9.30.2010

Where can I find a real butcher shop?


The Organic Butcher in McLean sells local meats and sustainable seafood.
Photo from theorganicbutcher.com



Q:

"I always hear chefs on TV say, 'You can order this cut from your
butcher'
or 'Ask your butcher to trim this for you.' Where can I find a real
butcher shop? I grew up in a town that had several butcher shops and you
knew they knew their cuts of meat. I don't feel like I get that at the
supermarkets down here. Thanks." - Carrie S.

Amanda says:

I
often think the same thing when TV chefs say that. They make it sound
so easy to just pop down to the corner and have your butcher French
up a rack of lamb for you. But where do you turn when the friendly
neighborhood butcher of yesteryear disappeared from so many corners?


Thanks
to a resurgence of interest in the craft and a few veteran DC shops,
there's hope for your custom meaty needs.


My top recommendations
are Bruce
Saunders' butcher
shop in the Westover Market
(@WestoverButcher on
Twitter) in Arlington and Wagshal's
in Spring Valley.


At Westover, Saunders sells his EcoFriendly Foods products that
come from small family farms in the mid-Atlantic that raise animals humanely. At
DC classic Wagshal's, you can find the coveted Iberico pork products
from Spain and some of the best butchers around.


Close
Metrocurean confidantes point to The Organic Butcher in McLean and
Del Ray's Let's Meat on the Avenue
(they have kangaroo in case you were looking!). Also check out the
vendors inside Eastern
Market
: Union
Meat
and Canales'
Quality Meats
.


Several talented chefs are getting in the game, as
well. I love The Butcher's Block from chef
Robert Wiedmaier in Alexandria, where you can get great bottles of wine
and prepared foods, as well as cuts of meat.


And in the works,
chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve and team are developing plans for a European-style
market in Old Town dubbed Society Fair
that is expected to have a butcher component.


Chef Nathan Anda of Red
Apron Butchery
and The Neighborhood
Restaurant Group
are very close (hooray!) to securing a bricks-and-mortar space to sell
meats, as well. You can find Red Apron's cured meats now at the Dupont
Circle and Penn Quarter
FreshFarm Markets. (The markets, by the way, are where I buy most of my meat.)

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