a lot more common in top tier steakhouses?

          1. re: twyst

            The majority haven't tasted grass fed beef, and when folks eat out, they expect something familiar at the prices their used to.
            I made the switch to all grass feeding of meat years ago, and it's much more tasty, still well marbled when it should be.

        2. re: twyst

          Stock Yards

          The "Chicago Cut" bone-in rib chop is tremendous.

        1. re: taboni

          Amen on Lobels. I have been grilling steaks for 50 years. Yes, 50 years. Last 20 have been mail order, and I have tried EVERYONE. Lobel's prime dry aged is the best, and is about three down from the top on prices. You won't go wrong with them. Believe me.

          1. re: steakman55

            Okay, you've convinced me. This will be christen grill/father's day present.

        2. why not just get'em locally? If you don't have a butcher shop in your area, any supermarket meat dept will cut you a couple thick strips or tbones. If I were near lobels, I may consider buying from them (overpriced and fru-fru) but mail order? Makes me think of omaha

          9 Replies
          1. re: BiscuitBoy

            "any supermarket meat dept will cut you a couple thick strips or tbones."

            Either you're the luckiest person in the US (or wherever you are) and your supermarkets actually have truly great beef, or perhaps you don't understand the desire to have some really special beef. The supers around here (Stop'N Shop, Market Basket, Hannaford) carry a lot of Select and some Choice, but it's all standard feedlot stuff - mass produced, cut in one of the 4 super-slaughterhouses that serve the whole US... what we've grown to accept as mass-produced, factory made beef.

            Whether grass-fed all the way or corn-finished, there are private producers of truly high-quality stuff, including US Wagyu, that most folks interested in great food would consider worth the price. If you can't tell the difference, then obviously it's fru-fru to you and you shouldn't pay for the upgrade. But you should try Allen Bros or Snake River Farms or some other fine beef purveyors (and Omaha is a complete joke - only for suckers that really can't tell the difference) before you make that final fru-fru decision.

            And if you want to try some completely incredible beef, find a real Japanese place that's serving real Kobe or Omi or Japanese Mishima Wagyu and eat it as Sashimi or Tataki - never more than super rare. (There is a US farm growing "Mishima" beef, kinda like saying US Champagne or California Cognac). Nothing grown in the US approaches real Japanese Wagyu. As with so many other foods, there's beef, and then there's beef. You're not going to find anything near the best at the Supermarket.

            1. re: applehome

              Upscale grocery stores here carry wagyu and dry aged prime beef. It's not the absolute very best beef you can get, but its still VERY good. In major cities nicer grocery stores sell some pretty fantastic beef.

              1. re: applehome

                We had Allen Brother's steaks and they were so much better then what I can get at Whole Foods.

                1. re: DaisyM

                  Oh, you can definitely get better steaks from online purveyors, Im just saying its possible to get very good quality beef at a grocery store. Ive gotten some great wagyu at Central Market.

                2. re: applehome

                  It amuses me to hear people toss around terms like "locally sourced" "farm to table" etc, but will buy meat mail order and from, gasp, outside the country! alice waters would be sooo disappointed. Ask to speak with the butcher at stop and shop, tell him what you're looking for, and you'll come come home home with a great piece of meat. Too plebeian for you? Find a dedicated meat market in your area. I don't need the snob appeal, and price rape of a place like lobels. I don't need my beef massaged daily and fed kirin beer. If I really have the need to burn money, I may look at the meat case in whole paycheck. And believe me my friend, I can tell the difference in a good piece of meat, which is why I choose it in person, and don't trust the marketing hype of mail order

                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                    Stop and Shop and other supermarkets do not carry good quality meats IME. I can't imagine a discerning shopper going there for a steak.

                    1. re: mcf

                      true, I'm not very discerning...but I have learned how to choose a nice cut, and can make a ny strip at home that rivals mortons or lugers. The perception of superiority is just that

                      1. re: BiscuitBoy

                        As long as you enjoy it, that's fine for you. I'm not about to tell you what you should or shouldn't like. I just disagree with your assertions and advice above, because supermarket meat is a lower grade and a lot cheaper for a whole lot of reasons having to do with quality.

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          "The perception of superiority is just that"

                          That is true with all foods (and lots of other things). We choose to make these things important to us - we research and learn, we analyze and learn to distinguish. The palate is not an unchangeable, pre-destined function of biology. It grows with our knowledge and our ability to apply that knowledge to what goes in our mouths.

                          That you've chosen to disregard the "high-end" of meat, beef in particular, is indeed your choice. But that's not necessarily a position that you'll find popular on a site that looks at learning about all foods, high and low end, as a Sine qua non.

                          You changed your initial position of supermarket being good enough to going to the butcher - a significant step in both price and quality. There's a lot more than that out there and as a Chowhound, I would think that you'd be interested.

                          If someone invited you to a taste-off (for free) comparing your butcher's big-4 standard American corn-fed USDA Choice, to dry-aged USDA Prime, grass-fed, US Wagyu, Japanese Wagyu... wouldn't you jump at the chance? Not that you'd necessarily insist on paying top dollar for the best meat from that point on, but you'd know about it, understand the choices. People make these choices all the time - my kid's College tuition vs. eating Kobe beef every week. But Chowhounds do so knowledgeably, as vs. blindly striking out against the best as only being for snobs.

                          My budget these days hardly includes any steaks at all. When I do eat steaks, I opt for supermarket USDA Choice flatiron or blade from the chuck - under $4/lb. But once in a while, I sneak in a USDA Choice/Prime (very well marbled) Rib-eye or Strip from Costco or the butcher. And even rarer than that, I go out for something really special - because I know how great it is.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I just filled up my gas tank...YIKES! I think we may be christening the grill with hot dogs instead.

                  2. Ignore the naysayers. Alderspring Ranch grass-fed steaks are the best steaks in the country. Ribeye and filet mignon are their best Unfortunately, word has gotten around the supply is limited.