Local butchers are becoming fewer and farther between these days. I am lucky enough to live in a city that has several outstanding butcher shops. I have no issue with large supermarket butcher departments, nor with pre-packaged good quality meat.
What I love about going to my local butcher shop is the personal connection. They may not know me by name (though I do hear them calling many of the customers by name) but they do know what I ordered last time I came in. Asking how the chuck roast they sold me last week turned out and suggesting a nice pork shoulder for my BBQ pulled pork.
My local shop is called Drewes Brothers, walking distance from my house (though a bit further away than the Whole Foods, well worth the extra few blocks). They butcher all of their own meat and make many of the sausages they have on offer (like these bratwurst).
Here’s a little back story from their website:
Josh and Isaac , are the fourth owners since Drewes Brothers originally opened in 1889. Thought to be the oldest operating butcher shop in California, Drewes offers old style service with new school attitude.
Josh and Joey are more than happy to spend a few extra minutes explaining the paticulars of a type of meat to a customer or offering cooking tips for roasting a tri-tip. All the while the radio blaring out Metallica or the days Giants game.
I remember going to the Westi Meat Market with my parents in Queens. The butchers were a bunch of German men (one or two of whom were quite handsome, which pleased Gran Fran no end) who worked very hard and had some of the best hot dogs and liverwurst I’ve ever tasted. They always offered the little kids a mini hot dog (fully cooked, ok to eat while you wait) and had German treats like Haribo Gummi Bears well before these became widely available in the States.
Drewes Brothers offers a small selection of sauerkraut and mustard. They also have on hand potatoes, lemons, onions, and a few other must-haves when cooking a nice roast.
So stop on into your local butcher shop and see what they have for you. They’ll take good care of you.