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Jan 19, 2013 08:18 AM

bill the butcher in edmonds is finally opening this sunday

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  1. I could never really get into the whole "Bill the Butcher" thing. Aside from the fact that I don't buy into the organic nonsense, there is a distinct taste difference between a cow that was fed grass, and one that was fed corn. They stated in big letters that they sold the former - both times I purchased from them (once in Bellevue, once in Madison Park), I clearly got the latter. If I'm paying a premium, I expect what I'm getting at least on that front - and I know a lot of people who were upset at them claiming everything they served was organic when most of it wasn't.

    Guess that's what happens when 2 people with backgrounds in MARKETING decide to start a publicly traded butcher shoppe. In a city like this one where there are so many great options for where to get your meat, there's no reason to support this enterprise.

    Thought I also read somewhere that the husband and wife got divorced and the husband started up B&B in Pike Place, so the wife with no background in actual food is the one running that show. Given that none of their butchers seemed terribly knowledgeable in the times I was in those stores, I'm guessing there's a top-down vacuum of knowledge.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Quintious

      I agree that grass fed beef has a different taste than corn but I'm not sure what the point of your post is here.

      1. re: TheCarrieWatson

        Simple: They market their beef as grass fed when it's clearly corn fed.

        To those who care about such things, they label all of their meats as organic when even their suppliers state that they aren't. When the state got on them about it, their response was to make their meat board more vague so as to imply that their meat is organic when it's not actually.

        The point, my dear Watson, is that the entire corporation's model is predicated upon selling products that aren't what they claim them to be in an effort to attach a premium price that isn't deserved. They cater to the crowd that wants to feel superior via flexing their "artisan" purchasing power, but who lack the ability to notice that they aren't buying what they think they are.

        1. re: Quintious

          Are we talking about the "Bill The Butcher" corporation? What and who are you really talking about?

          1. re: TheCarrieWatson

            I'm not sure where it is you're getting confused at. I think I've been pretty clear, especially since there's only one "Bill the Butcher" chain....

            1. re: Quintious

              i take it you will not be shopping at the new edmonds location?

      2. re: Quintious

        Hi, Quintious;

        I've been in a few "Bill"s, and as the son of a butcher, I don't know what to make of the places. Yes, you can buy meat there, and yes, it's better than the pre-packaged (and carbon-monoxized) stuff in the lower-end grocery stores.

        But it's: (a) not particularly good; (b) quite expensive; (c) a limited selection; and (d) delayed and unhelpful service when it comes to custom and prepared-to-order cuts. They seem to be more interested in their "value added" products, e.g., rubs and marinades, etc., than they are in the meat. I walked out wondering if the place was a front for some other kind of business.

        I won't get into the grass-vs-grain thing here, except to note that there are more ranchers than you think who finish their beef on grain when the grass stops growing or they've sold all their hay (me included). When beef offered up as grass-fed gets a little boost at the end, I don't worry about it too much, and you can't dependably blame it on the retail butcher.


      3. The original comment has been removed
        1. Watch out -- this is the same company that was found to be mislabeling chickens as organic.

          5 Replies
          1. re: BrendanP

            Is there any other source besides this Stranger article?

            1. re: TheCarrieWatson

              There's the fact that the company itself admitted it was doing it, and changed their signage in their stores to IMPLY that they were selling organic without actually SAYING they were selling organic - because they weren't.

              BtB's own vendors have come out and said the things they were marketing as organic weren't certified and couldn't be certified....because they weren't.

              1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                TheCarrieWatson, do you have some connection to "Bill The Butcher", you seem awfully defensive of them?

                It's fine if you do, I think many here in this community know people connected to various restaurants, just wondering.

                1. re: GreenYoshi

                  Hi Green Yoshi - No, not at all. I just think the Stranger is a juvenile publication and I would not want to start forming opinions based upon their hackneyed investigative journalism efforts. I have no vested interest in BtB's legitimacy, but I'd l would like to see someone other than the Stranger's take on it. It seems like everyone points to this article as the final word on this issue and I would just like to see some other supporting evidence, I guess.

                  1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                    i bought a 2" thick dry-aged t-bone from bill the butcher in redmond about 3 years ago. i enjoyed it very much.