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Mar 28, 2013 11:23 AM

Best place to buy ribs?

I need to pick up a couple of racks of ribs for a pigfest on Saturday (uncooked, preferably St. Louis). What's a good source in Boston, Cambridge, Watertown/Belmont/Arlington, or west along Route 2 (or possibly Waltham)? Not looking for Niman Ranch or free-range wheat free artisanal heritage pork, that would be awesome but the budget won't support it.


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  1. McKinnon's in Davis Square, but you would might want to call ahead to make sure they have some when you need them.

    1. I don't remember the price and knowing the source it might be out of your budget, but I always rely on Savenors in Cabmridge, especially when I have something very specific (like a St. Louis rib) in mind. With a day or two notice they can more or less provide anything.

      1 Reply
      1. re: heavydee

        I used to buy a lot of meat at Savenors, telling myself that the quality justified the price. This year I got a rack of ribs for the Superbowl. When I opened the package to rub them down I was almost knocked over with the pungent rotten smell. At $20+ for the rack I took them back. The person at the register (Cambridge location) brought them to the butcher who audibly bitched about having them returned. They refunded my money, but weren't that friendly about it. I still shop there in a pinch, but buy my meat elsewhere if time permits. It sounds like this is beyond budget yesterday.

        I would try Costco in Waltham. Their ribs are always excellent and reasonably priced.

      2. I know the Meat House is kind of a chain, but the outpost in Arlington is pretty good.

        1. Thanks all - I think McKinnon's is my best bet if they've got (no costco membership, alas).

          2 Replies
          1. re: LilBrownBat

            McKinnon's has both untrimmed racks and St. Louis style ribs (in cryovac). Prices run from fair to really cheap when on special. De Moula's has racks (may need to ask a butcher for a whole rack), but not usually St. Louis style.

            Other reasonable sources are Puritan Beef (but go on a non-market day and ask for stuff from the walk-in) and Lord Jeffs which will cut flanken and may trim spareribs, but they aren't in your area but both sell whole boxes too. And always Restaurant Depot for larger quantities, but you need to get access.

            At any of these McKinnon's, DeMoula's, Puritan, Lord Jeffs if they don't have what you want ask for something else from their walk-in.

            1. re: itaunas

              For others who might read this (the OP has already had the BBQ, but I totally agree with Itaunas here. Puritan and Lord Jeff are worth the drive out there, if that's possible. Also - it has been many years, but I still crave the slab bacon we used to get at Lord Jeff's. They would cut it thick (like we love it) and back then, it was cheaper than grocery store generic bacon. I don't have the transportation, so I haven't been there in years.

              Sigh, I comfort myself by telling myself that this body doesn't *need* bacon....