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Aug 7, 2014 01:24 PM

Restaurant Depot help with Meats?

Planning on buying meat (chopped and steaks), chicken, franks, maybe cod in a larger quantity to feed a family of 18. Please help me with the steaks. Which is a good steak for me to buy to grill? I realize I will have to bring my chef's knives with me (must put that on the packing list). I went looking yesterday to get a lay of the land - will be purchasing next week.

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  1. Not sure I understand. They don't sell steaks -- they sell whole subprimals in the cryo. And why would you bring your knives to a Depot? You can't use them there.

    That said, I recommend the sirloin flap.

    Is this split off from a larger thread so the context is missing?

    10 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      Sorry for the confusion. I will need to bring my knives to cut the meat into steaks.
      I am buying this food for a week long vacation with 18 people. So you rec. Sirloin flap from there? I was contemplating the strip steaks...however not knowing the different quality and cuts having never purchased from RD.

      1. re: smilingal

        The most recent flyers I've received say they are now offering portion controlled steaks - I assume that means pre -cut. Not sure if they are available everywhere.

        1. re: FoodDee

          I didn't notice any individual steaks two days ago.

          1. re: smilingal

            They are frozen not with the subprimals

        2. re: smilingal

          So bringing your knives on vacation but not into Depot, because obviously you can't cut them there.

          Yes, they probably have frozen steaks but the fresh stuff I've seen is all subprimals in cryo, not steaks. The RDs I've been to are not like Costcos, which also have fresh (needled) steaks in foam trays.

          I love the flap meat. Like skirt but tastier and cheaper. Grill whole then slice thinly like Flank.

          But at Depot you could get Ribeyes cheaply as well if they're on sale.

          1. re: acgold7

            Haven't actually looked for them, but the flyer says Fresh Portion controlled NY strip (8,10,12 or 16 oz), rib Eye (8,10,12, or 16 oz), sirloin (5,6,8,10,12 oz) & filets (5,6,8,10 oz) in 5lb cases. They even claim to have a YouTube video on why this is better than restaurant hand cut steaks

            1. re: FoodDee

              Nice! Must check it out....

              Interesting. They note they have both Select and Choice, but the prices in the flyer are for Select, and seem pretty steep for Select. They also note that the pictures aren't necessarily for the items advertised. Caveat Emptor.

              1. re: acgold7

                The guy at RD advised me that meat prices are pretty high right now. I am hoping that they might drop by next week. What are CH's views on frozen individual steaks vs the subprimal?

                1. re: smilingal

                  The same flyer shows the NY Strip Superior Angus Top Choice in the whole subprimal for 7.95, vs 10.69 for the Select in trimmed fresh steaks. Don't know what the frozen price is but hard to believe the quality or price is better than fresh whole in the cryo. And in the whole cryo you get to decide exactly how you want them.

                  For me, no contest. Plus you can give them a bit of dry aging, easier done whole than when already cut.

                  Prices are unlikely to drop significantly in a single week. But Depot frequently marks down whole roasts or cryo packs nearing their pull dates -- you can get ribeyes for four or five bucks a pound. Ask the meat guy if he has any. For a crew of 18 you could go through two a night.

              2. re: FoodDee

                Our local RD has in stock only sirloins in 8 oz. portions. Very nice but expensive. Appeared to be exactly 3 in. squares, about 1 inch thick, perfecty trimmed and nicely marbled, Choice, cryo. About $10.69/lb.

                All other cuts, up to 24 oz. Porterhouse, are special order, 1-2 week wait times.

        3. With regards to meat pricing... they will still be cheaper than any other place you normally shop, including the popular Wholesale Buying Clubs.... or the value/family packs at the Supermarket. Unless there is Beef on Sale at Supermarket, you will still realize savings.

          acgold's suggestion of Sirloin Flap is a good one, especially if you want to slice to stretch the yield and control serving portions. Most will only take 3-4 slices, which is less than a portion of steak. Flap meat is a favorite of many catering facilities for the Carving Tables.

          If you don't mind a little work and butchering...I'd consider these others as well:

          * Top Butt Sirloin
          * 114 Chuck/Shoulder Clod
          * Top Blade/Flat Iron.

          With regards to meat grades, you should note that the Superior Angus label is House Brand for RD. It's used by many restaurants instead of USDA's quality meat that RD sources, but does not pay the USDA for meat grading.

          Here's a link to show you how to separate and cut steaks from the Shoulder Clod and Top Sirloin. Click on Chuck and then on Shoulder Clod. Click on Top Sirloin from the picture

          8 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            Thanks so much for these links. I am really a novice to butchering.

            1. re: fourunder

              The video makes it look so darn easy - and done beautifully! - However, I think that I might take the easier, albeit more expensive, way out and opt for the rib eyes. Maybe a flap for a lunch time BBQ - good for nibbles.
              Any tried and true recipes for grilling for any mentioned cuts?
              Our cooler arrived today - 65Qt. with wheels as was suggested to me on another thread. And I think I will put the meats into the cooler while it is already in the car. Back Seat I am assuming.

              1. re: smilingal

                The typical marinade for most catering facilities for a cut like Flap meat is Soy Sauce and Garlic. If you want to get a little better char on the beef, add some Brown Sugar. You could introduce a little acid, but I don't like the texture that results for my tastes.

                I don't like anything more than simple Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper on my beef.

                If you want to ensure a correct temperature, consider Reverse Sear...let the meat rest for a couple of hours and all you have to do is grill them for a couple, or few of minutes on each side.


              2. re: fourunder

                But with regard to the Superior Angus vs. USDA Top Choice, this flyer shows both logos on the NY Strip ad, and the last Ribeye I got had both stickers/logos on it. In fact I peeled both off to scan and post in one of our Low & Slow discussions and stuck them onto the fridge, and then promptly forgot to scan them, and then we recycled the fridge out for a new one...

                Can't the beef be both? Ot does it always have to be one or the other? I thought the Superior Angus was a Branded sub-class, like Certified Angus was only the top 8% of Choice or something...


                1. re: acgold7

                  My recollection is RD refuses to buy into the USDA program, but like the advertisement indicates is *Upper Choice*...that may mean what they consider it to be. Maybe Tom34 can shed some light on this, as he seems to a more knowledgeable and current on these matters.

                  I'd be willing to bet they are taking advantage and using the USDA Choice label

                  1. re: fourunder

                    This is worth asking about next time I go in.

                    Although maybe it's moot. I find the SAB labeled stuff to be really very good.

                    Tom, where are you when we need you?

                    1. re: acgold7


                      From the video..

                      Published on May 21, 2012

                      For generations, tender, flavorful Angus Beef, has been part of our American culinary heritage . Now, our ranchers, with years of patient cattle breeding & caring experience are proud to bring you their very best Angus Beef!

                      We are proud to distribute, Superior Angus Beef, available only at Restaurant Depot. Our Superior Angus Beef is selected from only a few ranchers from America's heartland. A producer affidavit identifies strict standards that must be met for cattle to qualify for the Superior Angus program. The affidavit documents Angus characteristics, maturity, and feeding practices to guarantee top quality cattle, which will deliver consistently superior beef. This confirms the Superior Angus Beef cattle exhibit Angus characteristics, are corn fed a minimum of 100 days with Vitamin E supplements, and are at 30 months maturity or less. Additionally, Superior Angus Beef is produced in one plant, minimizing grading inconsistencies. All of these steps help to insure that when you serve Superior Angus Beef, you will be serving the finest quality beef available anywhere in the market place. For more information on Restaurant Depot, including locations and store hours, log onto

                      1. re: fourunder

                        The copy above sure makes it sound like the USDA's grading process isn't involved. "USDA" is conspicuous by its absence, although the term "grading" itself *is* used.

                        So I checked with our local Depot meat manager today. Their house branded Superior Angus is all USDA graded Upper Choice. He gave me the box from some brisket showing the USDA stamp and grading as well as the SAB logo. I also looked at some ribeyes and NY Strips which all bore the USDA Choice Logo as well as the SAB Logo.

                        He noted that the Halal beef they carry is not USDA graded.

                        (Note that *grading* is not the same as *inspection*.)

                        So while the other house brands out there may not be USDA graded, this one apparently is. Not that this is necessarily an indicator of quality.

              3. Might you consider tri-tip? Big beef flavor, minimal waste, tender when cooked to mid-rare, and sliced thin, and against the grain.