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Jan 31, 2014 08:30 AM

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

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. 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. 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

        "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. 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:

        1. 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. 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

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

              1. re: sfchris

                I know. He should try again.


                1. re: Josh

                  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

                    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.