I’m sick of sourcing ground lamb all over town. Whole foods has good lamb when they actually have it–you must call first to check their stock and even if they have leg of lamb in stock, they often won’t grind it for you (for a multitude of bogus reasons). Earth Fare has gamey, frozen ground lamb that is awful. Other stores have unfriendly butchers who either don’t want to give service or are simply absent from their meat departments.
This predicament has thankfully led me to rediscover Ted’s Butcherblock for myself as a premium full service butcher that can happily process orders for you on the spot. In the words of Ted, who I recently complained to about lackluster butchers avoiding special orders; “That’s ridiculous–they are meat departments–that’s what they are supposed to do.” That, to me, is exactly right. Though you pay a small premium for Ted’s products, you get real service from someone who can make good recommendations and even tell you accurately where the meat comes from. And best of all, no ground meat sitting in display cases all day, Ted’s will grind it all fresh to order, including lamb. You might have to wait a few minutes (I once waited for 20 minutes while Ted masterfully carved a perfect skirt steak out of some seriously nasty gristle and membrane) but it is ultimately worth it–fresh ground meat and steaks taste great. There is something to be said about actually knowing your butcher–it’s very old world. And it’s current–it follows the justifiable desire of conscientious consumers to know the source of their food.
Oh yeah, Ted’s is also a good lunch spot with delicious sandwiches, sides, and best of all, really good expensive chocalate. I like the Chicken Pancetta Avocado sandwich, the greek sandwich, or whatever panini is featured that month (each month the lunch menu rotates to focus on a specific region or country). The sides are usually pretty mediocre and really the only downside to lunch at Ted’s. Ted’s also serves as a gourmet grocer selling all kinds of stinky cheeses, chocolates, and good wines and hosts regualr tastings. Rottenoysters big ups you Ted’s Butcherblock for being the best (and arguably the only real) butcher in town.