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Haymarket - Get your Goat?

grant.cook Feb 18, 2012 08:13 PM


I was exploring the nooks and crannies of Haymarket this past Friday. Normally, I take the mindset of "Well, if Stop and Shop wouldn't have it, it ends up here.. " - so unless I need a bag of onions, the produce is avoided. But I noticed some halal butchers in down-below sections of the buildings, some selling some nice looking cuts of goat.

Now I haven't cooked with goat before, but if I did, anyone ever get a large cut from this area? Any good?

  1. hotoynoodle Feb 19, 2012 06:25 AM

    i have been shopping at haymarket for many years, decades in fact. many of the vendors have turned over since the days of mostly rotten tomatoes in your bag. i can't remember the last time i got anything even questionable, and the prices still cannot be beat.

    yes, i have bought lamb and goat from the basement butchers. my preference is the larger store, next to harry's cheese. they also have seafood on fri-sat. not all of it looks great, but i have gotten killer deals on tuna and swordfish that did and was.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      9lives Feb 19, 2012 09:28 AM

      want some meat?..:)

      Im still a fan of haymarket...and Harry,s cheeses are top notch. If you ask, he often has interesting/well ripened cheeses in the cooler.

      1. re: 9lives
        hotoynoodle Feb 19, 2012 10:21 AM

        love harry's! owner is now named roy. harry was well before my time.

        i think it's important that more people shop in places like harry's and the halal shops. they are small businesses, independently owned by locals. very few today appreciate a real butcher, and because they are used to pink-colored cutlets in styrofoam trays, wrapped in plastic, feel discomfited by big red hunks o'meat. lol. i only buy meat from butcher shops anymore.

        shaw's and stop & shop can go screw, honestly.

    2. l
      lergnom Feb 19, 2012 10:09 AM

      If you're there on the right days, you can see them unloading entire goat carcasses from a truck. They've been skinned.

      My only concerns about produce are weather and fruit. If there's a ton of something - like strawberries two weeks ago - it's likely a good thing to buy. Were delicious. If it's not ubiquitous, then it's likely a leftover or something like that. As to weather, if the stuff has sat out in sub-freezing temps all night - or in the summer in heat - then it can be bad. That's usually easy to avoid by touch but I did buy some eggplant which turned out to have frozen.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lergnom
        typhoonfish Feb 20, 2012 04:49 AM

        I also walked around haymarket before a 1 pm Bruins game two weekends ago. I can't even begin to tell you how bad the fish was. They were selling bait mackerel as food mackerel. The Maine Shrimp were black. Literally black.

        All I kept thinking to myself were these people must have iron stomachs. They were loading what ever fish you wanted into an old stop and shop bag.

        1. re: typhoonfish
          lergnom Feb 20, 2012 07:40 AM

          I've never bought fish at Haymarket and I certainly wouldn't on a weekend. Others may differ in their experiences. I far prefer to shop there on Friday.

      2. threedogs Feb 20, 2012 06:39 AM

        Can't comment on the goat, since I don't eat that (well, not yet at least) - but I LOVE to cook, am really fussy about my fruits & veggies (I cannot and will not, if I can avoid it, eat frozen, so I'm always on the lookout for fresh veggies) - and I absolutely love shopping at Haymarket.

        Haven't been there in a couple of months (my wheelie suitcase that I formerly used for a shopping cart broke & I've also been up to my ears preparing for an upcoming week-long vacation/wedding for my daughter :D), but usually I go there weekly.

        The idea that they have the discards from a standard grocery store is not correct at all. In fact, I won't buy produce at Stop & Shop or any of the other chain grocery stores if I can avoid it - horrible produce, and at (to me) ridiculous prices.

        The trick w/Haymarket is to walk around, check out what they have at various stalls, watch what you're given (I *did* get a couple of avocados a couple of weeks that I had to throw away, but we're talking about 2 for $1 here - not a great loss, in comparison to all the other bargains I get there). I also try to remember the good vendors & go back there.

        For instance - right before Thanksgiving, I got the most incredible portabello mushrooms for about very cheap (forget how much, but it was a fraction of what they're sold for at Stop & Shop), a bag of lemons for $1 - the previous week I got a vac bag of VERY FRESH baby french string beans for $1. Can't beat that with a stick!

        I feel that Haymarket is SUCH a great place - I LOVE the hustle & bustle of the place - if I never went there, I'd be missing out in so, so much. In fact, it's more than just the produce (and great prices - where else can you get a week's worth of fresh veggies for chunk-change, lol) that brings me there.

        4 Replies
        1. re: threedogs
          lergnom Feb 20, 2012 07:39 AM

          If the day's market price something is X and someone is offering it for X- the odds increase the produce is old, especially fruit. That doesn't mean you buy the most expensive; there is natural variation among vendors. It means you buy from people who let you pick what you want or who you trust from experience to give you good quality.

          1. re: threedogs
            typhoonfish Feb 20, 2012 07:58 AM

            I can tell you from first hand direct knowledge on the seafood end. Don't eat the fish.

            "under a buck, on the truck"

            1. re: typhoonfish
              hotoynoodle Feb 20, 2012 08:21 AM

              thankfully, they no longer sell fish during the summer months, lol.

              1. re: typhoonfish
                grant.cook Feb 20, 2012 07:41 PM

                I walked past one seafood stall.. lots of tuna steaks, but they didn't look really appealing..

            2. trufflehound Feb 21, 2012 01:39 PM

              The produce market is union, so they are open M-F. The last trucks arrive late Thursday. Anything that isn't distributed and won't last till the middle of next week is usually sent to Haymarket and sold cheap. Better than composting it. Ne produce starts rolling in Sunday night and the cycle continues.
              I've never found the fish appealing and I've never bought discount sushi.

              1 Reply
              1. re: trufflehound
                grant.cook Feb 21, 2012 01:41 PM

                This the produce market in Chelsea?

              2. s
                ScotchandSirloin Feb 21, 2012 02:24 PM

                I had a friend who got an entire butchered goat from one of the butchers there. We grilled it on a charcoal grill, so it tasted wonderful, but I'm not a person who can speak to good goat vs. bad goat. It was much smaller than goat I have had elsewhere.

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