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New to Raleigh & Need Food Options

Hi all,
I've been here for a couple months now just north of the city. I can't find a decent loaf of crusty bread or a decent cut of meat. I've been to WF and the Meat House but were disappointed by both. The meat at WF is mostly flavorless and a lot of the stuff in the meat case is brick red from being in there too long.

I bought a steak at TMH on Friday about noon and took it out of the fridge on Saturday around 5pm to let it come to room temp before I grilled it and it had already gone bad! How does that happen?

I found a decent seafood place on Capital down past 440, but for me its a half hour ride each way for a piece of fish. I drive it though because I have no choice.

Any butcher shops (Thick cut bone in t-bones or rib eyes) or beef farms?

Any artesian bread shops (Thick crust, big holes in the middle, great for dragging thru XVO)?

Any Sushi quality seafood in North Raleigh?

Thanks!

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  1. Salt Water Seafood, which you have found, is your closest best option for fish. You can sign up for weekly e-mails which list their specials.

    Unfortunately several specialty shops with good meat in your general area have closed in the last year. Have you tried The Fresh Market? Pricey but good quality.

    For artisan bread Yellow Dog Bakery has been getting good response, but they are downtown.

    https://www.facebook.com/yellowdogbread

    2 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      Thanks for the info on Yellow Dog. I've been so desperate for good bread that I've started baking my own Ciabatta's lately! Their OK, not great, better than some I have found in the area though. Trouble is that making bread is an art and it can take a long time to hone your craft.

      1. re: fatdogtavern

        I've got a good ciabatta from Michael Ruhlman if you want the link.

        Breadwise Yellow Dog is there and soon there will be Boulted Bread which is starting a bread CFA sorta thing and they will be.. I think on Peace Street.

        La Farm is currently installing a new oven so they are a little limited.

        To add to the butcher's list is Kings Red and White in N. Durham and Cliff's Meat Market in Chapel Hill.

        For seafood and a shlep, Tom Robinson's is still going in Chapel HIll/Carrboro. Also there is a seafood CSF (Community Supported Fishing/Fishery) where you pick up your order like twice a week or something. I'd have to find out more info as i can't recall it off the top of my head.

    2. We're in the same location and drive to Durham each week for bread. Loaf is great. In a pinch, WF sells La Farm bread (bakery in Cary) and a baguette from another producer I can't remember which I like better than the in-house breads.

      I think WF meats can be darned good. They get sides of local grassfed beef weekly from Baldwin and Brasstown, do a google search for more. You need to go when those arrive and you can have cut whatever you want. Nathan is the manager of the meat department and is a good guy; talk with him if you have any issues.

      Localsseafood at the state farmer's market has good seafood. Wish the produce there was just as good :-(.

      No truly great Tuscan XVO I've found locally, need to order from rarewineco.com twice a year :-).

      9 Replies
      1. re: D R C

        When we lived in North Raleigh, the Saturday Wake Forest farmers market was pretty good. I'll second the recommendation of Baldwins beef. Is that butcher shop still open in WF? I'm thinking not, based on meatn3's post. If you don't mind traveling to Durham, Rose's Meat & Sweets is top notch. It's a butcher shop that cuts meat to order and also has some of the best sweets around. Going to Durham seems like a long way, but it's not much farther than going to downtown Raleigh from north of 540.

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

          Tom, I think you are referring to Davinchi's (sp)? They closed a few months ago. And the newer place in N. Raleigh, Antonio's, closed last year.

          I had meat from Rose's at a dinner party. Based on that meal I agree that their product is worth the drive!

          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

            Thanks for the info on Rose's. I'm gonna give it a try.

            1. re: Tom from Raleigh

              We had a beautiful 3 pound tri-tip from Rose's a couple of weeks ago that tasted excellent, but they failed to trim literally a half-pound of 3/4" fat on the backside that I didn't pay attention to until I got home. I think that should have been done without me asking, and I wasn't pleased. Never ever an issue at WF. But the quality of the meat was excellent.

              The Baldwin (Charolais) and Brasstown (Angus) meats at WF taste different. Both are grass fed and raised well but the Brasstown cows get some grain in their diet, and I see them with more marbling. The Charolais can sometimes taste a little gamey, but when it's on I like it the best.

              p.s. Give the local heirloom pig a try on the grill, it is night and day different from the usual grocery store stuff most folks are familiar with, which I more or less can't eat anymore because it stinks like a factory farm even after it's cooked. Also the Niman Ranch pork from HT is really good, I prefer it to the local WF pork.

              1. re: D R C

                D R C,
                I prefer my meat to some have fat on it, especially if it's grass fed or grass finished, so I'd have been happy if I received the tri tip you did from Rose's. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just pointing out that not everyone has your preference, so if you want it lean like a supermodel, you may want to make it clear.

                1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                  I wish I'd taken a picture. Personal preference is for the fat in a tri-tip to be significant marbling throughout the meat, not a three quarter inch cap covering most of one side.

            2. re: D R C

              I've bought meat at the WF off of Six Forks 3 or 4 times now, each time trying something different, regular ribeye, grass fed and aged and each time its been not good at all. I've been grilling steaks my whole life and can nail perfect medium rare every time no matter the thickness, so my skill level is there, but each time the meat is tough and not particularly flavorful. I've actually had better luck at the new Harris Teeters on 98 near 50. I am going to check out the Raleigh Farmers market next weekend.

              1. re: fatdogtavern

                Not sure if the North Hills Farmers Market still exists, but they had some farmers there that were bringing in some of the meat that they raised.

                Most of the local fish, including Local Seafood, is bringing in the seafood from the Wanchese Industrial Seafood Park down by the outer banks. Worth a stop if you make it out there.

                http://onealsseaharvest.com/

            3. It might help us to know where you've from and what you're used to.

              9 Replies
              1. re: LulusMom

                Hello,
                I've lived all over the US. Most recently in NJ, Boston and Maine, so the seafood there was always good. Great bread in Boston and lots of dedicated butcher shops too. I had trouble finding good meat in Maine and would usually order online. I just gave the Meat House another chance today. Gonna grill up a cowboy ribeye tonight. I am not afraid to take a drive so I'm going to check out Rose's next week!

                1. re: fatdogtavern

                  I believe Rose's takes special orders too. Might be worth exploring if you are making the drive.

                  1. re: meatn3

                    I was just on their website. Looks like a cool place. I just got a new smoker in 2 days ago. A beautiful custom unit from Texas. My wife calls it a locomotive! Can't wait to break her in with all the best meats I can find!

                  2. re: fatdogtavern

                    Welcome to the neighborhood, fatdogtavern.

                    There will definitely be things you'll miss about the places you've lived, but I think over all you'll find that there is a pretty great food scene around here. Not being afraid of a drive will help a lot (says the person who *is* afraid of a drive).

                    Good luck with tonight's meat.

                    1. re: fatdogtavern

                      If you don't mind a drive, come to Carrboro or Durham on a Saturday morning for a top notch farmer's market.

                        1. re: fatdogtavern

                          Durham is closer and more direct but both are good. And also have Weds markets in the summer.

                        2. re: Tom from Raleigh

                          Way better than Raleigh. These are growers markets - in Durham, produce has to be grown by the seller within 70 miles, and unlike Raleigh there is a significant amount of organic produce.

                          1. re: D R C

                            The Carrboro farmer's market has tons of meat! And bakers come as well. Here is the link to see all of what they have: http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/... I think you will really love it and since you are coming on a Saturday Go to Carolina Seafood behind Armadillo Grill and get first rate seafood, they import mussels from Maine and have local oysters, crab and fish locally....I'm an ex New Yorker, college in Boston and lived in Ireland.If you drive the food scene here is great. Have lunch at Gourmet Kingdom if you want some authentic Szechwan food or Vimala's/Cholanad for South Indian food.

                    2. Some of the best bread in the area.

                      Artesian Bread Shop: Le Farm Bakery.
                      Preston Corners
                      4248 Cary Parkway
                      Cary, NC 27513
                      tel 919 657 0657

                      1. My post is probably going to be mostly a reiteration from other's suggestions -

                        -La Farm Bakery in Cary has great bread but is a serious drive. I would certainly try Yellow Dog Bakery before driving all the way to Cary or Durham for good bread.

                        -I tend to order my grassfed beef online however I can recommend Ray Family Farms in Bunn (about 20-25 minute drive from Wake Forest) for excellent pastured pork and grassfed/finished beef. They're also incredibly lovely people who deserve to be supported. That said, their prices are a bit high for my budget. You can check them out online at rayfamilyfarms.com

                        - I happen to like the Wake Forest Farmer's Market. It may not be the largest but there's more pastured meats there than at some larger markets. I think it just depends on your preferences honestly. For pastured meats and poultry (non-beef) I prefer Walk Ahead Farms.

                        Carrboro is a hike, I've been to their market before and enjoyed it but didn't feel that it was so much more incredible than what I could find closer. I would certainly check it out if I were you just for fun but I wouldn't rule out some of the other nearby markets like North Hills, North Raleigh, and Wake Forest.

                        Oh and Roses Meats and Sweets is wonderful, I also recommend them. They're not that far from North Raleigh even though you need to take a trip around 540. Definitely worth checking out.