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Meat Market in San Gabriel Valley Area

Hi Chowhounders,

I just moved back to SGV area, but I miss my access to Whole Foods quality meat. Can anyone share places to buy meat that is:

1. Still in the SGV area (not East LA, not Pasadena)
2. Has comparable quality and selection of a Whole Foods?

I know it's a pipe dream but I'm now traumatized after having served chicken wings to the bf who later got sick. He has even eaten pad thai off a motorcycle in Thailand so he has a strong stomach.

Thanks! :)

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  1. Sorry, i've lived in SGV forever and i'm scared as hell of half the damn places that sell meat. Luckily i live in pasadena but man. Walking into all those damn super markets on valley is insane. Scares the crap out of me to think i would feed any of that to my girlfriend of family.

    1 Reply
    1. re: madsp33d

      Thanks mads. I spoiled my stomach because I used to live in MP a few years ago and I could buy 99 ranch meat all the time. Now that I have switched over to Whole Foods...well, let's just say I'm now stuck there. I guess no dirty dogs for you or me!

      1. Howie's Ranch Market
        6580 N San Gabriel Blvd
        San Gabriel, CA 91755

        Howie's Ranch Market
        6580 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cecilbee

          Just to avoid confusion, Alexander Prime Meats _is_ the meat counter inside Howie's Ranch Market.

          Howie's Ranch Market
          6580 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA

        2. I completely forgot about howie's, if you're going to go that far north though another 1/2 mile up and you get hit up whole foods or sprouts. Never been to alexander's anyone got any experience with them?

          2 Replies
          1. re: madsp33d

            Pretty much your standard Harris Ranch variety. A bit pricey.

            I would much rather head north to How's just up the street. Fantastic meat and very reasonably priced.

            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Theirs is Harris Ranch too, but as you say reasonably priced. My late pa-in-law guided me there when I was wanting to try cooking sweetbreads. Placed my order, picked them up a few days later, and was stunned at how cheap they were.

              I do not understand anyone's disdain for any of the big markets on Valley; though Hawaii Supermarket is a bit messier than one might wish, even it has no nasty smells in the meat or seafood areas, and their fish tanks were very clean last time I looked. 99 Ranch stores are generally as clean as Ralphs, and I like the music a whole lot better!

              99 Ranch
              17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

          2. Since Pasadena is apparently not acceptable (two Whole Foods markets, plus HOWS), I can only assume that San Gabriel a few blocks south (Howie's/Alexander's) isn't acceptable, either. Yet, both are in the heart of the SGV. Maybe you could tell us where in the SGV you are, or where you're willing to go to. Do you have a Costco membership? They have some decent meat there...

            7 Replies
            1. re: Jack Flash

              Hi everyone, thanks for your replies. I actually live in Alhambra which is not too far from Pasadena. I was just hoping there was something closer. I do buy chicken from Costco once in awhile but sometimes I just feel like making some Korean/Chinese food so I will need beef bones, or brisket, or ground pork. I have a feeling that I will end up going to all of these places. :)

              1. re: SmileyGirl

                honestly, costco has plenty of prime meat, and so does how's at the corner of San Gabriel and Huntington. For ground pork and beef bones, nothing beats the chinese markets, where they have super high turnover in those products (since chinese people are always buying them). no need for "prime" quality, either.

                1. re: Bert

                  For chicken, since it was the fowl/foul meat in question, Majestic would be the closest fresh slaughter. They have silkies, Vikon, fresh rabbit, etc.

                  For "heritage" chicken, Vikon is available at Ranch 99, 168, etc.

                  For ground pork, 99 Ranch freshly grinds any cut, so if you're tired of the pork belly/shoulder grind, pick up that fancy loin and they'll do it up on the spot. Buying beef bones/pork neck at W.Paycheck / Sprouts is rather stubborn.

                  99 Ranch
                  17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

                2. re: SmileyGirl

                  In Chinese markets, I usually select a cut of pork and ask them to grind it for me--less fat. You could probably do that at any market that has a butcher.

                  1. re: SmileyGirl

                    The Bristol Farms in Pasadena and the Glendale Whole Foods are the best in that area if they are not too far out and maybe Gelson's in Pasadena.

                    1. re: SmileyGirl

                      SmileyGirl, which chicken do you get from Costco? I only remember seeing Foster Farms, and the two times I've tried them they've been mushy and flavorless.

                    2. re: Jack Flash

                      The Alhambra Costco usually has USDA prime New York Strip and Ribeye, which have been consistently excellent in my experience.

                    3. A little lesson in geography and nomenclature.

                      SGV = San Gabriel Valley
                      Pasadena is part of SGV. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Gabr...

                      So, with that out of the way.

                      Here are you options in the SGV.

                      Whole Foods in Pasadena
                      The aforementioned Howie's Market/Alexander's Meats
                      Bristol Farms

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        @TonyC: Thx, I'll have lots of time to explore your various suggestions on Saturday as bf is traveling out of the country and I'm breaking a fast. I know I can count on you.

                        @Raytamsgv: Thx, I forgot about Gelsons. What does your sn mean?

                        @Peripatetic: I do buy the Foster's for just chicken breasts and wings when I do parties. It's hit or miss because I can tell when the packages have been refrozen. I also air dry the chicken in the fridge sometimes. When does it become mushy? Curious...

                        @ipsedixit: Thx for summarizing.

                        @Everyone: Thank you all for checking back. I'm new to the Chowhound etiquette but I do appreciate all the information. It's nice to know there are people out there willing to share.

                        1. re: SmileyGirl

                          > When does it become mushy? Curious...

                          After roasting, at least for the two times I tried it. Admittedly it was three years ago and I haven't repeated the experiment since. I've never tried air-drying.

                          1. re: SmileyGirl

                            I think scottca75 should get the credit for mentioning Gelson's.

                            Are you asking about scottca75's sn or mine?

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            By wiki/zoning definition, Pasadena is no doubt SGV. But for most in the region, Pasadena is Pasadena, where nimbys, bad food, and quite a few food writers roam.

                            From certain points in Alhambra, Whole Foods may be a whopping 25min (but ~6mi) away, especially on the weekends. Obviously ipse knows all this but... it merits a mention as at that kind of travel time, McCall's is an option.

                            Alhambra farmers market has all kinds of free-range locally raised farm fresh eggs, but for grass fed beef + free range chicken:
                            Healthy Family Farms (eggs, fresh chicken), J & J Grassfed Beef are both at the S. Pas Farmers Market 4-8pm Thursdays (today), though personally, I'd never buy anything from Healthy Family Farms.

                            J & J Restaurant
                            301 W Valley Blvd Ste 109, San Gabriel, CA 91776