Saturday, February 02, 2008

Great steak, great price

During today's Reading Terminal Market trip (see previous item for details), I picked up a couple his 'n her steaks at Guinta's Prime Shop today, and lit the Weber Silver B to grill 'em just before sundown.

I say his 'n her because I like mine fatty, she likes hers lean. So for SWMBO I bought a tenderloin filet, priced at about $13 or $14 a pound. My choice was signed as a "cowboy" steak at $7.95/pound. It was a rib steak on the bone with only the excess fat trimmed away, so that there was plenty of extra-fatty meat along the perimeter, which I love, as well as the marbled rib eye.

Both steaks were superb (somehow I managed to cook them to our respective preferred donenesses). SWMBO thought her tenderloin was one of the best steaks she's ever had. Mine had deep beefy taste (not liver-y) and savory richness from all the luscious marbling.

Now, it certainly was not prime that was dry-aged for an exceedingly long period of time; in fact, I think both cuts were wet-aged, though I didn't ask before buying. (Giunta's displayed each individual cut in its own sealed vacuum bag which is why I think they were wet-aged, though that's not conclusive evidence.) As good as the steaks were, Harry Ochs' premium dry-aged steaks and prime rib roasts (the ones that have aged for six weeks rather than four) are superior; however, they cost about 30 or 40 percent more.

Bottom-line, my experience tonight confirms that Guinta's Prime Shop offers exceptional value in very good quality meat. In addition to the steaks tonight, I've bought hanger, flank, skirt and sirloins for grilling. I've enjoyed Guinta's loin and rib lamb chops, shanks, leg, and breasts; ducks and chickens (I've yet to try the veal, but it's on my list). None has disappointed and some, like tonight's steaks, have been extraordinary. The fact that Charles Guinta sells only all-natural, hormone-free, grass-fed beef is almost irrelevant; it just tastes darned good.

Does Guinta's Prime Shop offer the absolutely very best meat you can buy? No. But I am hard-pressed to think of another butcher that offers better meat for the price.

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