1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

The best meat available in the USA.

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by itsstillmatt, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    I know that a lot of you guys like to cook and/or eat. I thought that I would pass along the website of the very best cattle farmers in the United States. They are the only ones around that rival the very best beef in Argentina. I don't know if they ship their products, but they are available at the San Francisco Ferry Building for those that live around here.

    http://www.pratherranch.com/index.php
     
  2. denning

    denning Senior member

    Messages:
    1,292
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    Matt, you have to know that your thread title is just begging for a really tasteless joke right?
     
  3. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

    Messages:
    3,911
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    USSA
    You can get wagyu beef in the US, but any debate of "the best" depends on how you like your beef. I prefer less marbling in mine.

    For me, the best beef is from hand raised livestock, auctioned at county and state fairs. Fantastic eating.
     
  4. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

    Messages:
    4,603
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Not that I doubt you, but what's your basis for ranking them so highly? They have a couple NYC retail outlets, so I'm tempted to give them a try.

    dan
     
  5. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

    Messages:
    10,448
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    So this meat can't be beat?
     
  6. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    Not that I doubt you, but what's your basis for ranking them so highly? They have a couple NYC retail outlets, so I'm tempted to give them a try.

    dan


    Twice over the last year I was served steak at friends houses and was astounded at how good it was. Both times they said that it was Prather Ranch steak. My wife and I have been buying it ever since.

    It is the only meat available in stores that has the super rich flavor that you get at steakhouses like Luger. Meat, even at the best butchers, always seems tender, but a bit flavorless. This is not. Give it a try.
     
  7. Arethusa

    Arethusa Senior member

    Messages:
    5,107
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Meat, even at the best butchers, always seems tender, but a bit flavorless. This is not. Give it a try.
    That's probably because that meat is fresh, whereas this is dry aged. Not that starting as very good beef doesn't help (and it looks like this likely is), but there is reason you can't find anything like this at butcher.
     
  8. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    That's probably because that meat is fresh, whereas this is dry aged. Not that starting as very good beef doesn't help (and it looks like this likely is), but there is reason you can't find anything like this at butcher.

    I agree that the dry aging is a huge part of the flavor, but I have had plenty of dry aged meat that is not nearly as good. You are correct that the starting point is very, very good. For the most part, Northern California has the best raw ingredients available in the US, but this small producer is one of the very best in any catagory that we have.
     
  9. tangerine

    tangerine Senior member

    Messages:
    698
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco CA
    Just for comparison, how do you feel about Niman Ranch and Harris Ranch?
     
  10. nairb49

    nairb49 Senior member

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    That's probably because that meat is fresh, whereas this is dry aged. Not that starting as very good beef doesn't help (and it looks like this likely is), but there is reason you can't find anything like this at butcher.


    Its dry, but is it selvage?

    [​IMG] sorry, denim on the mind.
     
  11. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    Just for comparison, how do you feel about Niman Ranch and Harris Ranch?

    Niman Ranch used to be really good. Harris Ranch is, to me, above average supermarket meat.

    Niman is not nearly as good as it was when it was small and mainly supplied restaurants.

    Prather Ranch is much better than Niman ever was.
     
  12. ayn

    ayn Senior member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I will have to try some of their steak, will check out the MV farmers' market this Sunday... Back in Austin, TX, I got my steak from this place called The Meat Shop, they sold Wagyu beef from Harrell Ranch, excellent excellent steak! They closed their retail location before I moved away though.
     
  13. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    I've been meaning to give Prather a try and now I certainly will next time I'm down there. My current favorite (since last summer) has been the onglet from Golden Gate Meats (also in the Ferry Building). My wife comes from a long line of beef lovers; lore has it that her grandfather, the Industrialist with Socialist sympathies, was fond of bringing 4" portherhouse steaks to the Labor Day picnic in Cleveland. Anyway, I took a bunch of the Golden Gate hanger steak to Austin, Tx last Christmas and it met with unanimous approval from the conclave. It's supposedly USDA Prime.
     
  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    I've been meaning to give Prather a try and now I certainly will next time I'm down there. My current favorite (since last summer) has been the onglet from Golden Gate Meats (also in the Ferry Building). My wife comes from a long line of beef lovers; lore has it that her grandfather, the Industrialist with Socialist sympathies, was fond of bringing 4" portherhouse steaks to the Labor Day picnic in Cleveland. Anyway, I took a bunch of the Golden Gate hanger steak to Austin, Tx last Christmas and it met with unanimous approval from the conclave. It's supposedly USDA Prime.

    Golden Gate has very good meat and terrific service. I think that they are the best full service butcher in the Bay Area. I can't argue with anybody who likes cuts like hanger steak rather than the ubiquitous filet mignon. The Prather hangers and chucks are great, so don't feel like you can only go for NY strip. In fact, the ground beef is otherworldly.
     
  15. Saucemaster

    Saucemaster Senior member

    Messages:
    6,678
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    iammatt, you're making me hungry and homesick at the same time. I hate you. [​IMG]
     
  16. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Let's hear more about meat! It's an interesting topic, very revealing about our current state of food. I was depressed to read a while ago in one of Jeffrey Steingarten's books about the "evolution" of the USDA grading process. Meat grading was once much more rigorous and refined. The USDA Prime designation we use today as the highest grade for meat now covers a far greater range than ever--and still there is less and less of it. I'm less concerned about the wet/dry debate (how long have we had the cryovac anyway?) than I am about supporting traditional methods of raising livestock. Things are so stratified today. Those who don't care about meat will buy a uniformly inferior product at the local supermarket, while the rest of us are left to ferret out small producers, restaurant suppliers, etc. I remember going to the butcher with my grandfather and everything was all there without any of the niche marketing and proprietary names we have today. Even specialty butchers with sterling reputations (such as Bryan's here in SF) don't always have the real goods. When I went to Alsace and Burgundy a couple of years back all the food was a revelation, of course, but what really stuck in my mind was the base quality of the meat and dairy products. I remember coming back here to SF and realizing that to continue eating in this way from time to time would require a great deal of effort put toward finding basic ingredients.
    In addition to Prather and GG meats, I think the Niman Ranch pork can be quite good. Grimaud Farms duck is amazing. The prosaic Rocky Range whole chicken is about the best roasting bird you could ever want. Is there a good source for top quality lamb (there's really nothing like good loin chops marinated in yogurt with garlic and perhaps some mint or thyme and then grilled quickly at high heat)? And speaking of yogurt, we might as well admit that Strauss Family Creamery is about as good as it could posibly get.
     
  17. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    14,384
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    The wild and the pure.
    We shopped at Bryan's for years, and it is a good place. The fish is really excellent. The veal is the best available in the area, as they sell real veal and not the organic/natural young beef that is sold by some of the organic food stores. I remember them being the first place that you could find double cut veal rib chops rather than skimpy loin chops.

    American Pork is far behind pork in Europe. We siply will not pay the price that it costs for really high quality pork. Prather Ranch sells excellent pork that they source from a like-minded producer. In Europe the entire pig is used, while in the US we eat bacon and pork loin. The two finest dishes I have ever eaten were a pigs head at Robuchon in Paris and a truffled pigs foot at Taillevent. I really wish that there was more demand for such cuts here and that restaurants could cater to it.

    Strauss is top notch, as is Cowgirl Creamery. Marin Sun Farms produces eggs that rival the best in Europe. I agree about Grimaud Farms, and also think that the birds available from D'Artagnan are excellent. I think that Acme does an excelent job with breads. Maybe they are not as good as the very best in Europe, but they are better than most.

    I avoided the Ferry Builing Marketplace for a long time because of all of the affectations surrounding it. I now realize that the products are too good to miss. Next time you are there, make sure to pick up a bag of the homemade potato chips at LuLu Petit. They are terrific. The mexican restaurant Mijita is also worth going to. It is owned by the chef at Jardeniere. We also pick up fresh tortillas from them when we cook Mexican at home.
     
  18. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

    Messages:
    938
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Interesting. I avoided the Ferry Building for a long time too. But then last summer my oldest son started swimming at the Embarcadero YMCA in the mornings. At about 9:00 am we'd wander over to the Ferry Building, go to Acme, Peets, GG Meats, once in a while buy something from Recchiuti--a tough life, I know. That's when I realized it was a real market with some great stuff and not just the ersatz flash.
    My wife used to go to Mijita until she had some nightmarish experience with the birds outside.
    And as long as we're talking bread we should also give Bay Bread a mention. They make some very good bread (the sour baguette and the pain integrale come to mind), but where they really shine is the sweets. I don't think I've ever tasted a more sublime almond croissant and all of the country-style cakes and tarts are top-notch.
     
  19. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

    Messages:
    270
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I will have to try some of their steak, will check out the MV farmers' market this Sunday... Back in Austin, TX, I got my steak from this place called The Meat Shop, they sold Wagyu beef from Harrell Ranch, excellent excellent steak! They closed their retail location before I moved away though.

    I don't think they come to Mountain View any more - I did pick up some meat for pot roast from them at the MV market about six months ago, but haven't seen them in the last few weeks.

    There is, though, a stall that sells boudin noir, wild boar sausages and so on in Mountain View, so I'm consoling myself with that.

    Cheers.
     
  20. minya

    minya Senior member

    Messages:
    527
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    The Ferry Building has the most incredible assortment of luxury grocers/foodstores/etc. I've ever seen. God I miss San Francisco. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by