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What's the best supermarket beef in the Bay Area?

JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 08:30 AM

We buy Costco beef when we have the freezer room, but have relied on Safeway for the past few years. In the beginning, the Rancher's Reserve stuff was pretty good. But after tough, flavorless steaks these past few months, we've decided to look elsewhere.
So, Chowhounds...what do you recommend?
Please keep in mind that I don't like the grass-fed stuff - too lean/flavorless/expensive. I'm talking grain-fed, well-marbled juicy steaks that I can go grab at the grocery store on the way home from work. Thanks in advance!

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  1. letsindulge RE: JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 12:11 PM

    In Palo Alto I like Piazza's Fine Foods on Middlefield, and Charleston. Schaub's at Stanford Shopping Center would be my 2nd choice. Otherwise it's Costco for me.

    1. p
      Pius Avocado III RE: JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 12:35 PM

      Can't help you with supermarket beef but here's a re-post from a prior meat thread:

      Ranchers' Reserve is supplied by Cargill Meat Solutions (CMS).

      Individual carcasses are selected for the brand after a half-inch thick, 2 inch long piece of ribeye is cooked on a conveyer belt and subjected to something called a Slice Shear Force measurement.

      Meat that passes then "experience(s) a host of other tenderness interventions, including electro-stimulation and mechanical stretching processes patented by CMS."


      1 Reply
      1. re: Pius Avocado III
        wolfe RE: Pius Avocado III Jan 31, 2014 03:43 PM

        "electro-stimulation and mechanical stretching processes patented by CMS."
        I remember that from one of my labs. We would hook up the frog leg stimulate it and record it on our kymograph, of course we had to smoke the drum first.

      2. v
        vbchow RE: JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 02:38 PM

        I used to eat A LOT of beef and personally, I always found the Harris Ranch beef to be the best quality beef of all supermarket (non-grass fed) brands. I used to buy it at DucLoi in the Mission. They would always accommodate my requests for a certain thickness or just a fresher piece than the one that they had sitting in a display case.

        Here is the list of all B.A. supermarkets that carry it: http://www.harrisranchbeef.com/wheret...

        1. b
          Bakersfield Hound RE: JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 02:43 PM

          I think it's hard to beat Costco's Prime Grade steaks for the money. Beats any grocery store meat and at a good price point.

          1. Josh RE: JKMillerInc Jan 31, 2014 02:49 PM

            The grass-fed beef at Olivier's Butchery is very good. Plus you don't have to feel guilty for helping to exacerbate droughts and pollution! Win-win.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Josh
              sfchris RE: Josh Feb 4, 2014 10:21 AM

              He said he didn't like the taste of grass fed beef.

              1. re: sfchris
                Josh RE: sfchris Feb 4, 2014 11:24 AM

                I know. He should try again.


                1. re: Josh
                  Torina RE: Josh Feb 7, 2014 11:00 PM

                  Especially an aged ribeye. Pricy, but the furthest thing from flavorless! I, too, like a tender steak and a lot of grassfed (non aged Marin Sun for example) I find to be a bit tough.

                  1. re: Torina
                    Josh RE: Torina Feb 9, 2014 11:00 AM

                    That's why I like Olivier's so much. He has unusual French cuts like gousse d'ail which work really well with the leaner beef.

            2. m
              Malcolm Ruthven RE: JKMillerInc Feb 1, 2014 05:56 AM

              I've found Niman Ranch beef, available at many (better) markets, to be excellent. Pasture raised Angus, but finished on grain, it has the flavor and texture I like.

              1. c
                calumin RE: JKMillerInc Feb 10, 2014 10:00 AM

                I used to be able to get dry-aged prime ribeye at Bryan's on California Street. I don't get out that way much these days so I don't know if they still sell that, but in general that's hard to find at supermarkets.

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