Tuesday, January 1, 2008

North Bay Butcher Shops & Meat Counters

Get good grades of meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture grades meat on an eight-tier system. The top three - Prime, Choice and Select - are found in restaurants, butcher shops and supermarkets.

The higher the grade, the more fat or marbling the meat has throughout it. Greater marbling comes from feeding cattle a corn- or grain-based diet in the weeks before the animals are slaughtered. More marbling generally means a more tender, flavorful piece of meat. It's also more expensive.

Most specialty butch shops sell Prime and Choice grade meat. Prime meat comes from steers, while all other grades comes from steers and heifers. Supermarkets generally sell Choice and Select meats although ground beef, hot dogs and other processed meats are often made with lesser grades of beef.

The USDA grading system is a voluntary, fee-based system. Many producers of organic, natural and grass-fed beef such as Niman Ranch and Chileno Valley opt out of the grading system. Instead, these companies stand behind their brand names and production techniques.

Butcher Shops:

3473 California St. (between Laura and Spruce),
San Francisco - (415) 752-3430
*-Dry aged beef, for as long as 30 days; no grass-fed beef

Bryan's Fine Foods
341 Corte Madera Town Center,
Corte Madera (415) 927-4488

Drewes Brothers Meats
1706 Church St. (near 29th Street),
San Francisco (415) 821-0515

Freedom Meat Locker
160 High Grade Lane,
Freedom (831) 724-4355

Guerra Quality Meats
490 Taraval St. (at 15th Avenue),
San Francisco (415) 564-0585

Lawrence's Walnut Creek Meat,
225 B Alamo Plaza,
Alamo (925) 838-0505

Little City Market
1400 Stockton St. (at Vallejo)
San Francisco (415) 986-2601

395 Stanford Shopping Center,
Palo Alto (650) 325-6328

Ver Brugge Foods
6321 College Avenue
Oakland (510) 658-6854
*-Call by 8 am, in by noon

Meat Counters:


Antonelli's Meat, Fish and Poultry
Cal-Mart, 3585 California St. (at Spruce)
San Francisco (415) 752-7413

3521 Homestead Road
Santa Clara (408) 243-9005; and two locations in San Jose

Corralitos Sausage Co.
569 Corralitos Road
Corralitos (831) 722-2633

San Mateo, Menlo Park, Los Altos


Mollie Stone's

Roberts Market
3015 Woodside Road
Woodside (650) 851-1511

Viglizzo's Tower Market
635 Portola Drive
San Francisco (415) 664-1600

Whole Foods


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