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Inexpensive Well Marbled Raw Steak in Northern NJ?

Is this a pipe dream? For some reason, it seems like 10 years ago, I could get decent marbling at the supermarket for $5/lb. One would think, with the rate of inflation, one should be able to find a well marbled steak for $10/lb, but I can't find any.

I don't care about aging. I just want intramuscular fat. Not Kobe marbling, but more than I've gotten in the last 5 years- for, ideally $10/lb, but, if I could get a really well marbled steak for $15/lb., then I might pull the trigger.

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  1. Inexpensive and Well Marbled, rarely would bu used to describe quality meats....

    But based on your parameters of $10-15/lb, you should be able to find what you seek at the following"

    Fairway Market
    Costco
    Cafasso's Fairway Market
    Visentini Brothers

    Both Fairway markets have regular sales. I suggest you concentrate there for best pricing and rotating cuts of beef.

    If you are willing to purchase the whole strip or eye...then you could easily find it for under $10 at any restaurant supply house or meat purveyor.

    4 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Thanks. I go to Carrado's for pizza supplies a few times a year, so I'll coordinate a trip to Fairway and Visentini the next time I'm there.

      1. re: scott123

        Please note about VB....they're a very good neighborhood Italian Delicatessen that makes their own sausage and butchers their own hanging beef. They will custom cut your steaks, so a call ahead may be prudent. I used to get 2.5 inch thick Porterhouse cuts....my experience is to hold the meat for a couple of days before cooking is best.

        If you are ever in Oakland, there's a new market that opened on 202/Ramapo Valley Road called Super Giant Farms. While they are not a true butcher, they get 28 day Dry Age Short Loins from Master Purveyors out of Hunts Point Market....the very same that supplies many of the top restaurants in the NY/NJ area with beef. Trimmed, it's $17.99/lb, which is pretty good for retail.

        BTW. Master is open to the public and you can get what you seek for 6-10 bucks depending on cut. They will even custom cut for you and Cryovac the steaks. Also, if you have any friends in the restaurant business, it's not very hard to gain access to places like the Restaurant Depot....again, where you can gain substantial savings.

        1. re: fourunder

          Is that where Zeytinia used to be?

          1. re: zhelder

            I never made it to Zeytina...but I believe it's next to a Staples. There's also a Valley National Bank and a Sushi place in the Strip Mall.. The place is associated with the Giant Farms in Hackensack....but this place is completely new and much cleaner. it also seem like they run by a different business model, as the quality and approach is so much better There's an very good Korean fish monger and a deli(same as/run by the same butcher)The raw chickens are from Murray's(?). There's a small salad bar and they make Rotisserie Chickens.....the latter were 4.5 pound chickens for $4.99. that may have been an opening special...also, they only make 24 throughout the day and they are all usually gone by 6PM.

            The opening specials on all the produce was quite impressive....everything was 99 cents or under. All packaged berries too.. Lots of different varieties of tomatoes as well. They have a small section of Organic produce. My son lives in Oakland and he normally shops at Whole Foods exclusively for produce....but no more. He has come to realize he's been throwing away his money.

            I do not recommend the Sushi Bar offering. It seems to me like it's there as for window dressing. There's a lot of frozen stuff being repackaged for sale.

    2. Costco prime ribeyes might be your ticket. They don't always have them in stock and they are kept in a different section (at least in my costco.) They have a gold label on them too. They are good and won't break the bank like the steaks at wholefoods or Wegmans.

      The prime strip steaks are also good.

      4 Replies
      1. re: corvette johnny

        The prospect of paying $50/year just for cheap steak doesn't appeal to me much, but I guess I could probably justify the expenditure with other purchases.

        Any idea what the price is on Costco's ribeyes? And, just to confirm, these aren't frozen, right?

        Edit: What percentage of the time do you guesstimate that Costco has the ribeyes in stock?

        1. re: scott123

          I don't recall the price of the prime ribeyes at costco, but I almost always see them in the Wayne location.

          1. re: scott123

            It is not cheap by any means...just "cheaper" than other places that have prime beef. prime is expensive stuff. I think they are like 12.99 a pound? My wife usually buys them...maybe 13.99 but its been a while so don't quote me on that. The package has 4 nice steaks in it so it will run you over 50 for a package.

            I think dry aged Ny strips were 30 a pound the other day at whole foods LOL

            On a side note, I think you will like costco and not mind the 50 a year charge. It's well worth it in my opinion.

          2. re: corvette johnny

            I belong to BJ's wholesale and mine stopped carrying the individual prime steaks. They use to have a gold label too and were a good product.

            Instead I've been picking up the whole loin and finishing the trimming and cutting at home. Both strip and filet and I've got to tell you (I have no idea of the price per pound) for the $70-$90 per loin price, I get 8-10 individual steaks and for top choice they ain't that bad.

            Not bad for when you get that hankering for a steak on a hot summer afternoon for lunch! ;-)

          3. Restaurant Depot membership is free if you or a friend have tax ID number. There is no picture on the card so you can also borrow a card from a friend.

            Restaurant Depot & the clubs like Costco are hit or miss. Many times I have looked at up to 20 choice grade boneless whole strip loins and walked out empty handed as the ends showed a "small" marbling score. Other times virtually every strip loin could have made low prime grade.

            Any good independent butcher should be able to bring in a "Branded" whole sub primal such as CAB, Excel Sterling Silver or IBP Chairman's Reserve for a 20% markup as there is no labor involved. These will be modest marbling or better and often very close to prime. You can then custom age it to your liking. Vacuum seal and freeze the rest.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Tom34

              Restaurant Depot membership is free if you or a friend have tax ID number
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              I think it's been noted that all they require is your SS# to gain access and a card....They supply Municipal Fireman and Police with cards, who obviously do not resell.

              1. re: fourunder

                "They supply Municipal Fireman and Police with cards, who obviously do not resell"

                C'mon Four my friend, this is Joisey, you going to tell me you haven't seen cops selling things stranger than steaks outta the trunk of their cars? lol

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  The evidence locker is your friend.....

                  I can recall an account of Parsippany Police who were in on the fix of breaking into warehouses and stealing anything not tied down....merchandise and office stuff. The alarm would go off and the cops would show up an hour later....no chance of being caught.

                2. re: fourunder

                  I can't speak to the fine print of their membership requirements. I got a card from a friend who owns a restaurant.

                  I can speak to their house beef brand, "Superior Angus Beef". It is a product from Nebraska Beef, LTD and their products are not USDA graded.

                  I buy for a lot of friends and family & have probably looked at over a 1000 0x1 strip loins and other sub primals at R.D. & big club stores (Sams, BJ's & Costco) over the years. As stated before, sometimes they are high choice / low prime and other times barely low choice. Have to know what to look for. For many who don't, branded products are a much safer bet & your less likely to end up with a dozen low quality steaks.

                  Other good sources if you know somebody who owns a food establishment are Buckhead Beef from Sysco & Rastelli Elite from US foods.