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Dec 17, 2012 01:59 PM

best price/quality ratio sources for an Xmas rib roast?

So I'm looking for a rib roast to cook on Xmas day, ideally of nice enough quality but I need to keep the costs in control because I've also got quite a few lobsters on the menu.

My go-to butchers McCall's and Lindy&Grundy are both closed on Mondays so I don't know what the prices are, but I recall both being very not cheap.

Marconda's has prime roasts at $13.99/lb- never tried their meats so I can't speak to quality.

On the other end of the scale, Ralphs has a special on Rib Roasts later in the week at $4.88/lb and I've got my secret weapon seasoning (Vignalta sea salt from the Veneto w Venetian herbs), but I can't help feeling slightly pessimistic about a supermarket roast...

Are there other butchers in the area that ought to be on my radar? Or is the Ralphs option not so tacky? Beverly Hills is pretty much my western cutoff.

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  1. Ralphs carries USDA Choice meat in most of its stores. The flagship store on Ventura and Vineland also carries USDA Prime. In my experience their beef is more than acceptable. Other options are HOWS Market in Pasadena, Costco, and Jim's Fallbrook Market in Woodland Hills. All three carry USDA Prime, and Jim's sells Harris Ranch Beef. Jim's is usually expensive, but I am sure it is less so than Lindy and Grundy. Good luck.

    1. The How's Market chain is now out of business. I did see Sprouts had rib roasts, but I've never cooked theirs before, so can't vouch for it. Maybe you can get a tiny two rib roast from Ralph's just to try, since it's so low in price, before you make your holiday investment in a larger one. Good luck - I sure miss How's!

      4 Replies
      1. re: critter101

        The How's chain might be out of business, but I'm pretty sure the one surviving store in Pasadena is still going. You can probably google the info off the 'net. My sister goes to the Super A market that took over the old Torrance How's and the meat she's gotten there has been pretty good. When she asked they said they were still using "the old meat supplier." Since I don't go there (if you're interested) you might call and ask if they stock what you need.

        1. re: Feed_me

          I just checked google and found the How's advert (good until Tuesday 12/18).
          The low price is if you spend $35 minimum, minus the cost of the roast. How's used to have pretty good meat and there is a topic below about Restaurant Depot, but I'm totally unfamiliar with them.

          1. re: Feed_me

            Wow - thanks for the good news about the Pasadena How's. It's a bit of a drive, but for something special, I'd make the trip.

            1. re: Feed_me

              HOWS in Pasadena is alive and well, and has occasional incredible deals. A few weeks ago I purchased a whole Prime chateaubriand for $7 a pound. Their seafood quality is excellent as well. I miss the North Hollywood store.

          2. Wow to How's!
            Went last night. I got there about 30 minutes after the meat dept had closed, and the only Prime rib roast available was a 10lb, 6 rib affair. With only a few people there, when I asked if there was a smaller on in the back the manager nicely cut down the one he had to exactly my size. Super nice people, and I have a beautiful cut of Prime beef for about half of what it would cost somewhere else!
            Highly recommended.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jdwdeville

              Do tell.

              I went to Ralph's today (Wilshire at Bundy - WLA/Brentwood) pretty early (just before 8 a.m.). Meat dept. just setting up (nothing in butcher counter display, no prime rib roasts in display case off to the left). Found a butcher setting up, he went back and brought me 4 rib roasts ranging from 3 lbs. to more than twice that. Took the smallest. Just me today, so cut a wedge from the top. Roasted it -- good quality. Cost $13+ and could easily get four meals or three with leftovers and bones for gnawing or freeze for stock.

              1. re: nosh

                I just posted a message because I just spoke to a manager at the Ralph's at Hollywood and Western and he told me that they were not offering this prime rib special this year so I'm a bit confused. I will call another store, but this is all kind of confusing to me. I would appreciate any help anyone could offer. Thanks

                1. re: drpeterson

                  The loss leader at Ralphs this season is the new york strip roasts for $4.88 a pound. I don't think the new york cut -- the strip side of the t-bone -- is best roasted. I bought a 2+ lb. roast and cut it in two and have steaks just over a pound that are as thick as they are wide.

                  The flyer for the stores near me -- Westwood -- are also advertising a bone-in choice rib roast for $6.88 per pound.

                  The Sprouts on Westwood Blvd. advertises a choice bone-in prime rib roast for a buck or two more but with the meat cut from the bones and tied on for best flavor but easy carving. They brag theirs is "never frozen" but I don't think the ones from Ralphs are from frozen either.

                  1. re: nosh

                    Thanks, I'll check out the New York Strip Roasts because I love that cut of steak. Although I'm an Epidemiologist ( just not working because of disability due to a 22 year chronic illness) I know my way around a kitchen, but have never made a roast of NY Strip. Thanks for your help. I'll still make a classic Yorkshire pudding, which I finally got done. I need to serve 5-6 people. Can you buy a NY strip of about 6-7 lbs for that many people and have some left over? I appreciate your help.

                    1. re: drpeterson

                      If you go to one of the Ralphs that is carrying the $4.88/lb. special, I'm sure you could get one that big. I'd call ahead. But I'd rather cook two that are 3-4 lbs. each -- more delicious end cuts.

            2. Just as an update, McCall's got back to me yesterday and their price is $17.99/lb...
              Have I mentioned how thankful I am you guys brought up How's?

              1 Reply
              1. re: jdwdeville

                Its a great store. It is a shame its down to one location. BTW for your jus they have bags of frozen soup bones just down from the meat section.

              2. I just spoke to a manager at Ralphs and for the first year for as far back as I can remember they are not offering Prime Rib roast at the reduced cost. I'm very disappointed because this is part of a Christmas Eve tradition for my brother and I and since I'm on a disability income it was the only way I could afford it. I'm writing Ralph's tomorrow and for the time being because of this I will no longer shop there.

                1 Reply
                1. re: drpeterson

                  So just to confirm I spoke with the meat department manager at the Ralphs at Ventura and Laurel Canyon and he told me that this year the Ralph's corporation is not offering this Prime Rib special as they have in the past, but told me to call the store manager tomorrow and he might be able to work something out. I'm writing Ralph's web page tonight.