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The Meat House Chadds Ford PA [moved from Mid-Atlantic]

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I'll put this here since it's within shopping distance of DE. Went in there today for the 2nd time, a Saturday....it was a madhouse at 1:00. The items looked good...from meats to fish a small sampling of cheeses and breads and lots of condiments and other "stuff". Pleasant enough folks, willing to bend over backwards to be helpful. At the prices, it's all about service and quality. Got a nice tenderloin butterflied for a special celebratory dinner..........will let you know the results. Also got a mini-slab of Cherrywood Bacon. Asked for it uncut since I like thick slices that I cut myself............it was divine.......but not until I got home did I realize they charge me $10.49/lb, the priced for their regular sliced bacon vs the $8.49/lb adverisied for the cherrywood. Since they had offered to slice it, the cherrywood seemed to be an even better deal. I';ll chalk it up to new store jitters.

Handmade sandwiches are available along with an array of limited but interesting 'deli" items. Pastries seemed to be limited.

I understand it is some type of mini chain/franchise. Seeing as they took forever to build it, I hope they do well, but with a Whole Foods a mile down the road and Fresh Market just beyond that, the competition of upscale meats and foods will be tough.

minor complaint....my butterflied tenderloin was done by a butcher in the backroom out of sight and then delivered wrapped to me by the sales person. I would prefer to watch/quibble as I used to do at Janssens in Greenville to make sure I know what I'm getting and how it is done. This recipe calls for it to surround a cooked lobster tail and asparagus, so not only is meat texture important. but so is the amount of "flesh" available to surround that. Suppose I could have asked to watch.

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  1. Thanks for your comments, FCF. I've passed the Meat House several times, and was curious about it. Is their beef prime? I'm sure I'll stop in sometime soon, but it's good to hear about your experience there. Would you mind sharing how much the tenderloin was selling for?

    FWIW, I was in the vicinity of Malvern today and stopped into Worrell's for a couple of filet mignons to cook up tomorrow. VERY nice looking, I must say.

    16 Replies
    1. re: CindyJ

      Yes, they do sell Prime. The Tenderloin was about $21/lb as I recall......far from a bargain. but other things there seemed on the "reasonable-high' side

      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

        Last time I bought a whole prime tenderloin at WF, I paid considerably more than that -- somewhere around $30/lb, as I recall.

        1. re: CindyJ

          I tend to buy beef tenderloin at Costco. It is 'choice' not prime, but that is less an issue with this cut than a more marbled one. Never had a bad one.

          1. re: sal_acid

            Yes, I've gotten them at Costco...reasonably priced and reasonably good. If my local supermarket has them on sale, it can be cheaper there than Costco's everyday price, but the Costco ones are good.

            1. re: sal_acid

              I've bought whole tenderloin at Costco -- choice often looks better than prime to me for some reason -- and I tie it up and cut into individual filets. I've been very happy with the quality. I can't say I've enjoyed all of the meat I've bought at Costco, but their boneless short ribs are the best!

              1. re: CindyJ

                A big yes to the short ribs. Just had them last night, braised. Always great.

                Their bavette is good too. An unusual cut for the US, kind of like the "deckle" of sirloin.

                I've had good and bad NY strip from Costco.

                1. re: sal_acid

                  What is bavette?

                  I've had varying success with Costco's rib steaks.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Bu...

                    1. re: sal_acid

                      Thanks! So it's flap meat given a fancy name by Niman Ranch. How did you prepare it?

                      I always get confused between skirt steak and flank steak, and always guess at which to use for fajitas. Can you use bavette for fajitas, too?

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        It is reasonably tender, I butterfly it and cook it like a steak. Nice beefy taste.

                        I have yet to grill it

                        I think bavette would be too good for fajitas.

                         
                2. re: CindyJ

                  With boxed beef the best of the choice grade is often close to or as good as the bottom of the prime grade and 1/2 the price.

                  Many very good restaurants have switched to branded certified high choice beef products.

                  1. re: Tom34

                    Tom what is the price differential between prime and choice on average? Is this a sign of economic times or a sign of discerning diners not being able to distinguish between prime and choice?

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      The spread varies, often greatly Chris. On average I would say between 30% - 60% more for commodity boxed prime over commodity boxed choice, at the PURVEYOR level.

                      At the retail level, the spread may be greater because "if" a retailer brings prime in, it will likely be in a much smaller quantity.

                      A good way to see whats going on in the beef market is to look at it on the commodity level.

                      If you google "Boxed beef prices" , the daily bid figures for whole sub primal cuts, both choice & select will come up. Add about 20% and you are at the purveyor price.

                      If you google "Boxed prime beef prices", the whole sub primal prime cuts will come up.

                      Currently at the commodity bid level, its $6.75 (vs) $9.50. Add about 20% to each and you would be close to the spread for whole sub primals. Then add in any extra a butcher tacks on for bringing in one prime sub primal (vs) cases of choice sub primals.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        The first step in understanding the whole mess is to look at the spread in marbling scores within each grade.

                        Within a particular grade, there is a huge difference between the lowest marbling score (vs) the highest marbling score........however.......often not much difference between the highest marbling score within a grade (vs) the lowest marbling score in the next higher grade.

                        For this reason, choice with the highest choice marbling score is often very close to prime with the lowest prime marbling score & they eat about the same.

                        Not to be confused with the prime beef served by the "very best" chain & private steak houses. They usually spec prime with marbling scores in the middle or top of the prime grade which can easily cost 100% more than the best choice.

                      2. re: Tom34

                        Interesting. But how can you tell if you're looking at that top-of-the-line choice before you buy it?

                        1. re: CindyJ

                          Best and most obvious way is to look at the amount of marbling within the lean (specks of fat). Generally speaking, the more specks of fat, the higher the grade. There are many good color pictures on the net that can be printed out and brought to the store.

                          Another way is to go to a grocery store that sells a house choice which is usually closer to the lower end of the choice grade & also sells a certified branded product like Certified Angus Beef that is usually in the top end of the choice grade and compare many steaks from each group side by side. There is usually a noticeable difference in the amount of marbling.

                          I rarely buy individual steaks but every time I go in a grocery store I go to the meat case and look at all the different beef cuts & check out the amount of marbling, texture of the meat, color of the meat & color of the fat. I know it sounds obsessive but it beats following the wife up and down the isles while she matches coupons to sale items :-)

            2. the Tenderloin was good.not great. Tender yes, flavorful, well, a tenderloin is never full of flavor, but it worked for this recipe.

              The hunk of cherrywood bacon, however, was worth every penny. ..meaty and slightly sweet.

              I had a coupon good for a free lb of marinated steak tips....have not tried them yet

              3 Replies
              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                I'm curious FCF -- how did you prepare the butterflied tenderloin?

                1. re: CindyJ

                  I had to flatten it a bit more to fit around the "center". Spread it with butter and garlic. in it I put a steamed (6 mins) lobster tail and asparagus that had been cooked in vinegared water for 7-8 mins. Rolled it up and tied it, leaving it out for an hour or so to come to room temp. 425 with thermometer in it that just reached over 135 degrees.about 40 mins. foiled and rested 5-10 mins

                  sauce was minced up carrot,onion,mushroom (in a mini processor). Sauteed in butter for 10 mins then had port wine and a chutney I had added to simmer for 45 mins. Another pat of butter for the last 3 mins. normally, I'd use red currant jelly, but didn't have any so used the chutney instead (note.NOT Major Greys.this was a bit more savory then that...something I had found to use with cheese)

                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                    Wow!!! That sure gives new meaning to "surf 'n turf."

                    And I wasn't invited to dinner because . . .???