My coworker was really excited a few months ago when she heard The Meat House was coming to Stuyvesant Plaza. They had one up in Clifton Park, and her husband loved all the different marinades. Her excitement rubbed off on me, and when this one opened up I was pretty psyched for it. I'll start by saying the workers don't seem to want to let you browse. The fact that they market it "For the Foodie", well they think they have to tell you what a "foodie" would eat. The first worker at least let us kind of describe what we wanted, but then was really pushy about their house marinated steak tips. We cooked them up in a cast iron skillet and put them in a salad with a roasted shallot vinaigrette. It was pretty good, but Scott sort of felt like the mustard flavor was really strong, which would be ok if it was top quality mustard (which it wasn't). It was alright though. She should have backed off and let us decide on our own.
The second time I went in there I wasn't really that sure what I wanted.
Worker: "What can I get for you?"
Me: "I think I need a minute to look."
Worker:"How about bacon wrapped meatloaf??"
Me:"Uhh... we had BLTs for lunch."
Worker:"But it is totally amazing! Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf!!" (Pretty sure he was staring down my shirt at this point).
Me: "Uh nevermind, I'll just take like three quarters of a pound of the buffalo chicken tenders."
Worker: "What? For how many people? We recommend 1-2 pounds per person!!" (The food guide pyramid says that one serving of meat is 4 oz, about the size of a deck of cards.)
Me: "Well it is two people. Fine, give me a pound."
Then, he gave me almost a pound and a fourth, so about half a pound more than I wanted. What if I only had the amount of money for what I originally ordered? I feel that for centuries the one thing housewives have had the most power in is purchasing food for their families. If I am at a meat counter and say what I want, it doesn't matter what you think, you give it to me! Anyways, it was tasty. But we served it with potatoes and a salad, the idea that we would together eat 4 pounds of meat (without any bones in them - they were tenders) was totally ridiculous.
Anyways, I went again and got a mixture of veal, pork, and beef for a Bolognese sauce and that turned out really delicious. In addition to the meats they have some tasty salsas, dips, baked goods, canned goods, cheeses, and extras like lemons and onions you may need to finish off your recipe. We stopped by the Book House the other day, and I needed an onion to make chicken stock, and that was useful I could just pop in there and get one. It is a good thing it is there. I want to try the chicken stuffed with broccoli and cheddar. I do sort of resent the "We know what is good!" attitude. I am the customer - I decide!! Also this "For the Foodie" thing seems insulting. Why do the workers at a chain butcher shop assume they know more about cooking than I do? They should really let people browse and not just start chanting "Bacon wrapped meatloaf!!" or whatever they want to sell that day. Maybe I don't eat red meat! Maybe I had a burger for lunch! Anyways, I like it anyway, and I'll keep going - 2 pounds of meat for 1 person for dinner is totally ridiculous though.