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ISO Pork Belly for the smoker- Silver Lake/ Echo Park area?

Any line on a well-priced source for pork in the eastside- Silver Lake, Echo Park, even downtown-ish. I need a good sized piece of pork belly, and a couple picnic shoulders for my "Meat Weekend" smoker-and-Scotch-fest this weekend... The only thing I could find in the archives was a bunch of rec's for 99 Ranch, which I think is a hike from here.
Thanks!

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  1. Check out Economy Meats in the Grand Central Market and see if they don't have what you need: http://www.yelp.com/biz/economy-meats...

    1. El Mambi Market, 328 E Chevy Chase Dr, Glendale, just east of the Glendale Ave. / Chevy Chase intersection - has a great butcher who seems to specialize in pork. Very cheap prices, high quality, easy to ask for whatever you want and easy parking.

      4 Replies
      1. re: estone888

        Going here today as I have to swing by Fish King for V-Day lobsters anyway... Will be sure to report back!

        1. re: jdwdeville

          Update- El Mambi did not have Picnic Shoulders nor Belly, but did have whole legs for $50... I did not buy.
          Next I guess is A-Grocery, and if I fail there it's over to the Filipino market on Vermont...

          1. re: jdwdeville

            That's a shame. I'm surprised. I've bought both there before. I have had good luck at El Mambi asking the butcher to cut up legs for me. Oh well. A-Grocery is a good suggestion, too, though I've never seen belly there.

            McCall's is great, but it is a lot more expensive than the other places mentioned. And maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that once you've gone and smoked a good piece of fatty pork, whether it's Berkshire pork or not doesn't make much of a difference. Then again, I've always been of the school of thought that it is a waste to make a margarita with top shelf tequila as well.

            1. re: estone888

              Regarding smoking high quality fatty pork not making a difference, the folks at Snake Rivers Farms, any Heritage Pork producer, Edwards Family and Surry making excellent smoked hams and bacon would probably differ with that opinion.

              That being said, if you are new to smoking, probably best not to test on an expensive piece of meat.

      2. McCALL'S in Los Feliz often has berkshire pork belly. Check their twitter feed first. Pricey, but worth it.

        1. A-Grocery on Sunset sells full belly cuts with a little bit of rib left on them. I like them a lot for the smoker. I find the pinic shoulders are a little small but the price is right. Great spareribs too.

          1. Try Canton Foods on Alameda near 7th or 8th, it is for the trade but the sell to regular folks, they should have all you want.

            1. Update 2- I should've gone to A Grocery first- would have saved me a lot of running around as it is right near my house!
              They really do have about everything and at good prices... were out of picnic shoulder at 9AM but the guy behind the counter told me he'd have some by 12- at 4pm they had plenty.
              Made a mental note to go back there for the sheer amount of what they sell- whole duck for $12? Check. 30 kinds of whole fish on ice? Check. Cherimoya and other exotic produce dirt cheap? Check.
              Wow- I'll be here often.

              With regards to Revets2's comments- yes, an "artisanal" producer might equal a better finished product, but when talking about 30+ pounds of meat, the 300% or more price increase is tough to justify... especially given that most of the meat will see a 10hr smoke.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jdwdeville

                How was A Grocery as a store?

                Never been, it's tempting, but some yelpers love it and some want to call the health inspectors....

                1. re: happybaker

                  I'm there often. It has great produce - although if you're looking to make a western style salad their lettuce often leaves something to be desired - that is ridiculously cheap. Their meat and fish counters are excellent and also inexpensive. They have an extensive array of all sorts of Asian food products and some fairly decent cooking ware as well. As far as cleanliness goes - sure, it isn't Gelson's or Whole Paycheck and some of the food, not being wrapped in plastic smells like - gasp - food, It doesn't surprise me that some Yelpers have problems with it. I'd be surprised if it was any sort of problem for most of the people here on Chowhound.

                  1. re: estone888

                    Thank you so much, Estone888!

                    If the meat and the seafood are clean, I can deal with a few wilted items. And being able to smell the foods and spices, not a bad thing at all.

                    Thanks for the in person report : )

                2. re: jdwdeville

                  I had one bad experience with the pre-cut catfish steaks here. Opened up the package and they were slimy and clearly sour :( But I do love this place and still go, probably should have known better and got the whole fresh catfish anyway.

                3. (Though the weekend has passed) Find the nearest Korean or Japanese grocery store for the pork belly; if they've already sliced it ask at the counter.