Neighborhood MeatMay 28, 2009 at 1:26 AM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
We do have some more expensive, high-end grocers in the area, but I don’t need valet parking, concierge service, or someone to wipe my ass while I shop. Generally. I go here because it’s cheap. And that is fine for most things they have.
But I calculate that the ten years working at a steak restaurant has affected what I’m willing to accept in terms of meat. The last few times we went to the store to get food for the grill, I tried, I really tried to pick out a steak. Each time I almost bought something, then just gave up, disgusted, and went for the pork steaks and brats. The last time I *did* buy a steak, if you can call it that. Imagine picking up a high-priced call girl and going back to your hotel room expecting a quality experience, and instead you find out that your hooker is a trannie. Is it too late then to ask for a discount?
My steak was kind of like that. It was still good, but I had to work it over and it didn’t end up how I expected, and I sure didn’t want to brag about it.
I realized that what I needed was an actual meat market. I needed Sam the butcher. I knew there was a meat market about half an hour away, past the community college, but I was hoping for something closer. Using this new-fangled thing called the intarwebs, I did a yellow pages search and found a list of several–all of them even further away than that one.
Except one. Lo and behold, there was one more or less in my neighborhood. If you are the normal type of person who divides up geography according to pizza delivery areas (and who doesn’t?) then this meat market was in the same delivery area as us. It wouldn’t make a great double, of course, but it was still in the same area. I decided to go by there after work and check it out.
First I had to go by Detroit’s work and pig her up. The company she worked for was being replaced for this contract, so she is either going to lose her job or get picked up by the evil bastards who didn’t even out-bid her company.
I go to the school admin building and find the room they are in–it’s the room they hold school board meetings in–and I sit and wait. There are about two dozen of her employees there, filling out paperwork for the new company.
These are mostly black, mostly old, mostly women. My only comment is this, after seeing the comparatively younger men in suits running the meeting: good luck managing this group.
I had the address and knew the general location of the meat market, and as we got closer I confirmed that it was where I thought: this very old strip mall, so old it wasn’t called a strip mall, it was called a "shopping centre." And of course it had a name, but I didn’t look up at the sign to catch the name. I do remember that 12 years ago, my tae kwon do instructor moved his–
[You know, I just had a flash on a dream I had last night. In the dream, I was trying to teach tae kwon do to my students–my soldiers. But my commander said tkd was outdated, and I needed to teach them shotokan, a style of karate. I was miffed. I said, "Really, what is the difference between the two? Show me." I wonder what that was all about?]
–studio into that strip plaza ever so briefly before closing it down and taking a job in construction. I remember the time because my daughter was an infant and his wife who was smoking hot was watching Miranda for us.
Instantly opening the door, it smelled good. Fresh meat, ahhh. I love that smell. Blood. Hmmm….Blood. And it didn’t smell old or sour, either, like occasionally they do, so that was a good sign. There were no customers in store; a woman with an apron came from the back.
I told her my sad story, and she gave us a fairly extensive tour of the store, explained how they did things and what they had, and pointed out her own favorites and things like that. We had a good time.
I’m sure it was all very interesting to Detroit, but she was polite and looked around. The woman at the counter had just explained that it was family run–her brother owned it, I think, and another sister and a nephew also worked there. Something like that. They’ve been there for over 30 years. Well, I do believe in supporting local businesses, and I told her so.
She asked Detroit if she like chicken salad. Since I’m not a fan of any of that crap, I wouldn’t know, but Detroit said "Uhhn…" The woman got a plastic spoon and said, "Try this."
Apparently it was good. Detroit got a pound of it. The woman said she makes it fresh in the morning, and that’s how she sells it. Just making people try it. You KNOW how I feel about mayonnaise.
I bought a steak. A porterhouse. It was about a pound, and it was 9.89 a pound. It was choice, and looked good. I also bought a shaker of steak seasoning.
After the rain cleared at home, I cooked the steak. Good shit. Really good shit. I think we found ourselves a meat market.