Yeah, take it. You swallow that meat. Swallow all of it. Yeah, you know you love it……wait, what are we talking about again? Oh yeah, somewhat new Chicago butcher shop (actually I haven’t the fucking foggiest whether or not this place is new, but it is new to me, and I am the only person in the world who counts, so it is fucking well new) the Butcher & Larder. Located on Milwaukee in the Noble Square neighborhood (and I hope people have noticed just how fucking en fuego I am since I learned how to link shit on this blog), it is not a conspicuous store front. If you decide to check it out, go south on Milwaukee from Division, and it is a little before Augusta on the west side of Milwaukee. Once there, prepare yourself for a steaming hot meat injection. Not like the one you got on spring break that one year in Cancun when you don’t remember anything after that guy Dave dropped an “aspirin, you know, for the hangover” in your margarita and you woke up 8 hours later on an abandoned beach naked and sticky…but kind of like that. For years I frequented a venerable old butcher shop in Lincoln Park. It is still a great store with fun employees and I hate to forsake them. But forsake them I have. In a meat waving contest, they just don’t measure up. Everyone needs to question at some point: What quality of meat are you putting into yourself? If your answer is “I don’t care”, then I guess you aren’t health conscious, taste sensitive, and more than likely your dad never showed you any affection. Quite possibly your uncle Chester may have had some boundary issues. But anyhoo, the Butcher & Larder is not pimping average, suspect meat. You don’t need a condom for their meat. B&L is butchering animals from producers that let livestock dance and twirl around the farm eating grass, like a shrooming hippy at a Phish concert. They don’t buy animals from livestock prisons where the inmates are kept in squalid little cells festering in their own shit and fed hormones all day.
My first trip to B&L was late in the afternoon on a Saturday, and by the time I arrived they were all fucked out….er I mean all sold out of most everything. I picked up the last of the filet for the wife, then headed to my old standby shop for my own cut. Per usual, I got a big fuck-you bone-in ribeye. Grilled them up and guess what? My ribeye tasted like a dog shit brownie compared to that filet. It wasn’t that my steak was bad….it was that B&L’s was that good. For all those assholes out there who claim there is no difference between organic food and food that was stepped on by 5 different dealers between Colombia and you, just give B&L a try. Their ground chuck is hands-down the best I’ve ever eaten. Yes, it is $6 per pound which is more than you’ll pay for gray, dodgy-assed meat lurking deep in the bowels of the butcher counter at Jewel or Dominick’s, threatening to cut people with a blade if they get too close. And if you want to buy that shit and then spend 20 minutes making it edible with various kitchen minerals and compounds like a fucking chemist, then be my guest. But if you want to form the patties, throw them on the grill as is, and then eat the best goddamned burger of your life, fork over the extra $2.00 and quit being such a cheap fuck your whole life. Eat it slow, enjoy every swallow. Make it sexy. Beyond the aforementioned meat selections, they’ve got shit you haven’t even heard of. Goat legs, sausages you can’t pronounce, pates, lunch offerings, I think you can even get baboon meat if you first prove you aren’t wearing a wire.
So if you want to get pounded by some major league stud meat, then give the Butcher & Larder a try. You will not be disappointed. Tell ‘em Zach sent you. They’ll have not one fucking clue who Zach is, but at least it will make things awkward for a hot second before you buy your meat.