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Aug 9, 2014 10:19 AM

Looking for a good source for Lamb in O'Fallon, IL

...and surrounding area.

I'll be visiting friends there in mid-September, and neither one of them have ever eaten lamb in their lives. I only found this out recently, and it purely boggles my mind. When I visit them and stay a week, I usually cook one or two meals (also at least one weekend breakfast.)

I'd like to be able to introduce them to lamb, but of course I don't know what's the best source. Help, please?

I'm not a Costco member, and I don't know if they are, or even if there's a Costco in the area. So, that's probably not an option.

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  1. purely going off a Google, there's a chain called Dierberg's that offers wine tastings -- it might be a good bet (phone and ask?)

    The other regional chain is Schnuck's -- they're big enough they probably would carry lamb.

    (If my mother could find leg of lamb in a town of 700 people in Indiana in the 1970s it can't be that hard to find! LOL)

    6 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      i've visited these friends in their current home before, so I'm semi-familiar with the area. I've been to both of those supermarkets with the wife on more than one occasion. It's a near-certainty that both markets carry some kind of lamb, the quality/variety is the unknown here. I'm hoping our St. Louis area 'hounds can point me to other sources.

      BTW, the pork in SW Illinois is far better than what I see here in NJ in the usual markets. They're closer to the source.

      Ultimately, what kind of dish I make will greatly depend on what kind of lamb I can find.

      1. re: mcsheridan

        It's not that far from STL -- any chance of an excursion into the city?

        1. re: sunshine842

          Practically none. They're not inclined to go that route on almost any occasion - and most definitely not to grocery-shop.

          1. re: mcsheridan

            Oh, geez.

            But it's Saturday, and I'm google-happy --


            I even tried finding a butcher shop or meat market -- nada.

            (there *has* to be something....)Good luck!

            1. re: sunshine842

              I don't know about O'Fallon, but here in St. Louis both Dierbergs and Schnucks have a small selection of lamb. I suggest you call them and ask to speak to the butcher.

            2. re: mcsheridan

              pity as there are several halal butchers on South Grand in STL (Bosnian Muslim mostly I believe).

      2. Straub's Supermarket in the Central West End of St. Louis is a superb source for lamb. It is approx. 7 miles west off hwy 40 from the riverfront.

        6 Replies
        1. re: robt5265

          Straub's is very high quality, but also a bit pricy.

          Dierberg's and Schnuck's usually have lamb, but I'd call ahead to be sure as stock varies by store (sure Clayton/Brentwood locations have it but not others)

          it's really a short and direct drive into STL, no chance of boosting a car?

          1. re: hill food

            Practically none. If either of them was half a Chowhound, I could talk them into the drive. As it is, I've got to stay local. Local in this case means O'Fallon, Fairview Heights, Shiloh, Scott AFB.

            1. re: mcsheridan

              If they have base privileges my mom bought lamb in the commissary when I was a kid (20 years ago). We always had leg of lamb on Sundays. At least once a month.

              1. re: vstock

                Ooh! She is in a military-connected job that includes work at the base. So that's a strong possibility, and one I hadn't even considered. Thank you!

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  I was thinking too, that you mentioned Costco, but not Sam's Club. Our Sam's has lamb chops, pretty decent ones, too. (I don't care for lamb, but the husband adores it). I'm pretty sure O'Fallon has a Sam's...and they'll sometimes give you a one day 'guest pass' to try the place out even if you aren't a have to pay in cash, I believe. It can't hurt to call and ask if they still do that.

                  1. re: tonifi

                    <I'm pretty sure O'Fallon has a Sam's...>

                    Indeed they do.

                    It took a little searching, but yes, they still do the one-day pass. You just have to pay 10% above member prices.


        2. Some Dierbergs and Schnucks have lamb. Not all. There is a Costco in South St. Louis County maybe 3 miles from the 255 (Jefferson Barracks) bridge over the Mississippi River, and I had a tasty boneless leg from there last month. Sometimes racks of lamb seen, too. This just isn't a part of the world that got many emigres with that lamb tradition until the Bosnians came. But our pork, you're right, even the regular supermarket stuff, is superb. Good luck.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lemons

            I think you hit the nail on the head regarding availability being connected to settlement patterns. Whatever I can find is what I'll make - what else can I do?

            Until recently, even in the New York/New Jersey area, outside of major holidays when lamb was traditionally served, you didn't find it in the supermarkets for the most part, and even then, all you would find was leg of lamb, on the bone.

            Just as turkeys weren't regularly found until Thanksgiving and Christmas, and turkey parts were almost nonexistent.

            It's only in the last 10-15 years that these have all become regular fixtures is supermarket refrigerator cases.

            Just in the market today, I found shoulder chops, loin shops, racks of lamb, shanks - this is in the ShopRite - and I thought how spoiled I've become where lamb is concerned.

            1. re: mcsheridan

              Yes, you are, and I envy you. Fortunately, the farmers' markets have become a source of good lamb if you catch them early enough. Larry Forgione, when he had the resto here, said he thought it was possibly the best in the US. (Take that, Colorado!)

          2. My thanks to everyone who chimed in on this thread. Sadly, I won't be making the trip after all. But I do appreciate all your help. The next time I see these friends they'll be in another state but at an as yet undetermined time in the future.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mcsheridan

              awww you'll miss our weather service critical heat warning.

              1. re: hill food

                Thanks for the first chuckle of the day. I might also miss some flooding that the St. Louis area seems to experience from time to time.

            2. Here is where I go as well as my Syrian & Armenian friends. Hand cut per your wants & direction:

              1 Reply
              1. re: DetectDave

                wow I never would have thought to look in Jeff-Vander-Lou