Not your run-of-the-mill butcher
October 4th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Here are just a few things you can do in a butcher shop these days: Get married; have a launch party for a vegan cookbook; or drink lots of lager in an adjoining German-style beer garden (in Miami, of all places).

The following list includes a smattering of places that want to beef up what the traditional butcher shop looks like.

Publican Quality Meats (Chicago, Illinois)
Star chef Paul Kahan’s butcher shop is also a market, a sandwich shop and a 32-seat restaurant. There’s a daily-changing menu of sammies like the Return of the Gyro - braised pork belly and chile vinaigrette on griddled flatbread. There's charcuterie, too. The rotating Butcher’s Meal currently consists of smoked chorizo, braised beef, blood sausage, chickpeas, potatoes and cabbage; it’s $22 and serves two people. The meat counter features gorgeous steaks, dry-aged duck and smoked ham chops. For those who find this ambiance romantic, Publican Quality Meats is a place for “unique and intimate wedding receptions,” not to mention intensely meaty bachelor/bachelorette parties. If you’re not getting married but want to party at PQM, there are Burger Battles every Tuesday night throughout October.

Red Apron Butchery (Fairfax, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.)
After operating super-popular hot dog carts around D.C., Red Apron is opening three brick-and-mortar locations this year. (One is a deli and restaurant at Union Market; another is a huge butcher/market/restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia; and one is slated to open later this fall in D.C.’s Penn Quarter, with a restaurant called Parts & Labor attached.) Red Apron specializes in locally sourced, humanely raised, whole-animal butchery and small-batch handmade charcuterie. Chef Nathan Anda’s line of 80 products includes original creations like espresso-rubbed lomo, or pork loin. He also makes items like "Porkstrami," meatball and muffuletta sandwiches, as well as hot dogs like the Frank White, topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and pork rinds. Meanwhile, the Joey Bagadonuts is a provolone-stuffed Italian sausage dog with chile aioli and hot pickled pepper relish.

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats (New York, New York)
New Yorkers are high maintenance (I speak from experience) - and diet obsessives. And so, Dickson’s, in Chelsea Market, offers Paleo Subscriptions of humanely raised ground beef or ground pork. (It's cheaper if you buy more: A one-time pick-up is $6 per pound; a weekly pick-up for 12 weeks is $5 per pound). The meat is ground the night before, plus you get 10% off any other meat while you’re subscribing. Everything is produced in-house from whole animals purchased from New York state farms. Because New Yorkers also freak out about their pets’ diets, Dickson’s makes dog food from the same meats they sell at the market, mixed with yams, apples and carrots.

Lindy & Grundy (Los Angeles, California)
Not only do Amelia “Lindy” Posada and Erika “Grundy” Nakamura host vegan book parties at their fab neighborhood butcher shop, they also have butchering classes that range from the five-week "Going Whole Hog" to a Thanksgiving Turkey Demo. (Come the big day, you’ll be able to “carve your turkey like a butcher.”) They’ll also deliver orders, including specials like scrapple, something you won't find all over L.A. Most importantly for a butcher shop, they also sell meats, from conventional cuts of organic, sustainable pork, beef and lamb to kalbi (Asian beef short ribs).

The Local Butcher Shop (Berkeley, California)
Meat doesn’t travel far to get to this cool butchery that buys carcasses only from ranches and farms that are within 150 miles of Berkeley. In addition to custom cuts, the Local Butcher Shop makes sausages (like beef chorizo, sage breakfast links and BN Ranch beef hot dogs), pâtés, sauces and a rotating sandwich of the day. They also offer classes, running the gamut from sausage- and stock-making to goat butchery and braising. Owner Aaron Rocchino previously cooked at Chez Panisse; all the butchers are trained chefs.

More from Food & Wine:

Best Meatballs in the U.S.

Best Bacon Burgers

Insane Over-the-Top Burgers

America’s Best Hot Dogs

Hybrid Coffee Shops

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. midwest doc

    And in Kansas City, it's The Local Pig. http://thelocalpig.com/ Great stuff.

    October 8, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  2. wadej420

    nice factory farmed, chemical induced, steroid enhanced, meat for the masses. in america we love sickness and violents and definitely 8 year olds with tits boys and girls

    October 8, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply
  3. Marla

    If you're ever in New Orleans, try Cochon Butcher on Tchoupitoulas – makes me drool just remembering the pull pork sandwich last May. Jonesin'! They're attached to Cochon, a fine dining restaurant and though I've never eaten there, I hear good things.

    While we were having lunch at Butcher, we saw 2 or 3 butchered whole hogs brought in. Some people were squeamish, but I think it's great to be reminded of the source and thankful to the food for the nutrition you're about to receive.

    October 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  4. RC

    Why can't I live close to places like these? *sigh*

    October 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • bs1

      Consider yourself lucky to not live in places like LA, Berkley, Chicago, NYC, etc. Pack a cooler full of ice and make a field trip to one of the noted places, or better yet find the ones that are local to your area since most every place has a "real" butcher shop tucked away and often forgotten somewhere in town.

      October 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • Thinking things through

        Point well taken, bs1.

        October 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • RC

        Solid points. Used to live in SoCal-never again. Now living in the Pacific Northwest, lots of local farms here. I will definitely search out some. It's that magical word "charcuterie" that makes me drool.....

        October 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Reply

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