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Old 12-31-2007, 12:17 PM   #1
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My beef with butchers and supermarkets.

Most of the time I'm happy with what meats and cuts I find at the supermarket. However, is there really a need for thin sliced pork chops and steaks? And what's with the quality? The DW spent $29 on two rib eyes that came out so dry they were inedible. It's getting to be "hit or miss". And can these stores PALEEEEZ get some decent seafood in? How about some American shrimp for once? How about some clams that arent half broke? Or a fresh piece of tuna even?


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Old 12-31-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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As far as the Tuna goes, even I can get that in good quality somewhat regularly, I'm completely landlocked here in the midwest, so that must just be your grocery/area. As for thin cuts, anymore I just prefer to buy whole pork loins, strips, rib roasts, and tenderloins (on the rare occasions that I want/can afford tenderloin) and portion it myself. It is difficult to cook some of those super-thin sliced cuts. As for seafood, I thin you'd have it pretty good over there on the East Coast. During winter, the best quality seafood I can get is frozen... except for the tuna. Even the salmon, which is a pretty hardy fish is terrible during winter time, and it's usually sockeye, which I'm really not a fan of. There always the tank of fresh lobsters, but you'll burn a hole in your wallet pretty quick paying for those.

NJ isn't that far from NYC right? It might be worth it to make a drive up once a month for meat and fish. Just portion and freeze once you get home. Not ideal of course, but even if its been frozen the quality will be good.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:16 PM   #3
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Most of the time I'm happy with what meats and cuts I find at the supermarket. However, is there really a need for thin sliced pork chops and steaks? And what's with the quality? The DW spent $29 on two rib eyes that came out so dry they were inedible. It's getting to be "hit or miss". And can these stores PALEEEEZ get some decent seafood in? How about some American shrimp for once? How about some clams that arent half broke? Or a fresh piece of tuna even?

I hear ya, Jeeks. Sometimes, I luck out at the market. Other alternatives, for me, farmer's markets and ordering on line from Omaha etc & freezing. Did you ever wind up buying in bulk (think that was your query a while back)? Make friends with your butcher & fishmonger.

There's the Fulton Fishmarket:
THE NEW FULTON FISH MARKET AT HUNTS POINT

Pack an ice chest & stock up.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
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what part of NJ Jeekinz and what supermarkets are you talking about? Different chains are known for specialties ie Stop N shop for pork and smoked products, Wegmans for a great butcher and seafood section, Whole food for fantastic produce etc. but once agin you are driving here and there to get everything on your list.
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Old 12-31-2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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The Stop & Shop near me was taken over by Food Town who has another store a block and a half away....no joke. Usually I go to A&P. The DW goes to FoodTown where she got the steaks (I could have strangled someone last night) and the messed up clams. I STILL cannot find American shrimp in a supermarket.

It just drives me nuts.....it's not like your getting a discount or anything for the garbage they sell.
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:33 PM   #6
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..I STILL cannot find American shrimp in a supermarket...

The ubiquitous Emeril sells frozen American shrimp 1 pound plastic bags in a local Stop and Shop. A bit more expensive than the Asian stuff.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:12 PM   #7
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Jeekinz, I share many of your problems.

Generally find you get better meat at the higher end, more tony stores. In our area, No VA we have Wegman's, a smaller chain called Harris Teeter, and Whole Foods where we can usually get the thicker cuts.

But they are a bit more pricey.

However we also have more mainstream, I guess that term is OK, supermarkets (Giant, Safeway, Bloom's) and find if you go and talk to the butcher they can sometimes help you out.


As far as shrimp, yeah, we are only forty miles or so from the Chesapeake and not too much further from the Ocean and we also get tasteless shrimp. We both grew up loving shrimp but rarely buy them anymore.

Same thing with scallops.

As for fish, well, one of us doesn't eat fish, rats, so rarely purchase it. But the stuff in the case looks lousy and often perks up the olfactory nerve. Grew up in NYC where there were fresh fish places all over and the fiddies in our stores do not impress me as having been close to salt water for quite a while. Even in the tonier places.

Wish I had an answer for you.

Happy New Year and good luck.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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I think a lot depends on where you live. We get locally caught shrimp here when it's in season. It's really great and not expensive. On the other hand there is other seafood I would like access to that is not available in such warm waters.
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Old 12-31-2007, 05:16 PM   #9
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You get what you pay for. Most people that shop in supermarkets don't have the knowledge or inclination to seek out the better quality product and service a butcher or fish monger would afford them. More's the pity, but then, more for me, I say.

Most people want thin, boneless everything. That speaks more of their talent and lack of time than anything else. Supermarkets do the research. Chances are, it's the thinner, boneless stuff that sells faster than the thick chop. Again, more for me, I say.

It's convenient to shop in a supermarket, but it's not going to produce the best meal you could possibly have had. I see you are in Jersey. So am I. If you like, I could point you in the direction of some very very good butchers and fish mongers in Bergen County.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:27 PM   #10
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Getting good seafood here is pretty impossible. We're about 30 miles for a store of any good size, so I have to rely on whatever I can get in the frozen food section of the market.

However, getting quality meat is a different story. A good foodie friend of ours told me about an old-world butcher in our area. They've been in business since 1927 and have fabulous meats. Their short ribs are to die for and their steaks are heaven. One of the beauties of this place is that their prices are way lower than any of the area chain markets. Huge, meaty, well-trimmed short ribs are $1.99 per pound. Nothin' wrong with that! Yeah!
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